Humidity sticks to you, but does it grow on you?
Updated: Aug 2, 2021
Yesterday marked our 1 month-a-versary in Belize. So, we decided to honor this milestone with a mother-daughter Q&A about our experience living abroad so far. I wrote the questions in advance and we both answered them separately and then came together.
1) What has been your happiest moment?
Dani: Snorkeling. Fish. Picking up shoes on the side of the road.
Me: My happiest moment has been spending so much quality time with Daniella, sometimes doing new things for both of us. Watching her so successfully adjust to life in a new, very different culture has been so rewarding. I think I'm learning that kids are more resilient and more easily adjust to a vastly different way of life than their adult counterparts. At least mine does. I like to say that the only similarity between her 11-year-Manhattan upbringing to her life in San Pedro is that both are islands and in both, traffic and directional reference is either uptown or downtown.
It's also been really fun coming up with the idea of our store "Snea Urchins" (and no that is not a typo). It started when we saw a shoe on the side of the road. That led to the question..."have you ever wondered how one shoe ends up on the side of the road?", which led to me telling Dani something my mom once told me about shoes. She said, "even the ugliest, oldest shoe has a pair out there somewhere". This led to us halting the golf cart every time we see an abandoned shoe that lost it's other half somewhere along the way. One day, we are going to have a section in our store that sells all of these lost shoes and other random side-of-the-road finds. We have 7 shoes to date and find it interesting that the group consists solely of men's and kid's shoes. We have yet to find a lost women's shoe. Hmm....
2) What has been your most stressful moment?
Dani: My leishmaniasis.
Me: Ok, her response requires an explanation from me although hers happens to be a part of mine. I'm already a hypochondriac whose favorite TV show of all time is House, MD. I'm convinced that one day the hours I spend watching and re-watching that show is going to save my life. I'm already terrified of mosquito or other tropical insect-borne diseases, which may or may not be related to the content of this TV series. Fueling the fire is the fact that these little buggers love us, I mean LOVE US. One night I noticed that Dani had a little lesion on her skin and I immediately looked up "leishmaniasis symptoms, causes (parasites that come from a certain species of sand fly), treatments, etc.". She is totally fine, by the way. The biggest thing that ails her is her sometimes crazy mom. That said, I should get an honorary MD degree just from all the hours I've logged watching and researching every single Dr. House case.
3) What do you like most about life here?
Dani: Going to the beach every day!!!
Me: Wow, she blurted that out fast. For me it's a little more complex, as there are so many things I like about life here. But I would say that the overall challenge of figuring out how things work here while not standing out like a sore thumb (see my response at 5 for one such example) and celebrating when we are successful is something that has been really rewarding for me.
4) What do you miss the most about living in the states?
Dani: Amazon. Being able to buy something and getting it delivered in two days. I want new shoes, puzzles, and room décor.
Me: My Thermoflask water bottle that cost me $19. I'm obsessed with drinking water, but that warrants a whole separate post. Those water bottles are ridiculously expensive here. They range from almost $100USD to a decent amount over that. I so wish I could go back and re-pack knowing what I now know. So hint hint if any of you are coming to visit us!
5) What has been your funniest moment?
Dani: Killing the water bugs. I didn't know how to spell cockroach so I am calling them water bugs.
Me: Couldn't agree more on this! And, I do believe they are water bugs, which makes them no more attractive by the way! I need to caveat this with the fact that our home is super clean and we only see one or two here or there. And, these sightings are becoming less frequent as I've diligently sealed just about every opening to the outside world. Dani keeps me grounded here as she says, "mom, we live on the beach, it's just going to happen".
The other funny moment, albeit somewhat embarrassing, was figuring out how to use my arms as turn signals while driving the golf cart. In one our first drives here, just as I was making what I thought was the appropriate gesture for a left turn, a Caribbean local driving the opposite direction yelled, "slap in the face, slap in the face". His hilarious comment and the way he said it, so perfectly describe what I was doing with my entire left arm and hand (I'm laughing out loud reliving that moment now). Fortunately I'm the type of person that enjoys a good laugh even if it's at my own expense! Laughing increases T-cells and increases in IgA help boost immunity. And, it just feels good! Let's just say one month of these frequent laughing episodes is quickly making up for the 2 laugh-less years prior.
5) What has been your biggest adjustment?
Dani: Getting used to my bedroom.
Me: She finally made it into her own room. We've spent the majority of this past month sharing a bed. If her legs didn't love resting squarely on my belly at some point in the night, I wouldn't have minded. I am so appreciative of our closeness (both literally and figuratively).
But my biggest adjustment has been the humidity. It's soooo hot and humid. Whoever coined the term "soupy" to describe humidity was spot on. The stickiness of this humidity on already itchy, bug-bitten skin can make the happiest of us crabby in a New York minute. In this past month, Dani has often reached up to hold my hand and our hands become stuck together by sweat as we walk along. My newfound reaction of gratefully holding it so tightly has confidently given me the answer...this humidity will not just stick to us, it will grow on us. <3<3<3