Junkyard Wisdom: Belize
February 15 - 19, 2017

 


Day One / February 15 

Traveling to Belize and Arriving at Jaguar Creek in the Evening


WELCOME!
Jaguar Creek will meet you at Belize International Airport (BZE) and transport you into the inland rainforest of Belize.
First, you will be settled into one of the cozy cabanas of Jaguar Creek, followed by a classic Belizean dinner in the Lodge.
This evening will include introductions and a brief overview, but will be largely unstructured as people arrive and conversations ensue. 


Day Two / February 16

From Birdwatching to Mayan Ruins


OPTIONAL BIRDWATCHING WALK AND DEVOTIONAL (LODGE / 7:00 TO 7:45 AM)  
Belize is a birdwatching paradise, so we will have the local Belizean guide Israel Manzanero lead us along the Jaguar Creek trail in search of Keel-billed Toucans, Green Parrots, and possibly a Scarlet Macaw. Even if you are not a bird watcher, you’ll enjoy the natural beauty of the rainforest. Ken Wytsma will lead us in a “walking devotional” as we explore the 700-acres of protected Jaguar Creek preserve.

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THE TRADITIONAL BELIZEAN BREAKFAST: JOHNNY CAKES, HOT COFFEE, AND TROPICAL FRUITS.  (LODGE / 8:30 TO 9:15 AM)
If you’ve never had Johnny Cakes, you are in for a treat! The Jaguar Creek kitchen team looks forward to starting your day with a great meal. 

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WORKSHOP ONE – WHAT IS WEALTH? (CHAPEL / 9:30 TO 11:45 AM)
Before we do anything else together, we will clarify what we mean by wealth. Roy Goble will lead us through a series of stories and questions that will create a pragmatic foundation for the rest of our time together. Ken will then share thoughts on the theological complexities of wealth and lead us in a discussion on what God says about wealth. There will be plenty of time for questions, answers, and conversations.        

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HEY, LET’S DO LUNCH! (LODGE / NOON TO 1 PM)
All of our meals together will be open seating so you can mix and match with new friends, follow up on previous conversations, share ideas, or just tell tall tales (after all, we are in a nation that was partially founded by pirates!)

* * *

TRAVELING TO THE MAYAN RUIN OF XUNANTUNICH, AND NO WE CAN’T SAY IT CORRECTLY EITHER. (1:00 TO 2:15 PM)
Immediately after lunch we will head north on the Hummingbird Highway, turn west toward Guatemala, and just before the border, we’ll arrive at one of the most amazing Mayan sights in all of Central America. Be sure to have your cameras ready for the hand-drawn ferry ride across the river.

* * *

TOUR XUNANTUNICH WITH DINO JIMENEZ. (2:15 TO 3:30 PM)
Dino has been leading tours of Xunantunich (which means Stone Woman in Mayan) for decades and is so well regarded, the archaeologists working on the site often consult him for advice. Partly Mayan himself, Dino has a love for the history and culture of the region.

* * *

WORKSHOP TWO – WEALTH BUILDS WALLS. (3:30 TO 4:45 PM)
Surrounded by Mayan temples built nearly 1500 years ago, Roy will lead us through a conversation about how we often use wealth to build walls around us. Both literally (think gated communities) and spiritually, wealth can insulate us from so much of the brokenness in this world. How might we resist that?

* * *

THE WALLED FORTRESS/TEMPLE OF XUNANTUNICH TO HOME. (4:45 TO 6:00 PM) 
The drive home will be a good time to reflect on what we’ve learned today. Or perhaps read that book you brought along!

* * *

DRINKS, DINNER, AND HANGING OUT JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT. (6:00 PM TO WHENEVER)
Another amazing meal awaits us at Jaguar Creek. Be sure to sample the famous Belizean hot sauces on the tables!


Day Three / February 17

Embarrassment and Holy Discontent


OPTIONAL MORNING CONVERSATION. (7:00 TO 7:45 AM)
Join D’Aun Goble for an honest and engaging conversation about the complexities – and sometimes embarrassment – of “living well” in our world. 

* * *

MORE BELIZEAN GOODNESS. (8:00 TO 9:00 AM)
Fry jacks, fresh fruit, eggs, and much more. Oh, and coffee. Always coffee. 

* * *

WORKSHOP THREE – HOLY DISCONTENT. (9:30 TO 11:30 AM)
Ken will share about God’s Spirit stirring a feeling of discomfort, or what we call holy discontent. Something isn’t as it should be, or could be. What is that nagging feeling of something amiss? What is it pulling or pushing us toward? And what does Scripture say about it? Roy will then lead a discussion about how we might distinguish holy discontent from simply being an unsatisfied, whiny, wealthy, Westerner. Can we distinguish between the holy and unholy? As always there will be plenty of time for questions and conversation.

* * *

NO VISIT TO BELIZE IS COMPLETE WITHOUT RICE AND BEANS WITH A CHOICE OF CHICKEN, PORK, LOBSTER, SHRIMP, OR EVEN GIBNUT. (NOON TO 1:00 PM)
Okay, so don’t get your hopes up too high. We aren’t likely to have all those choices! But along with tortillas, rice and beans cooked in coconut milk are a mainstay of Belizean dining. 

* * *

QUICK VAN RIDE TO ARMENIA VILLAGE. (1:00 TO 1:15 PM)
Meet at the vans after lunch for the short drive to Armenia Village. As the neighboring nations struggled with civil war and internal strife, more and more refugees found a safe haven in Belize. Unfortunately for the local landowner they often settled as squatters across his 100,000-acre property. Armenia Village, named after the refugee crisis in Armenia in the late 80’s, was created as a self-governing community for all those squatters. Today it is a poor, under resourced, and growing village of around 1500 people. Jaguar Creek has had a presence in Armenia for decades and many of the Jaguar Creek employees live there.

* * *

WORKSHOP FOUR – JUST TRY NOT TO SCREW IT UP, OKAY? (ARMENIA VILLAGE COMMUNITY CENTER / 1:30 TO 3:30 PM)
Can compassion kill? Ken will walk us through the complex, confusing, and always messy process of serving others we barely know. If holy discontent prompts us to action, we need to take the time to do it right. Roy will then share personal stories about the mistakes he’s made in Armenia Village as he attempted to be a good neighbor. And how often those mistakes were compounded by the people of Armenia themselves. 
Our time in Armenia will include a walking tour, possibly led by a parent of one of the PathLight students who lives in the village.

* * *

RETURN TO JAGUAR CREEK AND ENJOY A FEW FREE HOURS. (4:00 PM TO 6:00 PM)
Swim in the creek, hang in a hammock, finish a book, walk over to Blue Hole National Park, enjoy a glass of wine or bottle of Belikin on the deck … there is plenty to do, or not do!

* * *

WHEN IN ROME YOU DINE ITALIAN. WHEN IN BELIZE YOU DINE LIKE A WORLD TRAVELER. (6:00 PM TO WHENEVER)
Belize cuisine is a mix of Caribbean, Mexican, African, Spanish, Mayan, and Guatemalan influences. Oh, and don’t forget it was once a British Colony – fish and chips anyone? Hard to predict what the Jaguar Creek chefs will come up with, but it will be delicious. 


Day Four / February 18

Whether in a Village Targeted by Human Traffickers or a Five-Star Resort, 
Doing it Right, Together

 

OPTIONAL MORNING CONVERSATION. (7:00 TO 7:45 AM)
Join Tamara Wytsma for a conversation about seeing ourselves as part of a unified mission.

* * *

CACAO, COFFEE, EGGS, AND TROPICAL FRUITS: WHERE DO ALL THESE FOODS COME FROM? (8:00 TO 9:00 AM) 

Did you know the village down the road is called Hershey, as in the chocolate company? Did you know the Mennonite community of Belize has the corner on the chicken market? Did you know there is a resurgence in Belizean coffee production? Whatever your tastes, expect a variety of choices at every meal. 

* * *

WORKSHOP FIVE – DOING IT RIGHT. (9:30 TO 11:30 AM) 
Ken will lead us through a discussion about the broader purpose of God’s calling on our lives with a case study on The SOLD Project and their work to prevent human trafficking. Roy will then share some ways we can “do it right” as we strive to balance our calling with the tangible realities of service. As we near the end of our time together we will spend even more time thoughtfully considering how we will individually AND collectively move forward.

* * *

LIGHT OR HEAVY? TIME FOR LUNCH. (NOON TO 1 PM)
Ever wonder why some cultures have heavy dinners but light lunches, and some do the opposite? Neither have we, to be honest, but it’s an interesting cultural/historical question. Enjoy your lunch – whether heavy or light. 

* * *
    
TRAVELING TOGETHER TO SLEEPING GIANT. (1:00 TO 1:20 PM)
No, it’s not a true sleeping giant. Meet at the vans after lunch for the short drive to Sleeping Giant Resort. Bring a swimsuit, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

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WORKSHOP SIX – THE JOY OF WRESTLING. (1:20 PM TO 3:00 PM … sorta.)
Sleeping Giant is a luxury resort with a gorgeous view of the Maya Mountains (and yes, you can see the outline of a sleeping giant in the horizon). Roy will lead us in a discussion of whether we really can gather together at such a luxurious location to talk about wealth, poverty, and following Jesus. Or are we being hypocrites and are wiser to have such conversations in a poor village like Armenia? The whiplash of the two settings should get us to wrestle with God. Ken will conclude our conversation with thoughts on what Scripture says about thanksgiving and feasting. 
Somewhere in the midst of this we might have a rum tasting and are sure to have time to hang out by the pool!
We will leave for Jaguar Creek when the rum is gone.

* * *

On our way home from Jaguar Creek, a quick detour to the Lamanai Chocololate stop along the Hummingbird Highway to see how chocolate was made by the Mayans (and yes, free samples). (3:30 to 4:30 PM

* * *

BACK TO JAGUAR CREEK FOR DRINKS, DINNER, AND COMMUNITY. (6:00 PM TO WHENEVER)
Expect something fun for our last dinner together!


 Day Five / February 19

Common Union and Saying Good Bye


OUR LAST BREAKFAST TOGETHER. (8:00 TO 9:00 AM)
We promise more than leftovers! The timing for this morning might vary according to when people need to get to the airport for their flights home.

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WORKSHOP SEVEN – WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? (9:00 TO 11:00AM)
Ken and Roy will lead us through a time of reflection, prayer, communion, sending, and blessing. And then, sadly, we will leave Jaguar Creek and head to the airport for our flights home.