May 22
Life in the jungle: I was expecting to wake up to heavy rain.  It never came.  I woke up and went down to my hammock and ended up sleeping until 10 AM.  My day was spent completing my watermelon greenhouse framing and fastening the plastic wire mesh.  I was interrupted 3 times by 10 second rain showers.  The forecast keeps pushing the rainfall back a few hours every time I check the forecast.  I found a large stick bug on the side of the deck

Watermelon greenhouse framed, painted and enclosed

May 23
Life in the jungle: Last night I woke up in the middle of the night thanks to my allergies.  I didn’t go back to sleep for many hours.  This morning the rains came.  It rained on and off throughout the day.  Not as much rain as I suspected but I think the rain is here to stay.  I am not sure how badly this will mess with future plans.  That being said the ground was dry as a rock with cracks in the ground everywhere only yesterday.  It actually felt really good to escape the relentless heat from this month.

I don’t know how productive I was today.  I started my morning with some long overdue housework.  I spent a little time organizing some computer files but most of the afternoon was spent editing an article some guy living on the other side of the planet wants to write about me for his website.  He had a lot of details wrong and I also helped him with his writing skills.

On my birthday the other day I inspired to start writing.  Now I feel uninspired and bored.  Being in the house the whole day made me think I only have anther 30 some odd years to get through.  [What a horrible attitude to have.]  The last few weeks I have wasted so much time on Facebook as if I am going to find inspiration there.

Stick bug from yesterday

May 24
Life in the jungle: The rain kept me indoors most of the day.  The pond in the front yard is now half full and the frogs are in their glory.  I edited and organized my latest photos to my computer.  I attempted to write a post about a new category of blog posts I am considering to write around personal internal struggles.  I am just not feeling as motivated about this subject matter as I did last week.  That initiated the need for a nap.  I am so lazy.

In the afternoon I ran up to the village for groceries.  On my way home I seen a different bird that I was unable to identify along with a pair of Plain Chalachalaca birds and a Laughing falcon.  There wasn’t much of the day left so I puttered in the yard.  I discovered 2 different caterpillars attacking my soursop and lime tree seedlings.  Tonight, I went to bed late drafting a new intro for my Safari Arie website Home page.

A Plain Chalachalaca – a good sized bird reasonably common around the house – random photo off the internet

May 25
Life in the jungle: No rain at all today.  I spent the whole day building my fire hearth for making coconut oil.  I built 2 large tables out of the lumber Saul dropped off the other week.  One table will actually be for the fire grill and the other table will be the work table for grinding the coconuts.  I need more lumber to start building chicken coops.

Fire hearth and outdoor kitchen table

This morning and this evening I wrote most of a blog post that will be shared with all bike groups on Facebook for feedback.  The post is basically about how after such an amazing and epic bike ride I am still ME.  I never really anticipated my ride to have much effect on me personally but at the same time I never anticipated such an amazing, epic and social bike tour either.  How could I have experienced what I experienced and come out on the other side still ME?  I am hoping for some feedback to see if I am crazy or not.  The post can be found HERE.

And I am finding more caterpillars on my soursop seedlings.

Some of my cashew trees are starting to germinate

May 26
Life in the jungle: I started my day at the ponds.  I am pretty frustrated.  Almost 2 months ago Belize announced the Agriculture Show was back on and during the last weekend of May.  I made arrangements right away for a ride there so I could purchase some fruit trees.  The cost for transportation was going to be $100 USD for the day.  No problems.  I kept reminding my ride of the upcoming fair as he is always busy and this way he could plan accordingly.  The other day he told me he was too busy but he had a brother willing to take me.  Well, I texted that brother and the reply was that the cost for the day would be $150 USD.  This is so typical Belizean.  Always trying to get more out of the white guy.  I can virtually trust no one in this country.  I finally replied to his text this evening, thanks but no thanks.  I would be so pissed with myself to let someone take advantage of me like that.

I feel so foolish for having the house that I do.  Quite a few Belizeans got a fair amount of work (money) to help build it.  And now it’s either like pulling teeth for help or they are quick to try to take advantage of me now.  I would do just about anything for that money to be back in my own pocket right now and not theirs.

A species of caterpillar that sometimes attacks my citrus seedlings.  Someone told me they call it the bird poop caterpillar

My paralegal texted me.  Apparently, it took a lot of negotiating with the Labor Department but he has secured a work permit for me for $500 USD for 12 months.  That will mean that I don’t have to go to Belize immigration every month anymore at a cost of $100 USD a month (or $1,200 USD a year).  [In the coming months this would all be revealed as a lie.  I was being screwed by another Belizean.]

After a late breakfast I ended up accidentally falling asleep on the hammock.  I did hear a few rain showers during this time.  As I was still contemplating the Agricultural fair at that time my frustrations had really zapped my motivation.  In the interest of being productive I eventually grabbed my machete and chopped at the river lot.  If there is one good thing about chopping is that it keeps you busy and distracted.

I went to bed kind of late because I wrote a blog post called I trust no one.

A species of caterpillar that regularly attacks my Soursop seedling trees

May 27
Life in the Jungle: I started my morning finishing my blog post called I trust no one.

In the middle of that Nery called to let me know my 4×4 posts for my greenhouse had arrived at the hardware store.  (The hardware store didn’t have my phone number.)  So, I biked up to pay and make arrangements for delivery.  By the time I reached home the delivery guy was right behind me.

After the delivery it rained on and off.  In between the short rain showers, I attempted to cut the 4×4 posts into square 8ft lengths.  All 20 posts were random lengths.  Even with rain I was getting some work done until there was a country wide power outage.  And before dark arrived, I had to move all the posts behind the house to stack them under a tree to prevent any warpage from the sun tomorrow.  This was a frustrating job as these posts were pretty heavy and I will need to carry them back to the front of the house to be cut at a later time.

During the rain and power outage I wrote another blog post titled, The elephant in my room.

Belize Part 26 (May 17 to 21)

Belize Part 25 (May 7 to 16)

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.

Nery – a local in the area that helps me with certain projects when needed.  A very knowledgeable guy originally from El Salvador. He teaching 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

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