Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!!

Have some turkey and stuffing for us!!!

This year we chose a more civilized Thanksgiving. If you didn't see it, this is our turkey from last year.

We hear the holidays creeping up have brought cold upon most of you especially in the northwest. We are now putting on long pants at 70 degrees instead of shorts! What will we do when we come home YIKES! We are trying to miss the cold as we are currently enjoying sweatless days of sunshine and sea breezes averaging around 80 degrees with a rain shower or two in the mix.

Recently we were invited back to our original permanent home San Marcos Village for a baptism. Our host family the Chubs - a family of now 11 children and four grandchildren were having a gathering for the christening of the 4th grandchild Malanda Kairy (yes that is the new spelling of Kerry, Karey, Keri, Carrie etc.) Malanda Kairy has an aunt just four months "younger" than her. Although the baptism should have been the main attraction, it was actually the 2 white people in church that held most of the kids attention. Then we had Caldo at the house with bunches of other people, chickens, dogs, ducks and the usual village fauna.

Michael has procured a grant of $2000BZD from the International Friends of Belize to build toilet facilities at the San Marcos Community Center that is also the hurricane shelter, third grade classroom and healthpost. The community is very excited for this project to happen. This will also encourage visiting medical and dental teams to stop there now that they will have a place to pee! Some we guess are just too fussy about the Mayan sized latrines.

Thanksgiving Day we were going to have local chickens for dinner but Michael McGuire another PCV found a turkey. So, a few of us gathered for good grits at the Manley Manor and had TG Day dinner on our "veranda". It looks like a big crowd will be gathering at our house for the Xmas holiday as well.

Our good friend, Ms Deeta is back and we are going out to her house tonight for what will become a solstice event. Deeta's interesting husband Zack, who we have not met is with her now. We will send news on this one.

Today is Thomasita's birthday so we will take a batch of brownies to her and Alane. Then TOLCA office party on Tuesday. Then a possible Christmas Eve gathering. Then our house for Christmas dinner. Then going to Thomasitas' church for Boxing Day. Then a News Years Party is forming at Brian and Anne's 'Dog House'. Just can't get any better than this.

We miss our lightening bugs we had last year as Christmas lights. We still have some egrets floating down for our snow scene. Our green colors are all around and this guy stopped by for some vibrant green.

After all these seemingly non-stop celebrations since September we will be glad to get back to something resembling 'normal'. Garifuna Settlement Day was another party. We went down to the park and Thomasita badgered Michael into dancing the Punta with her. He actually got some compliments for a decent performance for a white guy.

A great friend Karey made at the hospital, Yvonne, her kids actually chop our yard, asked us to go with her and some kids up Cerro Hill. We walked a bit more than a mile from her house to the base of the hill and headed up. The climb took about 45 minutes with the frequent breaks. Luckily a young Mayan neighbor teenager came with us and brought the machete. He lead the way and chopped the encroaching flora from the path. If we would have been alone we would just be getting back. The view was
great. The kids ranged from 10 to 18 years old and they were a bunch of fun. Yvonne said we are the oldest people she has taken up the hill. There was a radio tower on the top at one time and the old cable was still laying on the path. It helped when going up the rock sections. Yes, we did feel it for a few days. Haven't gotten much hiking in for awhile.

Well that's a wrap for now. Hope everyone slows down and truly enjoys their families and friends during the Holidays. Look around you, we are truly blessed to be living in the states. If you have trouble finding the reasons for your happiness, come down for a visit.

Love You All,

Michael and Karey