Picture This

As my last post showed I spent a portion of my winter break in the Central American country of Belize,  this will probably be the last time I discuss this as I intend to go over every day that I spent there to try and describe Belize as much as possible before resorting to pictures.  The first thing that I noticed about Belize was the sun, I’ve been to tropical places before mainly Florida where the weather is warm sunny and humid every day, Belize however wasn’t nearly as humid as Florida, it wasn’t dry either it had an almost temperate atmosphere and the sun was an ever present reminder of how Belize is on the equator. The sun burns you extremely quickly if you aren’t careful and I began to tan almost instantly. Upon leaving Belize City for Dangriga the poverty of the area becomes evident. Roads are in horrible disrepair and most of the buildings built in the style of the 50’s and 60’s of America are in ruins. Many of the buildings have smashed windows and for sale signs.  The damage is apparently from a category one hurricane Richard in the 70’s which they have never recovered from. Otherwise we passed mile after mile of rainforest, the trees covered every inch of wilderness obscuring any wildlife from view.  We also passed many farms, whose sole purpose seemed to be growing Oranges there were so many farms that it soon became apparent we would never lack for orange juice on this trip. The people were the next observation the group made, every person we passed along the way waved, either to get attention and help or out of genuine friendliness it was hard to tell however most people yelled “Hello” and had large smiles on their faces, its great to see. Once arriving at the resort the tropical atmosphere came to the forefront with the palm trees, the white sand beach, and the clear blue water with hundreds of tiny fish hiding under the dock. Pelicans flew over the water and dove down to catch whatever they could see. Next we spent a few days on an island, soft white sand and crystal clear water with palm trees and coconuts everywhere. Several hammocks and lawn chairs on the beach look out over a lagoon, shielded by a barrier reef which extends for miles the waves crash against the reef and allow the water in the lagoon to be calm and perfect for snorkeling. We also spent several days 10 miles into the rainforest at another resort where the trees and grass grew wild, wildlife surrounded us especially the spiders which we had several encounters with including a rather freaky looking cave spider. Birds were the highlight of this resort as many different exotic birds took advantage of the excess papaya which we left out for them, the highlight of these were the arcon toucans a smaller toucan with a bill which looks serrated due to its coloring. The bugs were a bit of a problem here however we all brought bug spray allowing us to survive. Shade in Belize is a blessing, and under the shade of the trees in the forest is where I was most comfortable. Now to try to describe Belize in photos, this ought to be interesting.

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Snapshot#1 p.55

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The Caption for this photo would have to be “Belizean Sunset a good drink and a beautiful view”. Captions can say a lot about a photo. However what I find captions also convey the context and a small amount of the photographers character.  This caption highlights the beauty of a natural landscape, in this case a sunset on Southwater Caye in Belize. I took a trip to Belize with my class Tropical Ecology we spent several days on Southwater Caye but this was the first night that we stayed on the island and it was gorgeous. That same afternoon we took a walk around the island which is less than a mile long and visited the three bars to see what we had to look forward to. In particular it was interesting to see the prices on drinks. One drink that caught every person’s eye around this time was the Belizean sunset, a mix of rum and coconut rum which turns layered brown orange and red on top of another. In fact this picture was taken at the doc of one of the bars as several of the girls drank Belizean sunsets, I tried one it was extremely sweet but still delicious and for the price of seven dollars Belizean it was practically a bargain. American currency is worth one dollar and ninety cents for every one dollar Belizean. This was taken full advantage of as the students sampled every mixed drink on the island including Belizean sunsets, Beach Coolers, Panty Rippers( a one-time try for all) and of course the local beer Beliken. I don’t think any of my other pictures from Belize reflect how amazing the environment is down there. No caption or blog could possibly be enough to encompass how truly beautiful that country is, everywhere you go you are reminded that you are in tropical paradise. There is something about a sunset though that truly solidifies a moment in time. Sunsets and rises may govern our days but when you’re in paradise, the sunset is there one second and its gone the next, the temperature difference is astonishing suddenly a whole new atmosphere becomes apparent. But at the same time a little sadness creeps into your body as you realize you may have to wait for days before the next gorgeous sunset happens. This was the most beautiful night of my life so far and its going to take something truly spectacular to come close. It was the perfect sunset, I don’t expect to see the like any time soon. This photo alone cannot describe itself besides a beautiful sunset, however with a caption it provides the location, Belize, a tropical paradise in central America renown for the beautiful waters the expansive reefs and of course the iconic “Blue Hole” anyone else might look at this photo and have a different caption in mind like “ocean sunset”  or  “#sunset” but I believe that the location a photo is taken is central to its identity and as Belize was one of the best experiences of my life I feel  it is necessary to add the location to the caption where others would not.