We woke up early again with the rooster and the children on the school field and was informed that in the night Alex had had another bright idea…I have to admit I do inwardly cringe when he says he has had an idea! But, as always, it was a good one! He had thought that as we had not had the opportunity to help out at the cacao plantation and as cacao is the cash crop of Belize that we should maybe see if we could hold the wedding at the cacao plantation.
We asked Reyes and he straight away took us to the plantation so we could have a look around. We loved it. Fruit trees all around, vines hanging from the canopy above the plantation and lots of great big cacao pods hanging in the trees. Reyes opened up one of the pods and told us to try one of the gloopy looking soggy seeds inside. The inside looked like lumpy custard and after I had watched Alex’s reaction to his mouth full of goo I tried it too. The seeds were slimy with a really sweet taste, almost like sucking a lemon sherbert! Delicious! The next tree Reyes showed us produced bright red seeds, about the size and shape of an almond in its shell. He opened one up and inside the shell was full of small seeds that stained his fingers red when he touched them. He explained that the women use this for colouring food and as a spice. The whole place was just what we wanted and we asked the carer of the plantation if she would be happy for us to have a wedding there. She had to ask permission but could not do so until her husband came home. Luckily she had a mobile phone and we arranged to call her at a certain time that evening to find out.
I explained to her that I would like to try to make some earrings for our wedding ceremony and she offered to help me. Traditionally the groom gifts his bride gold earrings rather than a wedding ring and as I looked around after learning this fact I saw that most women wore the same gold earrings. Similar to a claddagh with a heart held by two birds forming the loop. The lady showed me how to weave and sew a dried leaf into an earring and attached the clasps for me. 4 other ladies gathered around and watched as I struggled with the needle. They ummed and aahhd their approval when I was doing well and laughed at me when I wasn’t. They gossiped among themselves in Mopan just asking a few questions in English every now and then. They thought it was funny that Alex was with me as I had my craft lesson and asked for copies of the pictures when we took one of the little boy running around the front room. He was about 1 and had a clove of garlic pinned to his vest. I asked why and his Mum explained that he was ill and the garlic would help make him better. Once my earrings were finished we set off back into town with 2 of the ladies and 3 sacks of corn in the van. They asked us to drop them off down the track with their corn and we pondered how the 2 of them could carry the 3 sacks. Alex struggled to carry one at a time and one of the ladies was easily 60 years old! We watched them lift a sack each in one arm and each end each of the third sack. Incredulous we continued on our journey…which was to be a long one.
You know we said it MUST get easier to arrange this wedding? Well, we had been lucky enough to find a photography company who’s work we loved but they were on Ambergris Island which is 200 miles and a flight away. After a little persuasion they agreed to fly to Belize city and we agreed to collect them from there. Conch creative‘s images are very different to any others we have seen so far and we instantly clicked with Collette and Maya via email and knew they would be perfect. So thats where we were heading…the day before the wedding. 200 miles to Belize City the day before, collect Maya at the airport on the morning of the wedding and drive the 200 miles back in time for the wedding and then the day after the wedding drive the 200 miles back to Belize to drop Maya off in time for her flight back to Ambergris! BUT, it was a price we were willing to pay for the great images!
The drive to Belize city was an easy one once we got back to the main roads and we sailed along with Peggy purring like a…erm…tiger…without her catalytic converter…and we made it in plenty of time. We stayed at a monkey sanctuary for the night and then covered the last leg of our journey to the airport in time for Maya’s flight arriving at 10am.
We pulled into the airport and saw Collette…who IS half of Conch Creative but not the half we were expecting ( no offense Collette, we would have loved for you to come along too haha). Collette quickly explained that Maya had been bitten by a dog the night before and had had 30 stitches in her leg as a result. We gasped and told Collette she needn’t have come thinking she had come instead of Maya…but as she continued to explain she told us that she had flown to the mainland with the dog and that Maya would STILL be coming to shoot our wedding! We were gobsmacked! How is that for commitment? 30 stitches at 10pm one night, flight to shoot a wedding for free the next morning at 9am! This gal is certainly one that would never let anyone down!
Maya hobbled up to the van with all of her equipment, jumped in and we never stopped talking all the way back to PG! We all got on so well and had so much in common. Maya is interested in anything that is her namesake so this wedding was perfect for her!
The drive back wasn’t as smooth and the traffic seemed to be against us but we arrived when we arrived and THEN we had to put the finishing touches to the wedding before we could hold it!
Find out what happens next on our travelling wedding adventure!