Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday: Celestún

Today we had an excursion to Celestún, which is a beach town.  We left at 9:00 and about two hours later, we arrived!  The bus pulled up to a restaurant that we walked through to get to the beach directly behind it... where boats were waiting to take us on a fun boat tour!  In my boat were Adrienne, Emma, Jen, Cassy, Christina, and Michelle.  It took a little bit to get started, but once we did it was so cool!  All day i kept thinking, "Is this real?!"  We rode around the coast and stopped at different points to see things.  When we first got started, I saw a dolphin jump out of the ocean!  I couldn't believe it, it was so awesome!  It was super fast, so most people didn't even see it - I felt really lucky!

One of the places we stopped at: Our guide called it a resting spot for birds.  It's just a little jutting-out of land where a bunch of birds (including pelicans! how cool!) were standing around.

Another part we stopped at: There were a bunch of poles sticking out of the water that they all were standing on. This is like a dream!

Our guide told us that the place we were at was where the river empties into the ocean, so right before the birds on poles we started leaving the ocean and going up the river.

WE SAW A WILD FLAMINGOS!  People had told me that there were flamingos here but not very many during this time of year, so it was my "goal" to see a flamingo while we were in Celestún and then I did!  We didn't get to get very close because of the boats, but I couldn't believe how awesome it all was!

At one point our guide made this kind of sharp turn and then we went back into this river thing that wandered through these cool trees!  It was like we were in a forest from National Geographic or something!  He also told us that sometimes you could see crocodiles in there.... yikes!

We got out of the forest and went up the river a little more before we stopped at this dock thing... where our guide told us we could get out and swim in a little pool that was in the forest.  One of the girls said, "I thought you said there were crocodiles in there," and he said, "I told them to leave."  Yikes!  It took a long time before I was brave enough to get in!  Plus the other people who there (there were families and stuff) all looked freezing cold and it wasn't that hot outside.  Also the water was really nasty.  Well. Not as nasty as that nasty pond we swam in that one time in Iowa - I always compare nasty ponds to that one.  Anyway, Jen didn't want to get in, either, so we just jumped in at the same time.  The temperature was perfect!  But it was gross water.  I kept my sandals on because I didn't want to touch the ground in there...

After swimming we rode back to the restaurant where they had showers to clean off with!  It was soooooo nice.  After we showered off, we ate lunch/dinner.  First they gave us an appetizer - each person got a plate of tuna that looked just like out-of-a-can :) and the table got a few baskets of chips that tasted exactly like extra thick Fritos to eat with it.  It wasn't bad!  For dinner you could either choose chicken or fish, and normally I would choose chicken, but this place is famous for having excellent fish, so i decided to try it.  It was amazing!  The densest, least-fishy fish I've ever had!  It was delicous. It also came with some rice, a little bit of mashed potatoes, and some steamed vegetables. Delish!

For dessert I had peaches and cream (interesante: the canned peaches here are firmer than in the U.S. but have a very similar flavor) and then it was back out to the beach! I didn't swim, though; I wasn't in the mood to be wet for the bus ride home.  Instead I walked down the beach to a pier and looked for shells, and I found a really cool, perfect conch shell!  Just sitting on top of the sand!  It was so awesome.  When we got to the pier we walked around a little but it was kind of gross - that's where they fish and there were a bunch of dead fish all over and I didn't have sandalias.  Yuck!  I decided to walk back to the restaurant and look to see if there were any other cool ones, and I found a crab claw or part of something's jaw - I can't tell if it's just spine-things or teeth on it.  AND another perfect conch shell!  that I LITERALLY tripped over!  It was so cool :) This girl named Christine was walking with me and didn't find any of them, so I let her have one.  She picked the prettier one, but oh well - the one i have is the one I tripped over :)

Well, it turned out to be perfect timing because when I got back to the restaurant, it was more or less time to leave.  So back on the bus we got for a couple hours and came home.  A man from the ward named David had invited us to go to his house and swim and eat pizza for dinner but ended up getting postponed, so we just came home.  After a while Jill decided to go see a movie with some friends but I stayed home because...

So I woke up feeling weird this morning - swollen lymph nodes, hurty throat, etc.  And I thought, "That's kind of weird - this is not usually part of my normal cold progression. Oh well, it must just be because I just woke up and things are sometimes worse when I wake up."  As the day went by, the symptoms did not get better (although sometimes I didn't notice them so much because I was busy being distracted by the beauty that was Celestún:) and on the bus ride home, I zonked out.  I knew I wanted to rest so when I sat down I decided to try and take a nap... and was OUT for an hour and a half.  And for the last half hour I kept my eyes closed except every once in a while so I could see where we were.  Yeah. It was terrible.  My throat was swollen; I couldn't breathe without coughing and every single breath was an effort; my skin hurt to touch; I could tell i had a fever and cold chills; I was so tired I felt like I was melting into the chair and that my upper eyelids were becoming one with my lower ones.  Every part of my body screamed "FLU!"  So I decided to stay home when Jill went out tonight and sleep some more.

As I was sleeping on the bus, I was made more acutely aware of each symptom as there was nothing to distract me from them anymore and became a little overwhelmed.  I didn't want to be sick in Mexico, but especially not when I had to finish an 8-10 page paper before Sunday started and had a presentation and paper to prepare for Wednesday, too.  So I decided while I was half-asleep that maybe I would ask for a blessing. I was thinking about how I could invite Carmita to listen and felt the Spirit at that point, so I decided it would be good. When I got home, Jill got right in the shower and I called Joel and cried to him about overwhelmed, frustrated, and sick I was feeling - have I ever mentioned that I have the best husband in the world? - and then sent an email to my friends to see if they were available to come give me a blessing.  

They had to eat dinner and stuff so I basically just zoned out/listened to church music/went in and out of consciousness :) until they came.  It was kind of cool because Carmita was going to go out and buy dinner but for whatever reason decided to buy delivery, which she has never done before since we've been here, so she was here and wanted to listen in.  One explained to her what blessings are, about the oil and the priesthood, etc., and the other did the blessing part.  

I am so thankful for the priesthood and for blessings.  Some twenty minutes after they left, my fever - which had been raging, mind you - was gone. I didn't have to cough at all during the blessing so I got to hear it all.  Carmita made me this random "natural medicine" concoction of lime, honey and water to drink. She said it helps close my throat? or something, I'm not sure. And then told me to make sure I take warm showers until I get better.  It was actually really funny - she said, "You use cold showers when you shower" "Yeah, usually," "No, you always do" "Yeah, that's true - it helps me feel cleaner"  ... HOW DID SHE KNOW THAT?  Weird.

I was kind of stressing tonight about finishing my paper, but I prayed/thought towards Heavenly Father my concerns because I had to do homework last Sunday and didn't want to again, but I felt like He said it would be fine and the important thing was that I go to sleep.  So I thankfully am going to sleep.  Carmita doesn't want me to take the bus to church tomorrow because :) if I walk outside in the heat and get sweaty then I'll get worse, so she said that if I decide to go to church tomorrow then she'll take us.  She also told me I should go to church because if I don't, I won't have as much of a chance to think about what they said in my blessing. Wow!  How cool, huh!  It was a really amazing missionary experience, that blessing was. A while after they left, I was drinking my drink and eating cena (pizza that tasted like real pizza!) and she asked me a question clarifying that "only men can have the little container of oil" and I got to explain to her about that, about how you also can get blessings for emotional help in addition to health, and about how they're special because it's like, a special way to receive the word of God as it concerns you.  And it was neat, also, because the boys told her that anyone can receive blessings so if she ever needs one, to feel free to ask.  Isn't that great?  Wouldn't that be a great missionary experience if she asked for one while we were here sometime?  That would be so amazing - I always feel the Spirit so strongly during blessings.

Anyway, I guess I should get to bed - I am getting over being sick, after all!  Have a good night all; I'll talk to you tomorrow :)


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