September 21 - Independence Day for Belize - And Our Children Visit

Friday, September 23, 2011

30 years ago on September 21, 1981 Belize obtained its independence from Great Britain. 

There has been lots of flags flying and much celebrating!

And parades

 And fireworks!

The Belize City Branch traditionally puts on a special flag raising program the evening before Independence Day.  Brother Joel Munoz speared headed  the event and put in much time and effort.  It turned out well with about 70 people attending.  The national prayer was given, and the national song was sung.  Explanations about the history of the different people that make up Belize were given.  It was very informative, and we enjoyed it very much.  Afterwards refreshments were served. 

George Cadle Price was the very first Prime Minister of Belize.  He spent his whole life trying to improve life in Belize.  He died a few days before the Independence Day celebration this year at the age of 92.  He was much admired and well loved by all.  Flags were flown at half mast. 

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Also, last week we had three funerals in Belize City Branch. I mentioned about Sister Gillett in our last blog post.  Then a grandmother of Desiree passed away, and finally the husband of Sister Jones. Elder Pattee was asked to preside and speak at all three funerals, but was able to only attend two of them--Sister Gillett's and Sister William's. 

We have enjoyed the past few days very much. On Friday (a week ago) our second son, David, and his wife, Kris, came for a visit. It was so good to see them.  They were standing out on the sidewalk at the airport when we drove up. Their flight came in a few minutes early, and they got through customs quickly.  Hope they didn't think we had forgotten them.   

David, Kris, and Elder Pattee (Dad)

We also stopped at the produce market on the way back from the airport and bought several fruits we had not eaten before. We got some plums that looked like little green apples, a big red fruit that looked like an artichoke and a star fruit. We also got papaya, and watermelon. We are glad our children got to experience some of the delicious fruits that grow in Belize. 

 On Saturday we wanted to see some Mayan ruins, so we drove about 2 hours to Cayo. We had hoped to see Xuanantunich, but because of all the rain earlier in the week, the river was high and muddy.  The ferry was closed, so we could not cross the Mopan River. We ended up going to Cahal Pech, instead, which was near by and on the same side of the river as we were. 

We enjoyed walking through old archways and exploring the courtyards and passageways. 

"Do you think we can climb to the top?"

"We made it!"

 The largest pyramid is better seen in this shot.

Of course by this time we were hungry, so stopped at the San Igancio Inn for a nice lunch. 

On Sunday we attended chuch at Belize City Branch. The young adults presented the sacrament meeting talks and music. They did very well. I think the branch members were very proud of them. 

We enjoyed their talks about service and the music they sang. This is not the actual photo of that day, because, of course, I wouldn't take a photo during sacrament meeting.  But this one is similar, taken on a different day (after a meeting). The young adult sisters also participated in the meeting.

We took several people home after church. Baby Malik fell asleep in Kris's arms. She had just the right touch.

Brother Smith and also Adalee joined us for dinner on Sunday. We hadn't seen either of them much lately, as Brother Smith has been in the United States, and Adalee moved. We just found out where she lives.  Elder Pattee baptized her this past December.  It was good to visit with them.

We visited the home of the Paul Woods Family Sunday evening. What a nice family!

We also visited the home and family of our branch president, President Gordon. Sister Gordon (furtherest left on the sofa) is a very good cook and told us about different kinds of Belizian food, including "fish tea", which is made with fish heads and cocoa.

President Gordon showed us a breadfruit. His wife will make something delicious with it.  

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Then David and Kris left to spend a few days in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye.  

They traveled out to San Pedro on a water taxi.

  The weather was sunny and fine.  Just right for relaxing and working on a suntan. They enjoyed going out snorkeling and swimming with the sharks. They flew back on Maya Island Air. We picked them up at the little municipal airport when they flew in on Thursday. 

We had a nice lunch at the Riverside Tavern (missionary approved) and went back to our house to visit awhile. Then, sadly, we had to take them to the airport so they could catch their flight homeward. We enjoyed their visit very much.

This week we concentrated on getting SOY applications finalized and turned in. We are also trying to encourage several PEF students to get current in their loan payments. 

A week ago on Wednesday, during the night, Elder Pattee had a scary bout of illness.  He had a sharp pain in his lower abdomen that wouldn't go away. In the morning we called for the elders to come and give him a blessing, which Elders Holbrook and Robenalas did.  Soon the pain disappeared. We went to the Belize Medical Associates, just to be sure it wasn't appendicitis. After a few tests and no further pain, Elder Pattee was able to drive to the airport to pick up David and Kris. As regarding heath issues, we feel we have been greatly blessed while serving as missionaries. 

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