Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Belize Jungle Dome library is back in action.

Handing out more toys (Donated by the lovely Taylor family and our InterVol friends)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Jaden Foundation

Been spending the last few days in front of the computer setting up the new Jaden Foundation webpages (click on the name to be directed to the webpages)

It has been quite hard getting all the information together about the kids. Last year I bought books for children that I had never even seen, all I saw was their book lists. Anyway, it's all going to more organized and official this time around. Karen is doing the book keeping from now on (yeeha!) & we're setting up a Jaden Foundation bank account. And everything is going to be online. Our accounts, names of the sponsors & the children, pictures of fundraising events, etc.

The one thing that we're still having a hard time with is finding out how to get the official non-profit status in Belize (no one seems to know). Obviously, this is quite important, so we'll keep at it. I'll let you know how it goes.

Now, for those of you who live in a city and aren't aware of it....tonight is full moon! So I have organized a Full Moon Gathering at our place. It will be a way to unite the holistic community of Belize. The plan is to make a monthly ritual. It should be fun.

So, Namaste to you all. Try and out of the house tonight and enjoy this beautiful full moon.

Photo shoot for the new Jaden Foundation website

Lucas & Cindy

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The annual Route de Maya canoe race will be held on March the 4th to the 7th. Caves Branch is providing the rescue team. They came to practice down in the river on sunday. Lynwen is part of the team (Respect, girl !) Lucky enough for me, they had enough volunteers for their practice.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Free Mojtaba and Arash day!

Today is the first action day of the Committee to protect bloggers. It's the "free Mojtaba and Arash day". These two cyber dissidents from Iran have been incarcerated by the Iranian government. The Committee to protect Bloggers is asking all Bloggers to talk about Mojtaba and Arash today. Please read their stories on the Committee's website .

Freedom for all. Don't let the blogging stop!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Party time at Banana Bank!

Wow, I'm just having so much fun with this medical team from Rochester. They are just a lovely group of people. They all give their time, money and expertise and, unlike some other charity groups that I've seen, they do this with such unending joy. Occasionally you get people volunteering here with huge amounts of self-pity and martyrhood, like they have to do it, but don't really want to. Not this group. They are all incredibly positive, funny and loving. And they are good party people too. Last night we had a blast! We cranked up the music as loud as it would go, drank, sang, danced and laughed till 10 o'clock (and believe me, that actually feels late in Belize : )

They brought lots of supplies for the local primary school and the children's homes in Belmopan. We handed it all out yesterday. It was enjoyable and sad at the same time. You just want to take all these kids home with you. They are all so adorable.

Our next plan is to bring second-hand computers to Belize. We just need to find a way to bring a 20-foot container from Rochester to Belize (for free or for very little money). They will fill the container with medical supplies for the hospitals and computers for the schools. Isn't that exciting? I hope we can get it organized pretty soon.

Have nice day everybody!

The kids all wanted to see what the doctors brought for their school.

Group picture of the teachers of the Lady of Fatima school in Roaring Creek and some of the Rochester medical team

The Rochester team brought tons of clothes, books and toys for the children. Here we are unpacking at Marla's House of Hope (local children's home)

His new toy elephant

A frenzy over teddy-bears

Kings children's home in Belmopan

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

She's fine!

Almost forgot to tell you guys....Iraida is okay. The results of the CT-scan already looked fine when we got it yesterday, but we had it looked over this morning by the Rochester medical team.

It is still quite possible that she's epileptic, but they won't put her on any medication for the time being. We'll just see how it goes. And who knows? She may not have another episode for years. At least she has not got a brain tumor. By the way, can you believe it that that doctor just send her home like that before? Saying that she probably had a brain tumor? Absolutely outrageous!

Anyway, all is well.

Monday, February 14, 2005


Nora's 16-year-old daughter Iraida had a seizure last Saturday. Some of the women who saw it, said that she was vomiting blood as well, but I assume that she simply bit her tongue in the process. Anyway, today we are taking her to Belize City to get a CAT-scan. We need to find out what's the matter with her. She's had a seizure before, when she was still an infant & she has always been a bit "slow". Maybe that seizure caused some kind of brain damage.

The doctor who examined her on Saturday kept mentioning the possibility of a brain tumor (which, of course, freaked us all out a bit). Lucky enough, my dear friend Dr. Peter Alan was able to calm us all down again. I phoned him with the other doctor's findings & he said that the most likely cause of the seizure is epilepsy, not a brain tumor. Still, we need to know for sure, so we'll get in checked in a minute.

The CAT-scan will cost $400. I've decided that we'll use the donated school money to pay for that. Because Iraida was part of my original class & was the only one that never got to go to "real" school afterwards (she was 14 already and unable to read, write or do simple maths). I feel that the least we can do is offer her some help now that she needs it.

Once we get the results, we can take it back here and have it looked at by the medical experts from Rochester, NY. They are staying at Banana Bank for the coming week and are in Belize to offer free medical advice to the local community. They are such lovely people. They were the ones who offered to bring supplies for the local primary school. Apparently, they've brought lots of stuff. So we'll get to bring that to the school some time this week. That will be so much fun. Anyway, I better get going....

Iraida, in our old "class room" (the spare bedroom)

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Very pleasant day

Today is just such a lovely mellow day. Karen and I spend some time lying by the pool, reading books. It's funny how you hardly ever do that kind of thing when you live in a place like this. Anyway, it was very enjoyable. The weather here, by the way, is just amazing. Blue skies, wispy little clouds, the works! It is getting quite hot though.

The strikes are all over now, at least for the time being. The kids are back in school and everybody gets their water and electricity again. The government agreed to increase the teacher's wages, but the issue of the raised taxes is still unresolved. We'll see how it all works out in the end.

Now, at the party of the International Women's Club last Friday I was told that a directory/newsletter for charities in Belize (listing volunteering opportunities, etc.) already exists. Thank God for that! I had started to work on it & it was proving to be a complete nightmare. Most charities were dragging their heels. I had to ask special permission, they had to discuss it in board meetings, I had to draft official letters, etc. And I just hate stuff like that. Why do things have to be so bloody complicated? All I wanted to do is print up something basic.

As I said, I was quite relieved that others are doing it. Apparently, there is an issue coming out in 2 weeks time. I hope it's really good.

Lucas is racing around me right now on his toy bike, sporting his new haircut (I cut his hair, Andy's hair and Max's too). I don't know how I managed to do it, but they all look pretty good.
So funny, Lucas is learning how to work with money. Well, actually, he's just learning how to spend it. We give him 5 cents every day, which he takes next door to buy a bubble gum. And today he fell in love with a little silver ring that this Mayan lady was selling. All the Mayan kids have jewelry, so it's quite understandable that Lucas wants some too. Anyway, I gave him the 5 dollar to buy it. He was so proud of himself. When he got he ring, he punched the air & is now showing everyone who'll look at it. He really feels like a big boy now.

Yesterday I said to him "I love you so much, you're such a nice boy. Do you know that? That you're a nice boy?" He answered "Yes mum, you're welcome". Bless him

Give us a cuddle!

Good friends

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Out the sandbox

I'm not really into writing tonight, but just wanted to share with you all that we're out of the Google "sandbox". This means that after all the work Andy has done to our website
( it is now finally front-page material. Go to Google and type in stuff like "Belize family vacation", "All-inclusive Belize vacation", "adventure travel Belize", "adventure travel", Belize vacation" etc. (whatever you can think of)

Andy is such a genius! I'm very proud of him. Anyway, will write tomorrow....

Saturday, February 05, 2005

John's cooking class

Friday, February 04, 2005

"The ladies that lunch"

It looks like the strikes may come to end soon. Many schools are back in today (apart from the ones in Belmopan and Belize City). Apparently, the government has now agreed to pay the teachers their promised wage increase. The taxes (income tax, sales tax, import duties, etc.) are going to be raised, though. All the government has proposed is to postpone the tax increase for one month. I'm not sure how that can be of any help to anybody. Anyway, we'll see in the next few days what will happen.

John has taught Tella, Nora and Linda (Tella's daughter in-law) how to make pizzas today. They all thought that it was hilarious to see John with an apron on in the kitchen & I guess they have a point. John's not much of a cook, but he can make brilliant pizzas. Funny that. Anyway, they all did a great job. I just ended up with a "naked" pizza as Lucas ate all the meat of mine (motherly a few years he'll get his hands slapped if he tries that)

Tonight Karen and I will go to Belize City to a party from the International Women's Club. Should be fun. It's a big carnival bash. Rita is not joining us. She calls it a party for "the ladies that lunch" (because so many are diplomats wives, etc.) Anyway, I'm sure that Karen and I will have a blast. We are putting our sparkly dresses on and will have to cross the river like that to get to our car. I'm sure that all the Banana Bank workers are going to crack up when they see us. Rita is staying home with Andy, Lucas and John to watch a pay-per-view movie. Anyway, I'll take some pictures tonight. Adios.