Monday, April 9, 2007

Belize Letter 4

Christmas in Belize

Christmas arrived early in Belize. On Thursday December 21, the Belize Electric Company started installing new poles in the village. A total of 10 high tension poles and a transformer will be installed. Some smaller poles will have to be installed also. This means that our electric power is on the way. On Friday, December 22, the cabinet people showed up with our new kitchen cabinets and installation began. The cabinets are natural mahogany, a Belizean wood. The third gift was that December 20th and 21st were the first two rainless days in December. Christmas day finally arrived and we opened our presents that we received from relatives in the states. Each of several Christmases prior to this one, Diane and I always talked about spending Christmas out of the country. Now we are finally experiencing it.

Diane and I went to Caves Branch for a turkey and ham dinner on Christmas night. In addition to close to ninety guests, they had a mariachi band. On both Christmas and the following day, Boxer’s Day, everything is shut down. Stores, banks and gas stations are closed. The village has been extremely quite on these two days.

Christmas Cookies

Diane baked cookies using all local ingredients. The sugar is courser and a little on the tan side. The flour is also on the tan side, not bleached like the US produced flour. The cookies turned out spectacular. As usual, Diane hid the bulk of them for fear that I would eat them all before Christmas.

Our British Friends

The other day while in Belmopan, I met up Bernard who I had given a ride to a week or so ago. When I asked how his car was, he responded that the part he needed was not in yet so he was still walking. He introduced me to his wife, Janet, and the three of us talked for awhile. I offered another ride to them but I needed to run a few errands first. We decided to meet in the market place in about an hour. After I finished my errands, I searched through market square for signs of them. Bernard, with beer in hand was easy to spot. On the way back to St. Margaret’s village and Dry Creek or the “river” as they call it, we talked quite a bit. They too are scrabble players. I told them to stop at our house anytime and that I would drop by their house very soon. Late Christmas Eve morning, the dogs started barking and we looked to see if anyone was coming up our driveway. To our amazement and delight Bernard and Janet were driving up. We invited them in and had a great time listening to the times they had during their fifteen plus years in Belize. Bernard occasionally writes editorials for one of the Belize City newspapers.

Electric Update

On December 27th, the electric company showed up and started surveying and marking where our poles would be located. On Saturday December 29th, all the poles were installed. Two poles needed to be installed in un-cleared areas of our land so a wide path had to be cut for the installers. This was done by our cutters. Two huge bees’ nests were encountered during the clearing. One of these nests was about 3 foot in diameter! One curious thing is that the cutters have very little fear of bees; however, if I bring the dogs out, they go into a state of panic! We may have electricity in a week or two! That would certainly lead to a Happy New Year!

Kitchen Cabinets

On December 27th, the cabinet people returned to finish. The hand made cabinets that need to be installed onto concrete walls takes time. It reminds me of several of past IT projects that we were involved with that seemed to never end.

Milk Man Returns

Today we heard a motorcycle coming down our driveway. It was Wilmer, the milkman! Wilmer, who is originally from York, PA, has a small dairy farm nearby. He packs a cooler he has strapped to the back of a dirt bike with fresh whole milk and chocolate milk packed in plastic bags. He is building a new home about a mile from us and he too is having difficulty procuring electric service. According to Diane, he recently went back to the states and this has been the first time he has made an appearance for quite a few months.

New Year

Diane and I spent New Years Eve at home this year. We could here lots of fire crackers in the distance. We spoke a little about the changes and achievements we made during last year. It was an amazing year! We also spoke of this year’s items we wanted to accomplish. We both would like to continue on getting the house where it needs to be but also on visiting lots of places in Belize and Mexico.

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