Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Karen's most challenging day yet.

Today will be tough for Karen. She has to bike from Jaguar Paw to the temples of Caracol up in the Mountain Pine Ridge. Most of the way will be uphill on a road that has turned into an extreme mud bath. To drive to Caracol takes over 2 hours and is hard to do on days like these, when the road has turned to slush from days of rain. So how they will manage on bikes, only God knows. I wouldn't be surprised if no one manages to make it till the end.

Still, our crazy Karen is determined to finish this race and not only that, but to actually win it! (at least from the women)

We went to see her yesterday afternoon and this is what she told me:

On day one she came first. She beat both the men and the women, although the reason she beat the men was that they missed a turn and biked the wrong way for 1 mile. Karen even raced passed this guy who is apparently this famous biker (leave it to me to forget his name). Anyway, not only is this guy famous, Karen's bike is even named after him. So she beat him on a bike that carries his own name. Isn't that funny? I'm so proud of that tough little cookie of ours.

Yesterday, apparently, was horrendous. They biked through mud for most of the day and felt like they weren't getting anywhere. Many of the bikers have decided that the race is just too tough and have either pulled out (even one of the serious Belizean cyclists has packed it in and has decided to stick to road biking from now on), whilst others have chosen to just ride part of the race each day and to get into the support cars after lunch. Karen says that she can't even imagine quitting, no matter how hard it gets. She is in agony though and would give anything for a more comfortable saddle, but of course there isn't much that we can buy here in Belize so she'll have to just 'sit it out' (poor girl)

Once she gets through today, she (and the others) will be fine. The rest of the race is much more bearable. So everyone....send her your thoughts, prayers, psychic energy, whatever you can...'cause she will need it today.

Also, does anyone want to up their sponsorship pledge if she manages to actually win this thing?
Let me know. Of course, it's all going to a good cause, The Jaden Foundation. This money will help keep this year's sponsored children in both the private school and the public schools (with the private school being the biggest financial stretch, of course)

There are several ways to donate, just send me an email if you're interested in doing so.

Thank you all for your support.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Karen is doing great!!!!!

Just got a call from Karen & she says that the race is going really well. Not only is she doing the tour, she's actually racing it to win. Right now, she's leading the women and is even beating some of the men. You go girl! There were 23 people in the group to start with and one has given up already. We'll go and see Karen tomorrow afternoon. This is all so exciting!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Some more Aruba pictures that I nicked of my sister's blog








No news yet from Karen. We'll try and phone her again later...


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Karen's bike race starts tomorrow!

Isn't funny how it's always so great to be traveling, yet it's just as great be home again at the end of it all?

Yep, we're back and I am so happy to be sleeping in my own bed again. I had become a bit of an insomniac those last few days in Aruba, which started with AC problems in our bedroom and then just became a general 'not able to sleep' problem. So annoying! But anyway, last night I slept wonderfully again. Shame that the baby woke up at quarter to five though.

Anyway, we did have a fantastic holiday in Aruba. The place is actually starting to grow on me. And of course I love being with my mum and my sister. And I love seeing them interact with Lucas and Aidan. It's only now that I have my own children that I fully realize how important family is. If only we could be nearer to all our family (those in Aruba, England and Holland). But for that to happen, we'd have to pull continents together. Got some muscle anybody?

So, as the title of this posting already said, Karen's Temple to Temple bike race starts tomorrow. David is driving her to Placencia this very moment for the start of the race.

Karen has actually become a tat nervous about it all. Especially as so many people are sponsoring her (with the proceeds going to the Jaden Foundation). She is scared that either she or her bike may not make it. I'll try and blog in the coming days how she's doing. Wish her well!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What are we up to these days?

Well, Andy & Hans have been playing their daily round of golf, we’ve been shopping and hung out on the beach for a while…so a normal day for us all here in Aruba. The kids tire us out of course, but apart from chasing them, life is pretty chilled (actually, it couldn’t be more chilled if we tried)

Last night we had dinner at a new Irish pub (Laurenz is very disappointed that they are still waiting for the Guinness to arrive) and the day before we all went to the Palm Island waterpark, which was amazing! Both the kids loved it and, to be honest, so did the adults ; )

Oh, and I’ve even had a few heavenly ‘moments for mom’ (moments without children). I had a facial and I’ve taken my first windsurf lesson, which I really enjoyed, so I may go for another one tomorrow.
We’ve put our flights back for two days so we can stay till Friday. If it hadn’t been for the fact that Karen’s bike race starts this weekend, we would have stayed even longer. Oh well…we will be back soon, I’m sure.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Lovely Aruba

I really can't be bothered to blog, but that's a good sign. It means that I'm too busy having fun.

Love to you all from sunny Aruba!!!!

















Thursday, January 11, 2007

Chochos

I just learned a new trick. Every time I prepared chochos, my hands ended up looking like they were covered in glue and for days after my skin peeled off my fingers (like a sunburn)

Well, after 3 years of being here I have finally discovered the secret to peeling and chopping chochos! You rub salt all over your hands before touching them. It's that simple.

I thought I should share this tidbit of knowledge with those of you that have recently moved to Belize or that are about to move here. No more flaky hands my friends!

Bon appetit!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Lucas' debut as camera man

What a nice lazy weekend. Andy is playing golf and I'm chilling with my children. It's so much better being back at the Dome than living in Belmopan and jetting backwards and forwards. And I'm starting to feel more and more at home in our 'half-a-house'.

Also, my piano is now finally in a nice inspiring location (overlooking the horses in the field and the river behind it) and it really makes me want to play more. In the house in Belmopan it was stashed away in an un-used room, facing a wall. It's amazing what a difference that makes. So throughout the day I now spent time on the piano. It's so enjoyable. I wonder how much I'll be able to improve without having any more lessons. See, Miss Bonny is too busy these days as a science teacher and with running her music school for children to be giving piano lessons to adults. So I won't get lessons from her until the summer.

Anyway, here are two little clips of the kids. One of which was filmed by Lucas. He is very proud of his achievement as a camera man/director.








By the way, Lucas' eye is okay again. He got a stung on his eye lid and the rubbing had caused swelling around the eye. So I just wanted to make sure that the grandparents don't end up worrying about him ; )

Friday, January 05, 2007

Biking across Belize

My sincere apologies for my blogging slackness lately, but the holidays, moving house, etc. have just been too distracting. In the meantime we’ve moved in to our new house, even though only half of it has been built. So I still feel like we’re camping a bit.

Our stuff is spread out all over the place; the house in Belmopan, the Dome and now our Riverside Cottage (the new house). There is building work going on all around us & we have no telephone, Internet or even a fridge yet.

Still, soon we’ll be over this chaotic phase. And already it’s so much better to be back on the Jungle Dome grounds, that in it self already feels calmer.

Now, I don’t know if you guys have been following Andy or Karen’s blogs recently, but in case you haven’t, Karen is going to do this crazy bike race around Belize at the end of January, called the ‘Temple to Temple’ tour, for which she has to bike 750 km. in 7 days!!!!

So Karen is out training a lot these days, but even for her standards, this will be a major challenge & achievement (we assume she’ll manage to do it)


Now obviously, this is a great thing for people to sponsor. And Karen has kindly offered to donate all the proceeds to the Jaden Foundation. Hopefully all the children that we got into the private school (BCA) this year will be able to continue their education there next year. We also buy schoolbooks for children in the public schools, but the private school is by far our biggest expense (well worth it though). This year we’ve sponsored about 25 public primary school children, 2 high school kids and 7 children to go to the private school. On top of this we pay for medical emergencies, school transport and occasionally support other local charities.

If you are interested in sponsoring Karen contact me and/or Karen and we'll let you know how to go about it(The donations can also be made tax deductible)

Adios my friends, I hope 2007 has been treating you well so far!