Friday, April 29, 2005

The embarrassing honesty of a child

One thing that people don't tell you about with regards to potty training a toddler is how humiliating it is for the parents. Because these days we receive standing ovations from Lucas whenever we use the toilet ourselves. We have to high-5 him once we're done & then we have to watch him run out and tell everybody what we've just done on the toilet. I mean, I do find it quite funny. But at the same time, I don't really want the world to know what I do behind closed (bathroom) doors. Oh well, this too shall pass (as they say)

Cheeky monkey

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The current government stays where it is.

Well, so far for removing the Belize government from power. Yesterday's "National Shutdown" should have the climax in a build-up that's been going on for months. Instead, all the momentum seems to have been lost. Aparently 90% (or more) of all public officers reported for work yesterday and non of the essential services were lost. Why didn't the National Shutdown happen after all? I assume that too many people were scared to lose their jobs.

If I were the Prime Minister, I would have been "high 5-ing" the members of my cabinet last night, as the threat is now pretty much over for them. Things will return back to "normal" and all the hooha will fizzle back out.

Whether that's a good or a bad thing for the country? Only time will tell. But for now, we can get back to living our lifes again.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Well.....it's gone 12 o'clock....

And nothing has happened. We still have electricity (thank God, as it's boiling hot here) & everything else seems to be functioning fine too, like the telephone, etc.

The thing that really confuses me about all this is that the radio stations now mention nothing anymore about this morning's situation. All the stations now play these happy tunes, talk about trivial stuff and pretend that nothing happened. It's just too strange. What happened with the "National Shutdown"? What is going on? No one mentions anything about it anymore. How is that possible? And what about the rallies? Was the National Shutdown of public services canceled? Did not enough public officers support the cause? I want to know.

This morning it was broadcast that the government would remove broadcast licences of anyone broadcasting anything that could in any way encourage violence (with immediate effect) Again, what does that mean? Does that mean that we now longer are given the news? I'll follow what happens and will let you know.

National Shutdown in Belize

At 12 o'clock this afternoon the National Shutdown will begin. What that means exactly is unclear to me. What will be shutting down? Water? Electricity? Telephone? And how long for? I heard someone say on the radio that, if all services shut down for more than 3 days, a state of emergency has to be declared. If that happens, the House of Representatives has to dissolve???? Or something like that.

Who knows.....it's all a bit uncertain at the moment. All we can do is listen to the radio and be prepared for whatever. Lucky enough, we have batteries and can keep some electricity going for up to two days.

I tell you, this place is so strange at the moment. No one seems to know what's going on exactly. Anyway, I'll keep you informed as much as I can.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Helicopters and tortilla chips

Lucas has had quite an exciting day today. The airforce came and landed their helicopter on the football pitch outside our house (the second time that they've done that now). One of the pilots is staying with us for a few days. He'll be picked up again on Monday, so Lucas will be able to see the helicopter once again. He is obsessed with helicopters at the moment. His favorite book is "Budgy the little helicopter" by Fergie, to be read to him at least 4 times a day, and he has several toy helicopters (all of which are trashed as he throws them around a bit). So anyway, this helicopter landing in fron of our house is a big thing for him.

I went to see Lynwen and Ian at Caves Branch this afternoon. They are building an amazing house for themselves above the Caves Branch restaurant. It's going to be huge! Lynwen and I sat in what will one day be their living room, with our feet dangling outside the house (the glass doors aren't in yet). It was lovely, just chatting and munching on tortilla chips. I really like Lynwen. It's always so nice hanging out with her.

We were also talking about the country's recent problems and I have to say; Ian's views on the whole matter were quite enlightening, as he has come up with a possible outcome that does not include any violence (as you know, I've been worrying a bit about that). He said that it's quite likely that the Prime Minister will be forced to step down by his own party (if the protests continue) & that they will then continue with a different Prime Minister. Also, he was guessing that some of the Ministers who were fired recently (they refused to put with the corruption) might form their own party & become the much needed 3rd party in the next elections. Anyway, it's not a perfect solution....but it's something. It's a thought that I can live with.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Restlessness in paradise

I'm feeling a bit uneasy at the moment. Although, I have to say, I seem to be the only one at the Belize Jungle Dome who feels like this, so maybe I'm over-reacting.

Basically, there is unrest in Belize. Especially in Belize City. There was a riot and looting going on on Wednesday night & there have been protests on and off for months now. The Belizean public has had enough of the current government. There has been so much corruption (it's one case after another) & so much public money has been lost, that people demand the government to step down. But the government and the Prime Minister deny any wrong-doing and claim that the opposition party is orchestrating the protests and is trying to overthrow this democratically elected government.

Anyway, this whole thing may just fizzle out again. But I can't help feeling a bit scared and helpless. It all makes me feel like a stranger in a strange land. Maybe it's also because I am a mother, I don't know. I. mean, it's not like we actually notice anything here at the Belize Jungle Dome, life is still as calm and peaceful as ever. But just the thought that people's patience may be wearing thin scares me.

Right now though, I'm just getting on with normal life, like everybody else. I went to rehearsals for our up-coming concert this morning, bust a tire on the ferry, received help from a man who's car had also broken down, spend an hour-and-a-half in the bank this morning to get some money out, etc. All just normal stuff.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Tulum (again)

We're back from our little trip to Tulum. It was wonderful. Lucas managed to sit through the 7-hour car journey without even a hint of a whine. Absolutely astounding for a 2-year-old, I think. The trick is....presents! I bought some cheap and cheerful little knick-knacks to give to him when he got bored. He got two presents on the way there and two on the way back & it worked wonders.

I've written about Tulum before, so I don't have to go in to details again. But anyway, it's beautiful there. We just lazed around on the beach and ate a ton of food. And that was it really.

A perfect little break....

Oh, things are still a bit messy in Belize politically. Now the telephone systems are all down and have been for days (strikes again). Unions are calling for the Prime Minister to step down. God knows what's going to happen.

It took us a few days to track Karen down. She was doing a yoga teacher training course in Tulum, but we kept looking for her at the wrong place. We looked at Maya Spa, whilst Karen was at the Maya Tulum Spa. Doh!

Our hotel in Tulum (Pasado Del Sol)

Lucas on the rocks!

Rock climbing with daddy

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Monkeys

I really feel that I should be posting something, eventhough there is not much going on here. Whatever has happened has already been written about by Karen (see Karensbelizeblog.blogspot.com). I don't want to end up with 2 identical blogs, so I won't mentioned anything that's already on her blog.

Got woken up this morning by the howler monkeys. We have a family of 7 in the trees just off our property. You wouldn't expect it by the sound of them, but they are actually very cute.

Talking of monkeys....I'm trying desperately to get some off our neighbouring children away from our house. It is just crazy at the moment, there are just children everywhere. They are here for several reasons:
  1. To exchange books from our little "library"
  2. To show me their rapport cards
  3. To get toys (I'm clearing out the toys that Lucas no longer plays with)

The problem is, these kids are all so adorable. So I can't get angry with them. But it is really getting too chaotic with all of them running around. I guess I'll have to put my foot down and tell them all to stick to our pre-arranged library time on Saturday morning.

By the way, I really need to do some work on the Jaden Foundation webpages. We have several sponsors now that need to be added to the website & there are still some children that I need to track down who received sponsorship this year. As I've already shared with you, I'm not that busy at the moment, so I really have no excuse for procrastinating on this. Still....I'm dragging my heals a bit, I have to admit (sheer laziness)

Right, I'm going to procrastinate just a little bit more. Just because it's Sunday. Dr. Peter Alan is coming over later with some friends from the UK, so that should be fun (he's such a sweetheart)

Talk to you later xxxxx

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


The bridge is ready! Well....almost. Mark drove us across it for the first time yesterday. We were all so excited. No more getting getting stuck at the old ferry. We will be free to come and go as we please and will even be able to go out at night! Wonderful!

We were the first members of the public to be crossing the bridge (it will not be open to the public yet for another 3 weeks)

The ferry looks so old and so small from the new bridge.

On the new bridge with Mr. Morgan (our old ferry man), Karen & Mark (the engineer)

Monday, April 04, 2005

Kittens!

Yes, Daphne our cat (Karen's friends Christened her "Daphne" recently) has had her kittens. She totally confused us this morning when she walked around without her big belly & no kittens in sight. We were already worried that she had given birth to dead kittens or something, because we didn't hear anything and couldn't find her kittens anywhere. After a while it became clear why we didn't see them....she has had her litter on the inside of an old sofa. The lining had come lose on the bottom and her kittens are inside that. It looks like there might be 4 of them. Daphne is nursing them right now. So sweet.

By the way, check out what Caroline is doing these days. It's a really cool concept; a new way of distributing and promoting music. Click on "Prohibition". I'm so proud of my friends and the stuff they're up to these days. I was just talking to my friend Gilly, who has directed the show "Wife swap" for ABC recently. I remember when she used to work in a bar and doubted that she would ever be able to make a career for herself in television. I always knew that she would make it, though. You can always see if people have what it takes. It's more a personality thing than anything else.

For instance, I remember there used to be a guy who worked in the MTV post room. He was such a nice person. I knew that he had "that special something". Although, for a long time, I seemed to be the only person who noticed that in him. I remember him talking about leaving MTV as he didn't see his way out of the post room (he'd been there quite some time). I urged him to stay. I was convinced that it was only a matter of time before he'd be given a chance by someone. Well, I was right. Soon he was given a position in "artist relations" (I believe that was what it was called). Where he had to look after all the band that came in. He did a great job and moved on to become road manager for U2. After that I lost touch with him, but I'm sure he's still doing well somewhere.

In hindsight, these were some of the things I liked best about my old job. Spotting talent! I helped some really cool bands break through to the mainstream (Like the Prodigy, Moloko, Faithless, etc.) And as the jury member on Popstars in Germany, I helped put together the "No Angels" (Dumb name). Anyway, that band did end up breaking all records in Germany and I believe that to this day they are the best-selling German band ever (Shame I never got any royalties). Anyway, these are some of my most fond memories of my old life. Seeing others do well & knowing that I played a small part in their success.

I guess that's what I hope to achieve with some of the kids here too. Not that I want them to become popstars...but I just hope that some of the kids will use the chance that they have been given through the sponsorship & that they'll do well in whatever field they chose. I guess time will tell.