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We recently visited the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs, Arkansas and wow! Did you know ligers actually exist? I felt a bit dumb for a second but then everyone else around me had the same thought so… haha. Even my website edit tool is telling me it is not a word. Apparently, ligers are a cross between a male lion and a female tiger (see ligers here). Then there are also what are called tigons, which are a cross between a female lion and male tiger. These animals don’t natural mate but are completely man-made. As a result they suffer many genetic disorders and die at a young age. So after being so excited to find out that ligers are real, I was even more saddened by all the disorders they face. As cool as they are, they should not exist.
Cool Fact: The tigers at Turpentine are “Obsessed” with Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men. The staff use different methods to keep the confined areas feeling like new, including new toys, but Calvin Klein proves to be their favorite thing. Calvin, maybe you should donate a few bottles?
Fun Photo: We also ran across this deer on our exit from the refuge. She was casually strolling across the parking lot.
Need a venue? Place to stay? A nice place to grab a bite?
The Aguada Hotel is a Family-owned Hotel in the Cayo District
Venue shopping can prove to be a tiring process in the Cayo District. I have found one I absolutely love and want to give a shout out to the team at The Aguada Hotel. Here are 5 reasons why I love this venue!
1. LOCATION The Aguada Hotel is located in Santa Elena, Cayo District; outside the hustle and bustle of town, yet close enough to town that if you forgot something, many stores are nearby. If you have friends and family visiting from out of town, it is nearby many fun activities and popular tourism sites if they want to do a few activities while in town. What I love most though is that It is very easily accessible for family and friends attending your event.
2. BUDGET The Aguada is affordable and I’m pretty sure it will fall within your budget. The team will work with you to ensure you get a fabulous event at a great price.
3. AMBIANCE Oh my goodness, you will fall in love with the setting at The Aguada. Especially at night time; it’s such a warm and cozy setting and if you book their ShaBla team for decor, you can rest assured that they will match the feel you want for your event.
4. STAFF Where do I even start! The Aguada’s team is AMAZING! Friendly from the first phone call to your final photo! Ms. Shalue has done a great job at leading her team and her excellence and fun personality translates into everything her staff does.
5. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT MONEY Sure every business exists to make some money but the spirit at The Aguada is not the bottom line. They’re all about going way above and beyond to make your memories the best.
So check out The Aguada next time you’re in Cayo; let me know how you like it!
Get your 2016 Belize Tee!
Take up the Belize Tourism Board’s offer!
You betta come to Belize Simone Biles!
After claiming the top two Olympic all-around spots, Aly Raisman joked she would crash Simone Biles’ vacation to Belize. Well it seems like Simone Biles is coming and she gets to bring her friends too! The Belize Tourism Board invited Simone and the Final Five for a visit after Rio: “Congrats @simone_biles! Belize is so proud of you. We’d love to host you and the entire #FinalFive on a vacation once you’re ready to relax.” What an offer?! An all-expense-paid vacation to Belize? I think yes!
Simone has been named the “greatest gymnast ever” and in Belize we are celebrating her victory! Achieving so much at 19 is quite an inspiration, especially to our youth. We’ll sure be referencing her a lot in our youth camps and conferences.
Simone, congrats again! We’ll find a way to get one of our 2016 Belize Tees to you; just let us know your size! It would be great for one of your fishing trips and we’ve got one for mom and dad too!
MORE: Read USA Today’s Coverage on Simone’s Belize invite.
Featured image by Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports
Thanks to David Beckham!
Yes The David Beckham!
Our Creative Director, Deidra Deandra, was this year’s Queen’s Young Leaders Award Winner for Belize! David Beckham highly supports the program and was featured in Vogue Magazine along with all the 2016 Queen’s Young Leaders Award Winners, Prince Harry and Her Majesty The Queen. Thank you David Beckham for your support of leaders in service across the Commonwealth!
2nd Longest Barrier Reef in the World – Belize Barrier Reef!
NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams posted a video this weekend (May 7, 2016) showing a spectacular view of the Belize Barrier Reef from space! I love my little country and it’s so cool have this view captured of such a beautiful part of our country. Thank you for sharing Jeff!
Want some cool backgrounds of Belize? Check out our photos!
Wedding planning has proved harder than I imagined, but oh so much fun! One of the hardest things to do so far was to choose my Bridal Party, and even harder a Maid of Honor. With so many great friends, how does a girl choose? After reading many articles on Pinterest and good old Google… I still couldn’t decide. Though I did like a few things I read in some of the articles:
– Don’t worry so much about hurting people’s feelings; this is your big day. That was probably one of my biggest fears. I love all my friends so much and the closest ones have played the best roles in different areas of my life. I have so many happy memories. If I could have 50 bridesmaids, I probably would. Wait can I? 😆
– Be realistic! Choose someone that will have time to help you. I really didn’t think of this as something to consider (I’ve never planned a wedding ok, don’t judge me) but realized how important this is, especially when choosing a Maid of Honor as her role comes with many responsibilities. I do need so much help and with my personality, knew I would need someone I could trust to make decisions without my input. Well, with just a little input. 😉
Each person ran through my mind over and over AND over again. Then I stopped and prayed about it and well, talking to God is so much better than mind battles. Future brides, there’s no one answer, pray about it! Now… can a girl brag on her friends a little?! I’m so happy to have these awesome ladies in our wedding!
Catherine Grace – The little sister I always wanted! I was so blessed to join the Smith Family (what a coincidence?) during my time at Leaders Academy. Along that journey, Catherine Grace had asked me to “always be her sister.” I kept the promise and on graduation day declared in my speech, “You will always be my little sister.” Well, a part of sisterly duties is joining in on big sis’ special moments. She is the cutest and sweetest little 10 year old girl and I love that she gets to be my Junior Bridesmaid!
De Shanne – Where do I start! She has definitely been the person who has been around the longest. All my childhood (and crazy) memories and many of my “grown-up ones” involve her. I won’t mention those memories; our parents can’t ever know! 😁 I’ve probably had the most fun with this girl, so many summers, sleepovers, creek days… oh the creek days! She has also brought the sweetest little joy to my life, my favorite little cousin “Khalid.” (Sorry you’re not my favorite anymore Dish.)
Elizabeth – Could you believe we met online! Something about those online relationships: wheremexicansandbelizeansmeet.com. 😂 Elizabeth was my roommate at Leaders Academy and during our 9 months there, we built such a great friendship! I remember praying with her during roommate prayer about our future. She once said to me, “You will be in a relationship right after we graduate.” Of course my response was, nah… but I won’t go into that. She was right though and I’m so happy to have her as one of my beautiful bridesmaids.
Jeanelle – You know that one best friend everyone meets in high school? Jen was that girl and I’m so glad we are still the best of friends today! Of course, the term best friend really has meaning now. Gone are the little immature days and some of our crazy plans. We have shared many “teenage” life moments and sidewalk stories I can’t wait to tell our kids! 😉 She’s probably one of the persons who knows me the best and I have really cherished our friendship. I’m so excited about the next phase of our “adult” lives!
Verlie – Where do I even begin with Verlie? She has been quite the handful. She has been a pain, headache… I don’t even know how we are friends, just kidding Verlz.😜 Our friendship is definitely a God thing. She has been that prayer warrior in my life who has helped me make some of the toughest but best decisions. I seriously would not be the me I am today without her with me on this journey. I’m so happy to have her join us on our special day as my Maid of Honor! We have planned so many events together, even from different countries, and I’m sure she will add so much to our wedding!
I am so blessed to have these ladies in my life! ❤️
Follow our journey 💍 #JourneyToMrsGentry #MeantToBeAGentry
Steven Sexton & Family Launch THE HOUSE in Rogers, Arkansas
I met Steven Sexton in September 2012. He came to Belize with his Be The One Ministries Team to host a Be The One Youth Conference. My friend and I had been preparing for his arrival for months, making sure every detail of the conference was “perfect.” She would warn me about Steven and I kept thinking, “He can’t be that bad.” Well boy was I in for a surprise. If you know Steven, CAN I GET AN AMEN?! Steven invited me to attend Leaders Academy, but after getting to work with him you could imagine my gut response was “Nope!” Turns out, I did attend Leaders Academy the following year (and loved every minute of it!) and got to work with Steven in many occasions; and well, you can’t help but love the guy. 😀
Steven and his family recently moved to Rogers, Arkansas to launch “The House,” a church built on the foundation of Psalm 92:13. I, along with many others, will travel to Rogers to support Steven and his family in this new stage. As I thought about this new stage, I looked back at the photos from the conference in Belize. While browsing, I came across the first design I had created for him. Then I looked at some of the more recent designs; it was great to see how my talent had developed.
Steven was one of the toughest people to design for and our conversations often went like this:
Steven: “Hey D, I need this done.”
Deidra: “Sure! Do you have an idea in mind?”
Steven: “No, just come up with something.”
Deidra: “Ok great!”
Then I would spend hours thinking of a design and when I thought it was great, I would send to Steven and he would say: “I don’t like it, what I was thinking was more like…” I would breathe and move on to start on that idea he never had. While Steven was hard to work with at times, those many “Nos” have helped to improve my talent; it could always be better. Below are a few pieces I’ve designed for Steven, Be The One Ministries and The House. I’m so excited to see all the Sexton’s will do in Rogers as they continue to submit to the will of God.
High School Scholarship Program
Deidra Deandra offers scholarships to support Belizean youths wishing to pursue a high school education. The scholarship program funds 4-year scholarships (yearly fees and tuition) for students. Scholarships are awarded to students based on two criteria: Financial Need and Academic Excellence. The goal is to support those who really cannot afford an education but who have the desire and commitment to work towards a successful future. Should you be willing and able to commit to more, please send us an email using the form below and we will respond with more information on the program.
“There is nothing quite like seeing how community support can change someone’s life.” says Deidra. “One of our recipients grew from being a very shy person to a conversation starter and hopeful young man; I am so thankful to all those who have contributed to this scholarship program.”
As little as BZ $4.57 (US $2.29) per day could change not only someone’s career path, but overall leadership and future role in his/her community.
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DJ Nicholas on BET!
DJ Nicholas has been a favorite of mine ever since he came to Belize in 2011. I then had the pleasure to work with him for our first Belize Gospel Expo (2016 Gospel Expo coming up in March!). He is such a talented artist, very humble man and so ready and willing to be used by The Lord. I was so happy to see that he performed BET! Congrats DJ Nicholas; I am hoping for so many more great opportunities for you!
- Amazing Little Kids
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- The Garden City – Belmopan Belize
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