Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Andy is Steve Irwin

31st August 2004 - We had a small snake on the deck yesterday & we watched it eat a frog. Pretty cool. Andy grabbed the snake after a while and took it away from the house. He seems to think that he’s Steve Erwin, or something. What a crazy man, my “Crocodile Hunty”. Let’s hope Lucas doesn’t start imitating him. By the way, I’ve been working on my Life Coaching website for the last few days and it will be being uploaded by the end of the week. We’re going to be offering Belize Life Coaching Retreats This place is so perfect for spiritual growth & personal development, quiet and peaceful and surrounded by nature. The ideal place for a kind of vision quest & self-reflection

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Sunday, August 29, 2004

Mum leaves today

29th August 2004 - Today we have to say goodbye again to my mum (or, as Lucas calls her, Bimma). It’s going to be pretty sad. And Lucas will probably be quite confused for a while. He loves her so much! Anyway, I better get ready to go.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

My mum is leaving

28th August 2004 - So, the driver (for the school runs) did show up yesterday & he wants more money than originally agreed. I didn’t get a good feeling from him. He kept eyeing up our house. Guess he thinks we’re millionaires. That’s the thing in Belize. No matter how much money you have in your pocket, if you’re white…you’re rich. End of story. Anyway, there’s another guy coming today who’ll do it for a more reasonable amount (apparently), so hopefully we can hire him. Oh…and my mum is leaving tomorrow. Lucas is going to be so sad. He is totally in love with her. Andy, Tella and I don’t exist anymore in his eyes. Anyway, we’ll have to make sure that we have a nice last day with her today

Friday, August 27, 2004

Back from Vacation

27th August 2004 - We’re back from the islands. Such a lovely break. It’s one of those things, where we always say “we really have to do this more often”…and then we don’t (you know, like going to the theatre). Anyway, it was nice. Today I’m delivering schoolbooks to the kids in the villages. I’ll upload the pictures tomorrow. One family lives way out in the bush. I hope I can find them. The dad has gotten into a lot of debt over the last few years to pay for his kids’ education, so he must be well happy to get all the books for free this year. By the way, the new driver hasn’t come to see me yet & he’s meant to start driving the kids to school on Monday. Oh well, he’ll probably show up today.

Travel and Tourism in Belize

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Aaaah Tropical Vacations

25th August 2004 - We’re off to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye! We all need a little Vacation from this place, so we’re gonna park our bums on the beach for a day. It’s great, you drive to Belize City and from there you hop on a 15-minute flight and Bob’s your uncle…you’re on a tropical island. When we get back here the tree top café should be ready…finally! It’s all quite exciting. Okay…got to go…the beach is waiting!

Monday, August 23, 2004

The last Schoolbooks :: I hope

23rd August 2004 - Today I’m picking up the last schoolbooks (for now), one more week before school starts. I still have to find out what grade some of the boys are in. The school is withholding their report cards as last years fees hadn’t been paid yet. I’ll see if there’s anyone at the school today that I can talk to. There are now 40 children sponsored for the coming year (Thank you everybody! Especially Hans and all our other Aruba friends) & the transport has been organized for 17 of the children. Once the kids are all back at school, I’ll start focusing more on getting the after-school youth/education center set up. I’ve already written to lots of companies (makers of educational games, bilingual books, school furniture, etc.) to see if they’d donate some goods. I’ll keep you all posted!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Running a Jungle Resort

22nd August 2004 - Oh, the trials and tribulations of running a resort… We’ve just had some crazy “toilet problems”. Basically, I had bought this blue cleaning stuff that you squirt underneath the rim of the toilet. I thought that it would be a good idea to leave it for a while, to get the toilets really clean. What a mistake! We couldn’t get the blue off anymore and when I asked one of our cleaners to use some bleach on the toilet, the blue turned to gray. I then asked her to use one of those metal scrubbing brushes, but that made the gray spread even more. It looked awful. And the next day the apartment was going to be rented out, so we had to find a solution quickly. Well, the cleaning lady had a brilliant idea. She would simply paint the toilet bowl white again. This seemed to work, but the next morning (the day of check-in) the toilet looked like a half-eaten bowl of mush. Just smears of white paint in a gray bowl. My mum decided that we should paint it one more time, but now with oil paint. Only, we didn’t have any white oil paint, so she painted it a lovely cream (just the inside of the bowl, the rest was still white). This toilet was looking more bizarre by the minute & our guests had already arrived at the airport. I looked at the toilet one more time before our guests checked in and decided that I was simply going to avoid them whilst they were here. I was just way too embarrassed about this freaky looking toilet. Andy was cool about it & I believe that our guests actually were pretty happy with everything. They’ve just left again today after a 2-night stay. Anyway, I’m ripping that toilet out. It’s beyond saving (even though my mum thinks otherwise). No more painting for me.

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Belize Jungle Resort :: Adventure Vacations

Friday, August 20, 2004

Politics in Belize

20th August 2004 - Yes! The ferry is working again! Oh, and those 7 ministers who resigned the other day are back in office again. What a joke! Politics have just gone insane here. There is a protest against the government next week in Belize City. I’d like to go, but wonder if a foreign woman like myself has any business at a Belizean political protest. Well actually…our son is Belizean, so I guess I could go for his sake. I feel like loading up our car and heading down to the city with lots of local people (they probably wouldn’t go of their own accord). Oh well, I have 7 days to decide whether or not to go.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Jungle Driving Adventure

19th August 2004 - Lucas is a bit poorly today. He had a high fever last night; the poor boy was burning up. He seems a bit better today, but not great. The ferry still isn’t working, but Andy managed to get some petrol for our car yesterday & took the “jungle route” (the long way round to the other side of the river). So at least we now have a car on the other side of the river, which means that we can go shopping. Yeeha! The downside is that we have to take our shopping across the river in a little boat and then walk to our house from there. Still, as far as exercise goes, it’s as good as using the Stairmaster.

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Belize Jungle Dome Travel and Adventure

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Tell me a Goverment that isn't corrupt

18th August 2004 - It’s chaos in Belize. Millions of dollars of social security money have gone missing & because the prime minister refuses to fire the finance minister, 7 other ministers have resigned yesterday. Since then the funding for the ministry of works has been frozen. This is a nightmare for us, as the ferry is down again & the ministry of works is meant to fix it. So God knows how long we’ll be stranded on this side of the river now. Also, no one appears to be working on the bridge today. Does that mean that the future of our bridge is in jeopardy? (Like some people say). Are there going to be re-elections soon? What’s going to happen to this country?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The Parrot is back

17th August 2004 - I receive newsletters from a parenting website & today it was all about making life with a toddler easier. There are actually parents out there who are in such a hurry, that they have to dress their toddler before they go to sleep at night, to save a few precious minutes in the morning. And other parents who cut their child’s food with scissors, again, to save time. Everybody seems to be in such a hurry nowadays. Thank God, we moved to Belize when we did. No rushing around for us, just lots of precious time with little Lucas. Oh, by the way, the parrot is back again.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Anyone seen a Parrot

16th August 2004 - I just realized that I haven’t seen our parrot for a few days now. I wonder where it is. Normally it nose dives out of trees and swoops right over your head (freaks many people out, including me sometimes), but for the last few days it’s been quiet outside. I tell you, this parrot is bonkers! It fights with our dogs over the dog food (and usually wins) and when we used to go jogging, the parrot would fly next to us the whole way. It’s a funny creature…annoying but funny. I hope it shows up again soon.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Helping People

15th August 2004 - You want to feel like you matter? Move to Belize! There are always a million and one good deeds to be done every day & driving to and from hospitals in one of those. In the last two weeks alone, we’ve picked up a new mother and her baby from hospital, driven a young worker to hospital in the middle of the night because of an asthma attack, driven 2 more people to hospital to see their sister who’d just been in a car crash & lent out our car to pick up someone who’d just fallen from a horse. Wow, I hope that’s it for a while. Oh no, I just remembered, I promised to take another pregnant woman to hospital today for her ultra-sound. Oh well, at least we make good use of our cars.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I can watch TV but can't have a shower!

13th August 2004 - Yesterday I spend some time in Young Bank Village, visiting families that were looking for sponsors for their children's education. As I was walking around, people kept asking me if I would please help solve their water problem. This village receives cable television but has no running water. How insane is that? I've started to make phone calls already, as I know some people in politics in this country. The only problem is that the government is in the middle of a huge embezzlement scandal (again), where lots of social security money has gone missing, so their attention is on that for the time being. But don’t worry, I’ll keep on making noise until this ridiculous water problem has been solved

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Cleaning the Belize Jungle Dome :: Who wants to do it?

12th August 2004 - “So what work do you want to do when you grow up?” I asked little Jessica. “I want to clean your house” she answered. Well, that just broke my heart. Jessica is a bright little 10-year-old Mayan girl & I was convinced that she would have higher hopes than that. But her response was typical. All the local kids seem to be convinced that they will be a gardener/handyman, kitchen help/cleaner or cowboy. That there actually is life outside of the Belize Jungle Dome resort and Banana Bank Lodge, they don’t yet understand. And that’s what I’m trying to get through to them. But will it work? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Broken Ferries and Tree Top Cafes

11th August 2004 - The ferry is down again & my mum is starting to get frustrated with how slow things move here. She’s over from Aruba to help us set up our Tree Top café, but it’s starting to look like she might miss the opening of it. But that’s the thing with Belize; you’re always busy, because each little thing takes you forever. Still, I’m not complaining. I believe that it actually makes life more relaxed. I mean, if I’m running errands and someone along the way wants to chat with me for an hour, than that’s fine. Hardly anyone here works on a time schedule, so we all have time for each other. And isn’t that how life should be?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Termite Terror

10th August 2004 - Oh no, the termites are back! Those little buggers are trying to munch through our house. I tell you, it’s hard to keep your home to yourself here. We’re constantly being eyed up by rats, ants, bats, termites and scorpions & they all want to be our “flatmates”. It’s a constant battle. The weirdest thing is when the army ants move in. It looks really freaky, as the walls & the ceiling slowly turn black with ants and there is nothing you can do about it. You simply have to get out of the way and let the ants do their job. They clean your house of insects, eggs and larva & once they’re done, they move on. Thinking about it, we could do with them now. They could take out the termites for us. So how does one attract army ants?

Monday, August 09, 2004

Sexing a cat?

9th August 2004 - By when should you be able to see the difference between a male or female cat? Our kitten is about 10 weeks old now & I can’t see a thing. No balls...no nipples…nada. So what does that mean? We are assuming that nipples are harder to spot, so we’ve decided that it’s a girl & called her Queenie. If it is a tom, he won’t be too happy with us in the future. We’ve never found out what our parrot is either. I mean, it does get very protective over me around the mating season & attacks anyone who talks to me then. Does that mean that it might be a boy? How confusing!

Belize Jungle Dome

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Birds waking up and Early morning Mist

8th August 2004 - 5.30 AM. I’m sipping my coffee, watching the early morning mist rise up over the jungle. This is one of my favorite sights in Belize. All you can hear is the birds waking up & the occassional nickering of our neighbour’s horses. How peaceful life can be. Obviously, Lucas hasn’t woken up yet. Yesterday’s B-day party must have tired him out. What a great way to start a relaxing Sunday!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Lucas new friend

7th of August 2004 - Lucas made a friend today. Out of all the kids at TJ’s birthday party, he picked the cheekiest little 3-year-old girl & the two of them went on a rampage. Whenever we looked away they would be climbing in the fountain, throwing bits of BBQed chicken in the fountain or try to destroy any of TJ’s new toys. The little girl’s mum told me that she recently grabbed their goldfish out of the bowl, put them on a plate and scrabed the scales of them. “I’m gonna cook these for you mommy” (frightening!) And that, when she had a headache a while back, she smeared a whole tub of Vicks on her head (took her mum a week to wash out of her hair). Funny how this is the one kid Lucas could relate to best. Does this mean that these are the kind of things we’ll have to go through with him one day?

Friday, August 06, 2004

School Books handed out

6 August 2004 - Today was a big day! Many of the children received their donated schoolbooks for the coming year. The boys all showed up in matching T-shirts and looked incredibly smart. Actually, all the kids looked very smart today. I guess they were excited. The money for the books was donated by a group of bar and restaurant owners from Aruba. This has been a great help to all the families here, as they can ussually only afford to send one of their children to school. So, thanks to all who donated! Adios…