Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sunday, April 23, 2006

So you want to go green?

Just read an interesting article on the ever brilliant BBC news website. If you're interested in preserving energy and the world, there may be more you can do than just driving a Hybrid. It's very simple (and something I had never really thought about): Switch off your TV, laptop, PC, etc. when you're finished with it. It's shocking to see how much energy is wasted by keeping everything 'on stand-by'.

That does mean that we have to get off our arses to switch off the TV for instance, instead of turning it off by remote control. Still, for some people that may be the only exercise they get all day. And hey, it's all for a good cause.

Anyway, check out the article.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

You know you're a mum when...

  • You sneak out of bed at 5.30 in the morning, just to be able to have a cup of coffee in silence
  • You haven't been able to have dinner at the same time as your husband for weeks (a crying baby has had you eating in shifts)
  • You pick up things with your toes as your hands are always taken up by carrying children
  • You cut your finger and have to wear a 'Dora the explorer' bandaid, which is all you have in the house
  • The theme tune to 'SpongeBob Squarepants' is stuck in a loop inside your head (Wo lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob Squarepants!)
  • You lie awake at night wondering how on earth you're going to be able to pack sensibly for an upcoming trip (is it possible to bring the baby swing, car seat and the stroller? Will we be exceeding the luggage allowance on the flight? And how many presents and treats do we need to keep Lucas entertained for the duration of the trip?)
  • You start to gravitate towards blogs written by other mums. Their words resonate with you like nothing else can
  • And you could totally relate to Felicity Huffman's character Lynette in 'Desperate housewives' when she started to take her childrens' ADD medication just to keep up with her pace of life

Yep, being a mum is a crazy thing. It's wonderful and annoying. A blessing and a curse. You wouldn't change it for the world, yet you fantasize about life without children. You are jealous of your former self, of how all she had to think about was herself & at the same time you cringe at how selfish she really was. Being a mum is the ultimate paradox, a black hole of love, that sucks you in and forces you to lose yourself, yet helps you to find your truer self, there where you lost you (does this still make any sense?)

Anyhow, some of the parenting websites and blogs that I have come across and liked:

  1. Five minutes for mom. They were even so nice to add my blog to their site and to interview me as well
  2. Parent center. They send me weekly updates on baby's developments. It tells us what we can expect at each stage, which is great as we don't have many other babies around us to measure Aidan's development against
  3. The mommy blog. Made me laugh out loud. Especially the part about traveling with young children (she deals with the same pre-travel anxiety as me)
  4. Happiness is a good nap. Sweet personal blog by a single mother of two
  5. Natural parenting. All about attachment parenting
  6. Dr. Sears website. His 'Pregnancy' book & "The Baby' book are my bibles
  7. Think twice. Are you debating whether or not to vaccinate? Make sure you read this website.

And finally, you know you're a mum when it takes you at least 10 attempts to write a short blog like this....

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Sunday at 5-Sisters Falls...lovely!

Three men and a baby

Deborah & Lucas in the little cable car at 5-Sisters Falls (or as Lucas calls it 'Five big girls')

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Green Dragon AdventureTravel

Our Belize Travel Agency site has been given a brand-new look (great job once again Rich!)

Green Dragon Adventure Travel now also offers:

Anyone fancy a tropical break?

I noticed this on Moby's blog

Go check it out: clip of an incredible 2-legged dog (very cool)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Mermaids and other nonsense

It’s Good Friday and that means that there are no dive trips going out from San Pedro today. Why? Because local superstition says that those venturing in to the water today will turn into mermaids. How brilliant is that? I love it! People here are just so odd.

Talking of superstition…David’s baby is not feeling too good, so her mum is out looking for the hair of a woman who’s pregnant for the first time. The idea is to then cut off some of that woman’s hair and to tie it around the baby’s wrist. This is meant to cure the baby (I’ll suggest that she takes the baby to see a doctor today)

Anyway, happy Easter everybody!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Oil in Belize

I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned this before on my blog, but oil has been found in Belize, in the Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout (the picture above is of a Mennonite classroom). Apparently there is even oil under Belmopan, so they may start drilling here too.

Everyone hopes that the oil will cure the financial mess that this country is in. The government needed a miracle and hopefully they got it in the form of this black gold. Of course, we're all worried as to how this will impact the environment & what kind of corruption we're going to witness this time (this government has proven to be terribly corrupt). But all we can do is sit and wait & see how it all plays out.

So far though it seems that the company responsible for the find, Belize Natural Energy, has delivered what it had promised. They seem to 'treading as lightly as possible' in Spanish Lookout. I just drove by there today and overall it is not that 'in your face'. Of course, it's early days and the landscape will surely change some more. Still, so far, no complaints.

Sheila McCaffrey, the company director seems to be a nice person as well. Actually, everyone I have met so far from the company has been really nice. They are all extremely passionate and seem to be convinced that this oil find can really be used for the good of the people of Belize. Next to this, they are convinced that finding oil does not have to equal ecological disaster. The company is now trying to help grassroots charity organizations in Belize and assists in the shipments of donated medical equipment, etc.

So one thing we already know for sure, thanks to BNE the medical services in Belize are improving. How the rest will play out? Only time will tell.

By the way, proof that BNE is not your usual oil company: They recently invited local businesses to an information evening, which ended up turning into a bit of a karaoke (how Irish!)

Of course, this is Belize & Belize doesn't seem to attract 'normal' people anyway. So it makes sense that we would attract such an odd ball oil company too.

It's interesting to read an LA Times article on the oil find:

Sunday, April 09, 2006

This is cool!

My friend Gaya alerted me to this great article yesterday (Thanks Gaya!), about some of the biggest energy companies in the US calling for...wait for it....caps on carbon emissions! Can you believe it?

According to the article: "The Energy and Natural Resources Committee heard statements from leaders representing eight big energy companies, including General Electric, Shell, and the two largest owners of utilities in the U.S., Exelon and Duke Energy. Six of the eight said they would either welcome or accept mandatory caps on their greenhouse-gas emissions. Wal-Mart too spoke in favor of carbon caps. The two outliers from the energy sector, Southern Company and American Electric Power, delivered pro forma bids for a voluntary rather than mandatory program, but they, too, broke with tradition by implicitly acknowledging that regulations may be coming, and offering detailed advice on how they should be designed"

Read it all for yourself:

I also heard that there are now 6 or 7 US States that have implemented their own 'Kyoto type of agreement'. So, in a way, they are overriding their own government. This is all great news and it makes me wonder who George Bush is actualy representing?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Iguana season

If you were to drive though Belize these days, you would notice people standing by the side of the road holding up Iguanas. These are not their pets. They are offering them to you to buy. Again, not to keep as a pet....but to have for lunch.

It is Iguana season in Belize and that means that the Iguanas are about to lay their eggs. These eggs are considered a kind of delicacy here. I tried a tiny piece of one once and thought that it tasted rather dry. A bit like the yolk of a chicken egg. So no...I'm not crazy about it (obviously, I'm also not too charmed about the whole idea of eating something that just came out of an Iguana)

But anyway, the locals love them & so everyone is on the look-out for pregnant Iguanas. I watched the children climb a tree the other day with an Iguana in it. From high up in the tree they shake the branches as hard as they can, whilst the other kids wait underneath for the Iguana to fall. It was rather comical to watch, but I was happy to see that the Iguana got away (with about 8 children on bare feet running after it into the jungle)

Apparently, you should only kill the Iguana once you're ready to eat the eggs. So those Iguanas that people hold up by the side of the road are alive too. They simply tie their back legs so they can't run off. One Iguana can hold about 20 to 30 eggs.

Anyway, I find it all a bit horrid. But there you go. We eat meat and eggs too, so I can't say too much. And it's all part of living in Central America.