It has been a long time - we apologize but life has been very busy.
We have moved into Punta Gorda (PG) into a cute little bungalow but in a much busier/noisier area than we had anticipated. If one was to visit you would say "What are you talking about"?? but after living in the bush for 7 months the transition is going to take adjustment.
Two weeks after moving in our family came down. Seven in total and took over the Coral House Inn. Will send photos to all when we get a chance. It felt like time and space didn't exist while having someone from home to touch and talk to. Tarzan and Jane in the form of our parents along with trekkers Frank, Claire, Stephanie, David and Charlie did some awesome kayaking, trip to the cayes, hike to the waterfalls for some cliff jumping and sightseeing at ruinas. They got to experience some great bird sightings along with iguanas along the river banks. Dad experienced in his words "a two beer moment" when one of the approximately 3 foot beasts jumped in the water right next to his kayak. The scenery was beautiful.... The trekkers did a day trip to Blue Creek River Cave which included cave swimming and spelunking.
Stephanie contributed to the Mayan economy by buying close to a dozen baskets from several of the local Mayan women.
Unfortunately, Michael suffered a nasty flu before and during the family visit. He was able to come about in time for trip to Snake Cayes....called that because it is a boa constrictor habitat. A small island where we were the only inhabitants for the day. We did some snorkeling and had great BBQ provided by our boat captain and tour guide. Saw one boa resting up in a coconut tree. Walked the whole island in search of more but they were hiding.
So far, we have seen a black tailed snake - about 5 feet long, good for killing the tommy gofff - one of the most deadly snakes here. We had one living under our thatch near the village. Karey saw a tiger rat snake -about 5 feet long, good for catching rats - they live in the rafters of the thatch and you leave them there for that purpose. One of Karey's trips to the villages - driving home in the dark the driver spotted a tommy goff on the road. We stopped, backed up to the spot and the car died - no lights, no battery, no nothing...didn't see the snake, the driver tentatively stepped onto the running board afraid to step down. He finally decided to step down to check under the hood. He made it to the front of the car - just released the latch (didn't lift the hood) and the car lit up again. OBEAH! A word used for superstition or spooky happenings. Driver safely back in the car we moved on.
The place we are renting is really quite cute. We have painted a greater part of the inside from bright lime green and bright blue in one room to little subtler colors for quieting the mind. We have a great friend here who gave us all her left over paint - otherwise it would have been a bit spendy for a PC budget. Wish the family could have seen cleaned up. We have had a terrible ant problem and the painting seems to have alleviated the situation A LOT! YEAH!.
Michael has pounded together a couch/daybed of sorts for the "great room". We also had some Guatemalan fabric donated to us so, we bought a piece of foam, covered it and we have soemthing of our own to sit on. It's our first - we are so happy. We have a little veranda that a hammock is set up on - but we are a bit hammocked out after the past 7 months. Still it is nice to rock in occassionally.
Belize may have animal laws, litter laws, residentail codes??, and noise laws but nothing is followed thru on. We clean our front yard weekly from trash blown in - we have a "moat" in front of our yard and it collects trash. We are not willing to step into it to clean it. When it rains hard it raises quite significantly and flows. The water will then clear up and we can see fish. Once even had a small heron in it. Hoping the people will seeset an example by cleaning up - our friend says now the folks just know where to throw out the trash!
There are many many stray animals as few Belizeans consider spay & neuter. At night there must be no less than 50 barking dogs "harmonizing" with the high decibel levels of the competing bars in the neighborhood. We are learning to sleep under any conditions. Good news - we don't have to have a mosquito net in town and we have a REAL bed. We just found out the Public Health Inspector do periodic poisoning of the stray aniamls. They put out poisoned food in the evenings and after that we are not sure..........???
We continue to work hard on the WASH (Water Sanitation & Hygiene) project. It is a UNICEF funded project. Karey travels and travels and travels to the villages and Michael keeps things moving forward from town. It is very hard to meet schedules and agendas here. So, our American "get it done" style is atrophying. Probably not such a bad thing. "Right Now" in Belizean means anything from 1 hour to maybe...it is our favorite joke.
We are attempting by request to start an adult computer class we hope with the help of the local Ministry of Education. Karey has been asked to help with the local girls gymnasatic/tumbling team one of the other PC Volunteers started. The girls bailed once before - they have come back but they need a female present. Also, have been requested to teach a Yoga class. Have to see what I can fit in.
Well that's all the new for now!!! Will try to get here more often. Will attempt to get some pictures out soon. Okay sooner than soon - promise.
much love to all
trust this finds you all well and happy