Published on October 10th, 2012


Random Photo Memory: Belizean Powder Room

As long as we’re on an international “powder room” roll here lately, it turns out that I’ve had quite a lot of experience with such uh, elegant facilities.  This one fondly remembered from my very early days as an international tour operator (circa ’86) back when few had even HEARD of the tiny nation of “Belize”.  Way back in the primitive days when there was no Lonely Planet Belize guidebook, nor “You Better Belize It!” t-shirts, nor… even indoor plumbing awaiting the intrepid folks like this lad that I dragged down to Central America.

LOL, they even PAID me for such (dubiously) sumptuous amenities! 😀

About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

6 Responses to Random Photo Memory: Belizean Powder Room

  1. Mary Moss says:

    Sounds like a plan…I’m looking for to meeting you in person.

    A question (one of a 1,000 jumping through what’s left of my brain). I don’t know what to do about the “clean police record”. I know to start it early & I know it’s supposed to be sent to ILA. I emailed ILA and they said that they don’t want it but it’s only for getting a job but that it wasn’t “good” for more than 2 months. I’ll probably not have a job for the first 2 months. So..what do I do? If I recall correctly you got extra prints made. Did you take them with you? What exactly did you ask for?

    Same goes for “proof” of graduating from College. What do you send to them vs. what do you take with you? Hope this makes sense!

    • TravelnLass says:

      Yes, you only need the criminal record check to get a job, (i.e. to get a work permit) not to simply take the CELTA course. But YES, you need to get one NOW while you’re in the States. And YES, it’s only good for… I’m pretty sure it’s good for 6 months. IOW, once you’ve been in VN for 6 months or more, you’ll instead need a criminal background check from VIETNAM authorities in order to get a work permit.

      But my advice to you is to do what I did – send for a criminal background check from the FBI TODAY. I had to get fingerprinted locally at the Seattle police station, then sent them to the FBI in SEPTEMBER ’11. It still hadn’t returned when I left the U.S. in late October. But luckily I’d put a friend’s return snail mail address on the application ‘cuz I figured (rightly) that it might not return before I left. It finally showed up at my friend’s place… I think it was January ’12 (i.e. it took the FBI *4 months*!) and she forwarded it to me in Vietnam. As it’s only good for 6 months, at that point there was little more than 2 months “validity” left on it. Nonetheless, I submitted it to ILA when I started teaching in February, and it sufficed to get my work permit (which… ironically, I never really used ‘cuz I quit teaching there right about the time my work permit came through!)

      ANYWAY, I recommend you start the process NOW, and try to get the physical report before you leave, then take it with you to Vietnam. Even if you don’t start teaching right away, it will be good for 6 months, so likely will come in handy.

      As for degree “proof” – see my post on “Apostille”, Ashmostille…” – you need to get ORIGINAL copies of your degrees APOSTILLATED by the state where you got your degree – and take these with you to Vietnam. Some say they don’t need to be apostillated, but suffice some recommended it, and I wanted to have all bases covered.

      In short, if you wait until you’re already over here (or any place else like Thailand, etc. for that matter) – securing such documentation will prove a very expensive and time-consuming NIGHTMARE.

      HTH, but don’t rely solely on my advice – do your own diligent research as well (i.e. Google for FBI criminal record check procedures – they have a website w/ a form you can print out, call the university where you got your degrees, etc.)

      P.S. So… have you now submitted your ILA CELTA application?

  2. Mary Moss says:

    Want to publicly thank you for all of the insights I’ve picked up from you. With my ticket to HCMC purchased, I’m frantically attempting to complete the CELTA application while I start liquidating my belongings. I can hardly wait to see the course pre-reqs!

    • TravelnLass says:

      Oh Mary, I’m just THRILLED for you! I so remember (could it be – little more than one year ago?) exactly what you must be feeling just now.

      Such a giddy high to finally have that (one way!) air ticket in your hand, but at the same time… TERRIFIED that you’ve gone completely off your rocker! 😉

      But seriously. All I can say is GOOD FOR YOU, GIRL!

      Plus – trust me, you’ll NEVER regret it. Moving to Asia is the bar-none BEST thing I’ve ever done. And besides, if we don’t at least TRY reaching for our dreams – we’ll never know, yes?

      And HCMC, eh? Can’t WAIT to meet you in person. Hurry on over here and… I’ll meet you in HCMC on my next visa run! 😉

  3. Paul says:

    And it gets even more confusing…

    Wednesdays are traditionally “Chicken Night” for the sugar gliders in our household. Even though it’s Tuesday in Seattle, we’ve decided to have chicken for dinner and share it with Sonar the sugar glider.

    So, it’s Chicken Night in the bedroom, which makes it Wednesday, the same day as Vietnam. But it’s Tuesday in the living room. And we don’t live on the international date line.

    I don’t know what day it is in the powder room.

    • TravelnLass says:

      So… question is Paul – will the dear gliders get chicken AGAIN tomorrow, when it’s THEIR “Wednesday Chicken Night”???

      I dare say, these are issues that must be resolved! 😉

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