Sunday, July 29, 2012

moments of beauty

It goes without saying that living in a third world country is not easy.  To the stresses of everyday life, we add government corruption, poor infrastructure, and ever-present heart-wrenching poverty.  Lately I've found myself absorbing any moment of beauty that I encounter, just stopping and letting the beauty wash over me.  It restores some peace in my heart.

Last weekend we took an impromptu visit to Sarteneja, which is an isolated fishing village in the north of Belize.  After two and a half hours on the worst dirt (MUD) road I have encountered yet in Belize and two river crossings on hand-cranked ferries, we picnicked on a beach with the most pristine water imaginable.

Yesterday in the market there was an exceptional band playing songs in the Garifuna language.  The Garifuna people live in Southern Belize, and are descended from a small group of African slaves who were abandoned to die on the coast of Belize.  The Garifuna descendants still keep their unique culture and language, although is is getting rarer to hear Garifuna spoken.  The language is fascinating; men and women speak different variations of the language.  An elderly Garifuna lady explained to me that all children speak the woman's language until puberty, when boys start to speak the men's language.  

Garifuna is a musical language, and sounds beautiful when sung.  The drums are a lot of fun too.  

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