Sunday, December 29, 2013

Feeding Monkeys in Belize on Christmas Day

Christmas Day was a little out of the ordinary for us this year. Instead of waking up early and sitting around a Christmas tree opening presents, my family, Nicholas and I were in a rain forest in Belize! We had every intention of going snorkeling there, but we didn't plan ahead and by the time we got to the cruise terminal, the snorkeling tours were booked. So, on to Plan B... a trip to the rain forest to visit a Baboon (Howler Monkey) sanctuary!

Before we even saw a monkey, we could hear them howling. Well, roaring actually. It sounded like lions, not monkeys! Based on the sound, I was expecting a gorilla sized animal, but the monkeys were small and cute!

^ The guide lived on the property with his brother and grandmother. They have spent the last 7 years working with the monkeys to acclimate them to humans. 
^We all had a chance to feed the monkeys out of our hand!
This little guy grabbed on tight to my thumb and wanted more banana!

 ^This guy told my brother that his beard held a lot of wisdom ... haha.
We also got to see a mama monkey with 2 babies... one on her front and one on her back. Adorable!

Because we live far away from our families, it is always a treat to spend time with them. I am especially thankful to be able to spend Christmas day (and week!) together, exploring, laughing, feeding monkeys! There were moments of frustration, too... like when my brothers took forever to wake up and get going in the morning so the rest of us were sitting around waiting or when my mom and I were getting carsick and impatient in the back of the van on the way to the monkey sanctuary. 

But, even with the ups and downs of family, this is the place to be. 
Together with family. 
I don't ever want to take that for granted.

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