Thursday, September 30, 2004

Cahel Pech :: Andy and Lucas

Temples to ourselves

30th September 2004 - There is very little happening here at the moment. There are no guests at the resort (it’s the middle of the low season), most our construction work has been done, “my kids” are all in school and doing well & the first steps have been made towards helping Young Bank village in their fight for running water (now we have to wait now for the surveys to be done by Belize Water Services). Anyway, this is obviously a good time to start doing some more family outings, so we went to the Mayan temples of Cahal Pech yesterday. It was the absolute opposite experience of the one we had in Mexico. At these temples we were the only visitors! It was pretty incredible. We climbed the structures; we sat inside of them and made up stories of how life used to be there at the Mayan times. We had such a wonderful day. I think we’ll go on some more Belize adventures in coming weeks. Soon we won’t have time for things like these anymore

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Life and Adventure at the Belize Jungle Dome

29th September 2004 - Occasionally we can almost pretend that we’re back in Western civilization. Like yesterday, I played tennis with some friends in Belmopan, had dinner and took a salsa lesson (All really lovely). These are the kind of things I would have been doing had I still been living in London. The only difference here is that I had to get across the river in the dark afterwards on this “pully boat” (where you pull yourself across on a rope) So, off I went in my nice skirt and shoes & as I tried to get into the boat, I slipped and landed on my arse. Great! Covered in mud and aching I pulled myself across the river and hobbled over to this Mayan family’s house where my little boy was fast asleep on the floor between some other children. I picked him up and under the beautiful full moon (thank God it was full moon as I forgot a flashlight) I carried my sleeping toddler, my tennis racket and my sports bag through a field of horses and just giggled to myself “Okay…this is Belize as I know it”.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

TV the old Days

28th September 2004 - I’m listening to James Hyman’s interview with Liam from the Prodigy. They’re talking about “the olden days”. Funny to hear Liam say “Yeah man, Simone…she was a good girl” (whatever that means?) Still, it makes me miss that part of my life a little. Just a little though, I have to add. As I can’t really see myself go out there again, working until deep into the night, traveling around the world & everything else that came with that lifestyle. I’m too happy being a mum and hanging out with my little boy, with Andy, our animals, etc. By the way, how cool is this picture of Tika? (She is Banana Bank’s pet jaguar). Steve Backshall from the BBC’s Really Wild Show took it when they were here filming for their TV programme.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Chichen Itza Mayan Temples

27th September 2004 - Just wanted to share one more thing about our Mexico trip. And that was our visit to the temples of Chichen Itza. It was the craziest thing…we arrived there and thought we had ended up at Disney World. The car park was full of buses and there were thousands of people trying to get into the park (all following tour guides carrying large umbrellas or feathers on a stick above their heads). In Belize & Guatemala the temples are really quiet and not all that developed. But in Mexico there are stores, ice cream stands, etc. And apparently Chichen Itza gets 60,000 visitors a day in the high season! Can you believe it? Wow! Still, we really enjoyed our visit. The temples are absolutely amazing. And, as Andy pointed out to me, these temples used to be surrounded by thousands of people in Mayan times as well. The fact that the temples are so accessible is actually very nice for people who are traveling with little children, the elderly or those in wheelchairs. We pushed Lucas’ buggy around without a problem.

In Lak’ech (Mayan greeting, meaning “I am another you”), Simone

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Booh - Vacation is over

26th September 2004 - We’re back! Merida was absolutely delightful. With beautiful plazas and majestic courtyards (all great places for Lucas to run around in). The plazas seem to always be surrounded with music, jugglers, clowns, markets, etc. And I tell you; no one appreciated all this more than we did. I mean, living in the jungle is great, but these are the kind of things you miss sometimes. You know, just sitting out at night, eating ice creams and watching people stroll by. So we had a most magical time and feel ready to face our jungle life again, with all its interesting ups and downs.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Yeah we're going to Merida

17th September 2004 - Right, we’re off on holiday. We’re driving to Merida, Mexico today and will be there for about a week. So no blogs for a few days. Adios amigos!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I'm a killer

15th September 2004 - I drove over a snake yesterday; a beautiful green vine snake. It may have even been the same snake that was hanging out in our thatched roof the other day. I felt so awful, it all happened so quickly. The second I realized that there was a snake on the road I’d driven over it already. I looked back and saw that it had curled up and was having violent convulsions. What to do? Drive back over it again to make sure it dies quickly? Or would it be able to survive? I never came to a conclusion and just kept driving. About five minutes later, I managed to stop for a turtle crossing the road, so that made me feel a bit better. Still, I wonder what happened to that poor snake.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Sufi Poem

13th September 2004 - I’d like to share a wonderful Sufi poem with you, that can offer an interesting perspective on the things we call “problems”.

I asked for strength
And God gave me difficulties to make me strong
I asked for wisdom
And God gave me problems to learn to solve
I asked for prosperity and God gave me a brain and brawn to work
I asked for courage
And God gave me dangers to overcome
I asked for love
And God gave me people to help
I asked for favours
And God gave me opportunities
I received nothing I wanted
I received everything I needed

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Financial Freedom

12th September 2004 - I’ve just read a most amazing book “The Soul of Money” by Lynne Twist. And I encourage everyone to read it. I will make you appreciate your life more than ever & will completely change the way you view money, success and the society we live in. If you’re like me, you will have also been driven by the constant quest for more. More fun, more excitement, more knowledge, more money, more shopping, more love, more, more, more. Whatever it is, if we like it, we want more. Because we believe that “more is better”.

Lynne argues that “better does not come from more, but from deepening our experience of what’s already there”. Isn’t that beautiful? She also mentions that money and finances can be a tool of personal transformation. She challenges us to look at our checkbook and see where our money goes, as it will tell us exactly what’s most important in our life. What do we value most? Are we just accumulating more “stuff” for ourselves or is the way we spend our money an expression of our highest ideals, beliefs and commitments? What’s the financial legacy we leave behind? Did we just spend our money on things that have no lasting value for the world (and may have even harmed the world) or did our financial contributions help plant seeds that will grow and blossom for eternity? Think about it.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Belize 3rd Anniversary

11th September 2004 - Wow, I’ve only just realized what day it is. Exactly 3 years ago today (the day the world changed) we emmigrated to Belize. Well obviously, we never made it to Belize on that day. We got trapped at Miami airport & it took us over a week to get to our “promised land”. But that’s a whole story in itself. I might go into that another time. Right now, I just wanted to say that I’ve been back to Young Bank Village today to visit with some of the children who’s education we’ve sponsored and also to discuss the “water issue” (there is no running water in the village). It’s such an insane situation. I mean, Belize is no third world country or anything. Yet there are still so many people without water or electricity. But cable television is all over the place. What’s going on? It’s time to take a stand and to take action. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. I’ll keep you posted

Thursday, September 09, 2004

My first Life Coaching Speech

9th September 2004 - Great, hurricane Ivan is moving away from Aruba. I was a bit worried, as my mum and my sister Miriam live on Aruba. But all is well, thank God. So I’m off today to talk at the International Women’s Club meeting about my Life Coaching. It will be my first taste again of public speaking after 3 years in the jungle. I think it’s going to be fun. Oh, and we’ve started to get my retreats listed everywhere, for instance on Retreats online. I have also found the perfect spot for doing the Vision Quests (part of the retreat packages). I’m going to go and do a mini Vision Quest myself there soon just to see how it would work. Oh and finally, I am having a meeting with our district’s representative next week to discuss the water problem of Young Bank village (as I wrote in earlier blogs, they receive cable television but no running water). I hope that I can help them.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Hurricane season is here

8th September 2004 - Just received an email from my sister Miriam. Aruba (where both my mum and my sister live) is on hurricane alert. Ivan is coming their way. This is highly unusual for Aruba, as it is meant to be outside of the “Hurricane Belt”. I’m quite scared, more so than I would be if Belize was being hit by a hurricane. That’s annoying thing about being away from family, moments like these. Oh well, I hope that everything will be okay. I’ll be following the hurricane’s progress throughout the day. I may write some more later….

Monday, September 06, 2004

Kids first day at School

6th September 2004 - It was so fun watching all the kids go off on their first day of school. Most the parents were there to waive them goodbye; everybody seemed excited. The mums kept straightening the children’s uniforms and combing their hair. The Belizeans are very proud people and take great pride in their appearance, no matter how rich or poor they are. As is usual here, there was all kinds of confusion, with some kids not showing up initially. But in the end, we managed to get them all into the minivan and off to school. Once again, thank you to Hans and all our other Aruba friends for making this possible

Friday, September 03, 2004

Attacked by a Scorpion

3rd September 2004 - I had the biggest scorpion ever on my back yesterday! It was the size of my whole hand, from wrist to tip of fingers. A big black beast! It was holding on to the yoga mat that I had thrown over my shoulder. Anyway, we used to be so nice to the local scorpions; we never killed any. But becoming a parent makes you more violent in a way. I mean, now we kill any scorpion we see around the house. Just the thought that they might get to Lucas fills me with anger; it’s the weirdest thing. Anyway, considering that they seem like these scary beasts, they are as easily killed as a little fly, which surprises me again every time. One tap on the head and they are dead. I know it’s not good to kill, but I just want this to be a safe place for Lucas to play. I hope there’s no Karmic boomerang out there for people who kill scorpions.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Life Coaching Teacher

1st September 2004 - Great, it’s a new month and lots of wonderful stuff is happening! Our tree top cafĂ© is pretty much done now; we’re just waiting for the varnish to dry. It looks amazing! Also, the kids are off to school in a few days & the transport has been organized. It’s going to be great watching them all go off in the mornings with all their schoolbooks and in their new uniforms.
And, something else that I’m very excited about, I’m going to be the guest speaker at the International Women’s’ Club meeting next week. I’ll be talking about my Life Coaching and about the fact that we’re going to be offering Life Coaching Retreats at the Belize Jungle Dome. From mid-November onwards we’ll even have our own personal fitness trainer and yoga/pilates teacher here, so we can put together personalized retreat programs that include daily health/fitness routines as well. I’m also planning to offer the usual Belize daytrip, but with a personal growth “twist”. So we can do meditations at Mayan temples, over win our fears at the Black Hole Drop, do yoga and then spend a night camping in a cave, etc. There are just so many great things to do here; I’m totally excited about the possibilities.