Dear Kid,

More or less what it would have looked like if I'd been in a helicopter over Belize. But I would have been snorkling, not riding in a helicopter. DearKidLoveMom.comPi is back from Belize. Which means it is time for Blog Belize. (I meant to write Blog Belize before she went, but that somehow never happened.)

Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language although many people speak Belizean Creole and/or Spanish. Some people speak all three at once.

The country was originally part of the British Empire (not surprising, since pretty much everywhere was part of the British Empire [except for the parts that weren’t]). For a while (while some of us were learning geography) it was called British Honduras.

Belize packs a lot of fabulous in a small area. The mainland is only 180 miles by 68 miles wide. I have it on great authority that none of the streets are driven by the rules of the road we adhere to. Which is to say “We’re going to die!!” is the song of the passengers more often than not. Fortunately, no one on Pi’s trip died by taxi (or any other way).

Belize is the birthplace of chewing gum. I’m not exactly sure how chewing gum is born, but someone there figured it out.

There are lots of fish in the waters around Belize. Also dolphins, manatees, turtles (three cheers for jellyfish eating turtles), rays, eels, coral, and all sorts of other ocean inhabitants.

Lion fish are an invasive species in the area. The oceanic people there are trying to teach the eels to eat lion fish to reduce the population. Open wide, here comes the lion fish!

Lots of people have speculated about the name “Belize.” Most of the explanations given are pure hoo-ha based on far-fetched ideas or imagination.

In point of fact, the first reference to the area came from Mrs. Joe Neanderthal who, after a particularly nasty winter, decided she had Just Had It and yelled, “That’s enough. You figure out how to feed this family on leftover mastodon. I’m going to Belize.”

Of course, she never made it there because airplanes hadn’t been invented yet.

Love, Mom