Saturday (May 22) I turned 23! It was my first b'day out of the country!!! And it was fantastic!!!
I was woken up at 7:30 am to a phone call from my San Martin host family! They remembered my birthday and called to all say hi! It was so cute! They had me on speakerphone and it was hard to understand all of them, but it was the perfect way to wake up on bday! I got out of bed and it was a FULL house. All of Mrs Assi's kids were home and it was craziness. Cornelia had made me a birthday cake with chocolate icing and sprinkles! It was so nice! I cut it and we ate it at 8:30 am, which was weird, but still so nice! Then I finally met Antoinette, who just came home from University of Belize in Belmopan. She hugged me and wished me happy birthday and we just met! The family was so cute. Everyone seemed genuinely excited for my birthday and tried to make it special. We were supposed to go to the river, but I asked to change our plans because of Cacao Fest and all the Toledo people coming into town that day. So they made me bbq for lunch and we had a lunch party before I left. I helped with making the ariina tortillas and the "salad" (carrots and cabbage with cream stuff). We cooked all morning and then ATE. IT was AMAZING! The chicken was sooooo good! It was, by far, the best meal I've had in Belize. Even the salad, which I hate Belizean salad, was so good! I had seconds! The chicken was so juicy and amazing.... omg, I still can taste that meal!!! It was delicious!
After lunch, I took a family pic of the group because they told me they only get together like that about twice a year!
After the pic, Nester took me over to the Charlton to meet up with Dan, Matt, and Laura! It was a great reunion! lol. Laura and I quickly headed over to Cacao Fest because we were working again. We ended up bartending, this time it was madness! We served beer, sodas, mixed drinks, and wine and people were greedy and angry! I couldn't believe it! For a country where people are so laid back and slow, they sure were impatient at the bar! It was madness! Luckily, as we left our shift, the bossman gave me some birthday beer to enjoy as we walked around Cacao Fest. We didn't stay too long, there were only a couple of tents and stuff, along with a dj and people Punta dancing.... but most people wrapped up because it looked like rain was gonna hit. So we headed back towards the hotel, stopping for pizza and ice coffee and a tour of the chocolate factory before heading chillin at the Charlton. The Charlton was the hotspot for the majority of the evening/night. We just hung out and had a great time... it was a fun bday! Tons of Toledo people were in town, so it was really fun. Later in the night, a few of us ventured out to Reef Bar and later Sports Bar to dance. At Reef Bar there was a band and Laura got me to play maracas with them... it was kinda awkward/hilarious! hahaha. Then at Sports Bar, I met the owner, so he let me in for free! We danced all night! It was so fun--a great way to end my birthday! Awkwardly, we ran into 2 people I work with... the guy who is my co-supervisor and the lady from Cayo who came down to train us that week! I tried to avoid them, but a group of gringos tend to stick out in Belize, so they came up to me. It was strange because they were drinking and it was awkward. I tried to say hi and avoid them, but they kept heading back to us and hanging out by us.... very strange! It was an interesting end to an amazing day!!!!