Friday, June 1, 2007

Belize Letter 10

New experience

It finally happened. I had been putting it off for a long, long time. In mid may I finally decided to get it done. I had gone 6 months without a haircut! My hair (what little I have) was hanging on my neck and was very uncomfortable at times. I went to an outdoors Belizean barber shop! Believe it or not, the haircut I received was quite good. They barber cuts hair the same way as an American barber except for the shaving part. In the states, a barber will go around the ears, and back or the neck with a straight razor. In Belize, they use a machete! No, I am just kidding! They use a single edge razor blade. The barber holds it in his hand and does a really good job. In case you are wondering, he uses a new blade for each customer. The guy before me had his whole head shaved in this manner.

San Ignacio trip

The other Saturday Diane and I drove into the town of San Ignacio to meet a few fellow Americans. We met at an Indian restaurant. I thought it rather strange for an Indian restaurant to be in Belize but then I remembered that India and Belize have something in common. They were both under British rule for sometime. In addition to the Americans living in Belize, there were two visiting professors who had been in Belize for 5 months. The conversation was good but it will take quite a few visits until we get to know everyone. While there we had some spiced ice tea which was extraordinarily good.


I have been trying several varieties of fruit since I have been here. I eat lots of Bananas. At five cents apiece, who wouldn’t! I also have been eating quite a bit of Papaya. I tasted papaya in the states and it always reminded me of pumpkin. Down here, the tree ripened papaya is bright red inside and incredibly sweet. It happens to be quite nutritious and aids digestion as well. Another fruit that I tried is on one of the trees that I had the cutters save. It is called mamey. This fruit looks something like a cantaloupe. However, the inside is dark orange with 1 large purple seed in the center. I tasted it and it tastes like an incredibly sweet, sweet potato. It is pretty fibrous but soft, unlike a sweet potato which is crunchy. I also tried locally grown watermelons and found them to be very good. I tried guava also. I found this to be a fruit that lacked flavor and sweetness. I am waiting for the mangoes to ripen. I have eaten these before. However, I have never eaten one that was tree ripened. Another fruit that appears to be ripening is the cashew fruit. They look like golden apples. I haven’t tasted this yet because I can’t tell if it is ripe.

Belize protests

There have been some pretty good protests down here. Today, all the stores in Belmopan were closed. It seems that the party in power wants to guarantee a loan for a private corporation that is building a hospital. The private corporation, which was formed by high ranking members of the party in power, is apparently having financial problems. There are other issues but this just seems like normal everyday politics that occurred everyday in the US. See


I decided to take a few days vacation from the door refinishing project I started. I needed to do something other than work on the house. I came up with the idea to put together a website in addition to the blog site and publish information there. I will be able to incorporate images and maybe even videos. I will continue with the letters but they will be linked to the website. So far I have managed to get a domain registered and have a hosting company. I started work on the pages and I should have the site completed by month end.

Last minute note on this; phase one is completed.


The dry weather continues. As a matter of fact, our well seems to have gone dry. We switched to community water for washing, etc. and are using bottled water again. The rainy season is moving in. We had some rains and I suspect that soon there will be plenty of water and the well will be back to normal. Another sign of the impending wet season is something that Diane experienced when she first moved down last May. Late yesterday afternoon we had a shower. At the end of the shower, I had heard Diane say “there back”. I looked up at the windows she was pointing at and saw millions of winged insects flying around the windows and the roof on the East and South side of the house. I do mean millions! She told me that the bad part is that they crawl through the screens. I didn’t believe it but she was right. As they crawled through, they lost their wings and soon died. They kept fluttering around the two sides of the house until it was almost dark, then disappeared as quickly as they appeared. I wondered where the birds were. This was a mayfly hatch. These flies will not bite they are merely on a mission to mate. In this stage of their life they only have minutes or maybe hours to live. Overall this wasn’t too bad. We had some cleanup to do but overall, no harm done. My only fear was the statement Diane made as she was sweeping up the dead insects. “Wait till the beetles arrive!”