Life in the jungle: It rained last night and through the night and into the morning. The road is a mud bath. This rain has really screwed my immediate working plans. I swear between all this rain (during the dry season) and a lawyer that has me in complete limbo I swear the country is playing me for a fool.
With the weather the way it is I did yard work first thing. After breakfast, I weed-wacked. I came across 3 mud turtles while weed-wacking. I had fairly little working motivation after the weed wacking (it’s exhausting work), so I decided to bike to the hardware store for more planting soil and a gallon of gas (for the weed wacker and chainsaw). On the way through the village, I picked up and borrowed Derrick’s cordless drill so I could hang my other gate.
Later, upon returning the drill to Derrick, I decided to get some more planting soil as I was halfway to the hardware store already and at the same time, I would be productive when I wasn’t feeling motivated to work. On the way home I ran into Nery. He gave me a chunk of Jackfruit. This was my first time tasting Jackfruit. It basically tastes like chewy banana candy. So, I like it.
Random image of a jackfruit and fruit off the internet
I got home basically in the dark and so basically, I was pretty productive during a day of little motivation. I think I got about 50 Jackfruit seeds from the section of fruit given to me. A Jackfruit can actually be as big/heavy as 100 pounds.
Right before bed, I emailed the Belize business registry office to see if they have any record of my business license.
I counted 30 baby Soursop seedlings this morning.
Life in the jungle: What can I say, I slept in. I did go to bed later than usual. I just could not get my butt moving yesterday evening. The sun is back with a really nice breeze. I counted 42 baby soursop seedlings this morning. I am very excited about this.
I am back working on installing the cabbage wood around the house. That was until the power went out. During my break (waiting for the power to go back on) I received an email from my paralegal. He was in Punta Gorda working all week. He couldn’t send an update text? It has been 12 days since I was expecting a call from him! There was no power for a few hours. When the power finally did come on, I spent the rest of the day installing more cabbage wood along the house.
The finished look of Cabbage Palm wood
Life in the jungle: A bit of a late start this morning. Another day of cabbage wood installation. It was a hot day today. I am almost out of lumber (Cabbage wood). I only have a few pieces left.
This afternoon I cut open my soursop I recently purchased from the market. The fruit was unripe and inedible. I biked out to show the seeds to Nery. He says they are still good to plant. This evening I extracted 347 seeds from my 2 fruits. The hardware store has no small bags for planting. Nery says he can help me out with planting trays from his work.
This morning I counted 51 seedling Soursops from the seeds I planted earlier this month.
Life in the jungle: A few days ago, I realized I should change my Warm Showers (bike hosting) profile to be able to now host. That day I got an email requesting hosting. This morning Victor confirmed that he would arrive Sunday. A few hours later I got a request for hosting sometime next week for a second host. [That person would end up not showing.]
I got a late start this morning. I could tell it was going to be a hot one. There was almost no breeze all day. I finished up all my cabbage wood. I am about 60 pieces short finishing the first half of the house.
After that, I built a gate for my ponds. I thought I already had a gate for ponds but when I attempted to install it, I discovered that it was a few inches too small. On a positive note, I was able to build this gate with all scrap lumber and did not have to purchase any materials. I put in an hour of chopping at the river lot just before dark. It felt good to swing a machete.
Been building a lot of gates lately
This morning I counted 62 Soursop seedlings.
Mexican Masked Tree Frog
Life in the jungle: I am starting my mornings chopping back at the ponds. As I was about to head back to the house for breakfast, I finally saw a Morelets crocodile in the far pond. This is the first crocodile I have seen at the ponds since my arrival, which is kind of weird as I have seen them quite regularly in the past. After breakfast, I painted the gate that I built yesterday. In the afternoon I went back to the ponds with the chainsaw and did more cleaning for a few hours. I worked myself to exhaustion which is a little unusual as I usually pace myself well enough to work straight to the end of the day.
While doing the chainsaw work, I discovered the most exotic praying mantis I have ever seen in Belize. He was only the size of my fingernail and it was very difficult to get my camera phone to focus properly on him. Thanks to some help on a Facebook group, he has likely been identified as a nymph of Acanthops or Dead leaf mantis.
Dead leaf mantis
I counted 89 Soursop seedlings this morning.
Life in the jungle: I started at the ponds this morning. A hot morning. After breakfast, I spent the day burning the last 4 brush piles at the river lot.
Later in the afternoon, Victor arrived by bike. A young guy biking from Cancun to Ushuaia. Unlike Heath who stayed with me in January and headed north, Victor is headed to where I hoped to have headed. So, for the first time since getting home to Belize, I am forced to consider what I gave up.
This morning I counted 103 Soursop seedlings.
Life in the jungle: I started my day working at the ponds. After breakfast, I took Victor to see the big Tubroos tree I have back in the bush. Then we biked to Bermudian Landing (so he could see the village) and then got groceries. On the road, I discovered a jaguarundi road kill. I have only ever seen one other live one on my road in 2010. A jaguarundi is a native wild cat that many people have never heard of.
A dead jaguarundi on the road
Reaching home, I chilled on my hammock until Nery called me in the afternoon. He brought me a bunch of planting trays from the farm he works at. So, tomorrow is a planting day.
Victor and I watched some Bike Wanderer videos tonight. I have mixed feelings and emotions about not being on my bike ride now and at the same time so aware of a lack of motivation. I feel like I have this awareness of how boring life is when you do life alone. Especially being alone 45 out of my 49 years of living. I feel confident that I only have 31 more years of living alone to get through before I die. But of course, I am equally aware of how bored many/most married couples must be. When Victor and I biked to Bermudian Landing today past numerous side roads, I was aware of how I have lived so close to these roads and yet I have no idea what’s down these roads after all this time. I push myself physically every day to exhaustion because I lack so much motivation to do anything that if I am not careful, I would become the laziest person on the planet. Causing me to be too exhausted to care to explore.
Victor leaves first thing tomorrow morning.
Glossary of Terms
Glossary of words or people that may or may not be part of this blog post. This glossary will be at the bottom of every blog post for Belize.
Jack & Jill – These are my ex-property managers (names changed). They are Canadian, they introduced me to Belize in 1997, sold me their house in Belize in 2003, and rebuilt my house from 2014 to 2018. I have known them for over 30 years. After almost 20 years of me supporting their life here in Belize Jack decided quite unexpectedly to declare “war” on me right before Christmas 2021. They would end up stealing my business license and causing me a lot of grief. They live on the farm, but not on my land.
Wayne – He is the son of the original owners of the farm (both owners are deceased). The original farm was 2 – 30 acre pieces minus 2 – ¾ acre parcels for my house and 2 – ¾ acre parcels that Jack & Jill own which were all originally purchased from the original owners. In 2017 Wayne sold me 40 acres of land from the original 60 acres (30 acres plus 10 acres). Wayne lives in his parent house and has a few cows on his remaining 17 acres of land.
Nery – a local in the area that helps me with certain projects when needed. A very knowledgeable guy originally from El Salvador. He teaches me a lot about farming and tree.
The ponds – I have 2 large (300ft long x 50ft wide x 10ft deep) ponds on my 30 acre parcel of land which is basically jungle. I have about 60 coconut trees (mostly mature) around the ponds. I have plans to plant a few hundred papaya trees here plus other fruit bearing trees around the ponds.
The coconut field – I have about 400 coconut trees planted (various growth states) on about 3 acres of cleared land of the 10 acre parcel. I plan to add various fruit trees to the same field as soon as I can.
The river lot – my house sits on a ¾ acre lot. I have a second joining ¾ acre lot that allows me river frontage on the Belize River
The dry – Belize has 2 main seasons. The rainy season and the dry (no rain). The wet is obviously the rainy season.
Chopping – using my machete to clear brush and unwanted trees