Patriotism gets bad rap these days. People seem to equate it to lack of travel or diversity and maybe brainwashing…or just those bumper stickers that say: USA – LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT.
Love of ones country doesn’t mean you support every politician, every country representative and every decision or law that is made. It doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to problems and it doesn’t have to mean thinking your country is better than all others no matter what.
To me, patriotism means I respect (and have hopefully learned from) my countries’ histories and I have a vested interesting in moving my countries forward – helping us all do better.
I say countries because I am very proud to have been born in the United States and to be an American citizen.
And at the same time, I chose to live in my home of Belize. A country SO easy for me to love. Not always perfect ** please write me if you found a country that is ** but packed with beautiful people, cultures, foods, music, art, wildlife, places, weather…
I can’t imagine being anywhere else. And this is PARTICULARLY true in September. Independence month. Today is the first holiday in September – celebrating the Battle of St George’s Caye in 1798.
(A bit long-winded, I know, but when you are an immigrant – or expat – in another country, you spend a bit of time thinking about your status.)
There is always celebration and HUGE fireworks on the eve before. But last night…at about 8:30pm, torrential rains hit and the party was cancelled. This morning a parade was scheduled – the uniform parade – and I headed to town.
Spoiler alert: With all the wind being sucked into gigantic Hurricane Irma thousands of miles away, it is HOT right now. And I didn’t make it to the parade.
But here is what I saw this Sunday morning, September 10th in San Pedro town.
The kids were supposed to be at the football field by 9am. Let’s just say that my arrival at 9:30 meant I was WAY early.
So I took a walk around…
A few of the souvenir vendors were open. I keep meaning to buy one of these woven straw bags for grocery shopping. Retro-chic.
I made it down to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve office – it is getting a beautiful new paint job by my artist friend Chuy. He lives in Sarteneja – he’s a great guy and a beautiful artist. (A look around Sarteneja village and Chuy’s studio earlier this year.)
How cool is that?
I love the painting of the lobster — I might ask him to do one for me when he gets back home. He is ALWAYS glad to send it over for you on the boat.
I took a picture of this beautiful family…
…and headed back in to the football field as the town council was escorting in the new Miss San Pedro and the runners up.
A quick pic of some first year high school students.
The turn out was a bit low – some of the businesses and schools that always participate were not there. The holiday falls on a Sunday this year and it makes things tough. Tomorrow, Monday the 11th, is the day schools and banks are closed.
Our Mayor and our queen.
Deputy Mayor Gary.
You can see the water left over from last night’s rains – it CANNOT make walking in heels easy.
There was a prayer and the singing of our national anthem.
The heat was getting to me!
I find it to be one of the prettiest streets in town. Especially on a clear sunny day like today…
I hope everyone has a gorgeous holiday – and like the prayer given at the ceremony this morning called for – ALL those in the path of Irma are in our hearts right now.