Thursday, July 31, 2008

Come the Rainy Season.........

We continue the ardent watch for the Nim li Ick, The Big Wind in Ke'kchi. So far the hurricane season has treated us well, can't say as much for Texas but they have more room. After the first deluge that flooded the north the weather now is a return of the dry season, it has been hot and, for the most part, dry. One night of exception brought us some back-up in the drains at the house but the flood waters receded quickly.

Apparently the weather is good for commerce. While Michael was finishing some work on our favorite single mothers food booth,(pictured with Thomasita), he saw a pick-up truck from a village going by. The truck pulled up at the store next door. As his son waited by the truck, the driver, Marcos, went inside and soon returned with 2 Cokes and the woman who runs the store following behind. Leaning over the bed of the truck he pulled back the cahune palms and a sheet of plastic. Reaching in and gathering up a chunk of red meat, he proudly displayed his product to his customer.

Approving of the quality, she pointed to several other pieces and Marcos' son promptly got out the scale, the tin dish to place the meat in for weighing, loaded the desired chunks of flesh and weighed up the sale. Finding a plastic bag he loaded the purchase into it, handed it to their customer, wipe his hands on the properly designated 'cleaning rag' and proceeded to open his coke.

Yes, of course they put the plastic sheet and cahune fronds back. Do you think they care nothing about food handling? They may not have, a food license from Public Health, education in proper hygiene, ever heard of ecoli, ever considered refrigeration but they do know how to butcher a beef steer. And after all, it's only 15 miles to town from their place. What could grow in that time? Needless to say, we don't buy beef locally.

We also enjoyed our second trip to Belize City. Not that we ever really want to go there but that is where the doctors and dentist are the Peace Corps wants to use. Michael lost a filling and had a wonderful experience with a Cuban dentist.

The appointment being a 8:00AM, he arrived a little early and sat in the shade until 8:20; not bad, could have been longer. The doors were opened and an older gringo, even older than Michael, who had been waiting in a Chevy Tahoe out front went in first. Soon becoming the second appointment for the day, Michael settled in to a undetermined wait in a 16'x16' room with a Chinese girl who had come in without an appointment.

Only 50 minutes later it was his turn. First being asked to try to adjust the air conditioner, he was able to at least get the fan going. The furnishings were of an earlier design but looking very professional. The doctor took her first look with gloves and mask in place.

Returning with the injection and the remote for the air conditioner, he was asked one more time to see if he could get the compressor to operate on the unit. Attempt failed; a reenforcement fan was brought in by her able assistant.

Still with the gloves on she began her work. At one point the assistant came in to ask about the items she wanted to order. Able to understand only a little Spanish when spoken at that velocity, Michael was unable to figure out everything that was being ordered. And apparently the assistant was having trouble as well because she had to hand the clipboard to the doc. Holding the board in her gloved left hand she punctuated her instructions with the drill by tapping the sheet with it while she reiterated the order list. Michael, breathing deeply, offered a small prayer for protection from germs. O.K., back to work.

Almost done drilling it was time out for a phone call, remove gloves. Returning while putting gloves on, Michael could not determine if they were new gloves or the old pair, time for one more quick prayer, the work began again in earnest until another question came in from the able assistant. The note book she carried came to the doctor, and grabbing it again with the left hand, more prayer, pointed out the correct selection with the drill once more.

OK, enough, the filling finally replaced and leveled to satisfaction Michael took his leave. Through the door and into the waiting room, now jammed with possibly 20 people, he exited with haste. Not knowing how many of those people had appointments, we will never know the fate of that poor Chinese girl with the tooth ache.

Karey had to go to have her foot looked x-rayed. She sprang it some time ago at the Dog House when we were house sitting. The picture is of the Dog House from the sea that Michael took on a quick morning kayak. She stepped of the spiral staircase in the back that leads up to the roof deck. The deck looks out over the sea and in back over the pool. Thanks Peace Corps.

But I digress, Karey's foot........No visable breaks, just damn sore. We are hoping they will send us to Cuba for an MRI.

Karey continues to work with Vinel on her reading. A whole NGO program could be developed just to increase the reading level of the majority of primary students. Thomasita's Alane is just back from a trip to Guatemala to see her grandma and she too will begin Karey's ready program. (Pic - Vinel and Alane feelin' saucy)

Our computer class just keeps growing. There are 2 more computer programs getting started. One from EU funding and the other from Canada. As if we don't have enough on our plate, Michael is offering to help with those projects also. One must realize, even though we have our fingers in many pies, the baking time for these pies in Belize is quite long and requires patience waiting for things to heat up.

Other than that, a marvelous trip and learning experience in Guatemala, finding out there are even more NGOs than we thought and some project money showing up so we are busy again, we continue "livin' the dream".

Come see us, we can put you to work. Won't that be fun?!?

All Our Love and Best Wishes to Everyone,

Michael & Karey