December in Belize

A Great Christmas Party and Parade

Just like the recent winds, December in Belize picked up speed. This past week not only marked the annual lighted boat parade, it was also the San Pedro Red Cross Christmas Party. Both great events with great people and fabulous conversation. I also went on a fabulous boat ride to a longtime favorite place – pics and video coming soon.

Party First

I was happy they chose El Patio for the San Pedro Red Cross Christmas party this year. Open air, ambient seasonal decorations and close to home. Even though we waited out the rain and circled the block, my friend Jack and I were still among the first to arrive. Our Vice Chairperson, Ashty and top volunteer Brenda were chatting on the sofas so we joined in. It was not long before Mayor Danny showed up and we got to enjoy his company a bit before the party started.

Next came our Director General Lily Bowman, who flew in from Belize City to join is, our Chairman Eiden Salazar and then a few more of the volunteer crew trickled in.

We had a great time socializing and enjoying some tasty treats including Jalapeno poppers. I could not resist Facebook messaging one of our Johnstown, Colorado Red Cross volunteer vacationers Tracy, as El Patio poppers are his favorite.

Speeches were great and very encouraging, especially Mayor Danny’s as The Town Council has always supported the work we do to help our community be more resilient.

I even won a prize, a round trip on Ocean Ferry Water Taxi. They decided to play some trivia games and I guessed the correct year that “Together We Can” was implemented was 2004.

Together We Can is a peer health education program that has been implemented in more than thirteen different Caribbean countries since 1993. It was been adapted into our curriculum by the Belize Red Cross through the support, funding and technical assistance provided by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Norwegian and Netherlands Red Cross Societies, Ministry of Health, United Nations Population Fund, UNICEF and OPEC.

By taking a non judgmental approach and providing young people with access to information we can to reduce the risk of contracting HIV, STI’s and unplanned pregnancies.

This is one of the programs that the San Pedro Branch is going to be working on for 2017.

We believe education brings strength and opportunity and it falls under our mission statement; “Changing History Through Saving Lives and Helping the Community.”

There is no better way to help someone than to give them a hand up, especially our youth so they can make the best decisions and choose the most beneficial paths in life. We also recognized a need and address how we might be there for those that made difficult choices, such as making things easier through parenting information and guidance from adults.

I love when Director General Lily Bowman comes out and inspires us.

El Patio Restaurant Belize
Our annual Christmas party at El Patio Restaurant

Our 3rd Lighted Boat Parade

When Brittney initially asked me if San Pedro Red Cross was going to be in the parade I said no as I could not imagine pulling together a boat design this year. Then I thought about it a minute – The San Pedro Lighted Boat Parade needed us now more than ever. After Hurricane Earl, there were many people that would have entered but were just not able to this time around due to being in various stages of bounce back.

I agreed we would do it as long as they found someone else to take the lead and that I was taking a giant step back this year and opted out of the physical planning. I was willing to offer info and suggestions based on past years and costume assistance from afar. I also handled lighting for the “Officers Club” on our Nurse Holly Themed Boat.

Thankfully Jack and Sandie stepped up to take lead roles on this herculean task – I was so grateful. They came up with an awesome design on very little budget and as always we learned a lot about the process and can use that insight to do better next year. As you will see in Sandie’s press thank you list below, many people came to the aid of the San Pedro Red Cross to make sure we had a great parade, and we did.

This was the second year Ecologic Divers sponsored our boat. Last year we had a Cadillac Catamaran, this year Brittney wanted us to get closer to the judges and steered us into the Blue Attitude a roomy Blue Hole dive boat. I was glad for that as the second time we passed for final scoring, Charlie pulled in close enough for Sandie to hand off to the Mayor and other esteemed judges our annual Red Cross Christmas treat.

The boat was perfect, we had a nice covered officer’s club with a spread of different treats and beverages. Those that were daring climbed out the front window and up to the Captains Nest. At one pount I saw 2 of the male nurses sitting on the bow like hood ornaments.

We also enjoyed having base camp at the Sunbreeze Suites thanks to Judy Ann of Black Orchid – that came in very handy for a secure storage option and bathroom.

December in Belize
Our base camp was at the Sunbreeze Suites
December in Belize
Nurse Holly on Blue Attitude boat courtesy of Ecologic Divers
Ecologic Divers
Wounded soldier and nurses in the officers club

Honorable Mention

We got an honorable mention at the Sandbar Hostel After party for our Cool Tattoo Style Pinup Nurse Holly. That was a funny moment in time as Kendall got handed a certificate envelope and saw he had just been handed a prize to his own Business Ecologic Divers. He promptly handed it to Sandie and she and I both started laughing – he had missed reading the second half of the prize; a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant – Casa Picasso. Of course after learning that, the envelope magically ended up back in his hands 😉

San Pedro Hostle
After party and awards ceremony at Sandbar

I will leave you with parade pics, but first the thank you list from Sandie Betz-Eisenberg who is officially on the San Pedro Branch press team, Blood Drive Committee and so much more.

Thanks to all that helped make it happen

The San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross wishes to thank the following individuals and groups for their help in creating our recent entry of the “Nurse Holly” boat in the December 17 San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. This is the third year that the Red Cross has entered a boat in the annual event.

A big “thank you” goes to:
— Kendall Beymer; Ecologic Divers, who donated his dive boat and the services of Charlie Mejia as Captain and Manuel Mendoza as 1st mate
— Brittney O’Daniel; Sandbar Raise Me Up, who donated money to help transform Kendall’s boat into “Nurse Holly”
— Emily Moore (The Baker), Mermaid Store, Casa Pan Dulce, Black Orchid Restaurant, and Super Buy for donations of food, drinks and lodging for the volunteers and guests on the boat
— Scott & Jodi Harnish; Palapa Bar, for the donation of lights and a location where we could create our design and light our “Nurse Holly” boat.
—Joy Quyle for lights for the boat

Finally, thank you to our wonderful design and execution team: Jack Burnett, Madison Stone, Joy Quyle, Emily Spaventa, Dennis Harper, Bob Eisenberg, Ashty Dennison, Laurie Norton, Sandie Betz-Eisenberg, Ken Hadubiak and Mike Wilson. It was truly a labor of love!!

Parade Pictures

December in Belize
All the boats gave a great effort this year

I did not mind one bit that these guys butt in line and took our place as the lead of the parade. Watching their fabulous flyboard light show made my night. They repeatedly shot out of the water and then all of a sudden they were gone submerged into the dark Caribbean sea. Incredible.

December in Belize
Coolest show ever

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