Saturday, April 28, 2007

Belize Letter 9


The bathroom’s major modifications are completed and I finished painting that room last week. We are waiting for a custom mahogany cabinet which I will have to mount when it arrives.

I got the new pressurized water system working along with the on-demand butane hot water heater. Now we have well water piped to all faucets with plenty of pressure.

If the electricity goes off I can open a few valves and community water will be diverted into the system. We prefer not to drink the community water because there is no purification and it is just piped through the village from a mountain stream. When we were on community water, we drank bottled water. Well water is potable so I hope the electric stays on. I did notice that the pressure of the community water is lower now that the dry season has arrived.

Speaking of electricity, I must say the service has been acceptable. We have had service since January 18th and it has been down a half dozen times. Some of these were announced, scheduled, maintenance shutdowns for a set number of hours. The longest the electric has been down has been four hours and that incident was scheduled. Since we were without electricity for sometime, these minor outages are not a problem. One curious thing is that we have not received an electric bill as of this writing. I have emailed the electric company and made a visit to their office. I was told that I should start receiving these bills “soon”!
I am back on painting projects. I have to paint the spare bedroom's ceiling and walls. After that I have to paint the porch ceiling. I should finish by week end. Painting isn’t too bad as one can think of other things while applying paint. It certainly is not physically challenging! The agonizing part is preparation and cleanup.

Since a lot of the major modifications have been completed, we can hang pictures. Hanging pictures on cement walls requires a hammer drill. A hole has to be drilled and then either a lead or plastic anchor must be inserted in the hole. A screw can then be turned in. I also found that I can put a piece of wood in the hole and then hammer in a small nail. Items on the walls certainly make the place look better. I installed a wireless router. I now can access the internet from anywhere in the house or outside as well. One never knows when he will have to answer an urgent email in the shower!


Weather is still great. It got warm for about four or five days then it got back to a daily range of high sixties to low eighties. Even though we are in the dry season, we had showers the other night and the following morning was cloudy and very cool (65). Warm weather is approaching, however. There are lots of signs. The fans will be welcome! We have the capability for air conditioning but really have not needed it yet. As the rainy season approaches and humidity climbs along with temperature we may reconsider.

Americans in Belize

I have located a group of Americans in Corozal that meet monthly for lunch. Corozal, located near the Mexican border, is nearly a three hour drive from our house so it could be a long day.

ID Cards

We finally got to Belize City to pick up our resident ID cards. On the trip we visited one of the new supermarkets. It was not nearly as large as the ones in the states but it was quite a bit bigger than what we have been accustomed to in Belmopan.

Community elections in Belize

Elections to elect a new leader for the various villages and cities were held on Sunday April 15. In the village near us, the existing party (Peoples United Party) was defeated. The UDP (United Democratic Party), the conservative group won the election. People take these elections very seriously and come to vote in their "Sunday best". National elections for the prime minister and parliament will be held in 2008.

Before and after photos

I mentioned in my last letter that before and after photos would be posted. I had the posted here for awhile but my new project is to build a true website. Therefore, I removed the link. The web site should be finished soon (US version of this word) and a lot more pictures will be there.