Life in the jungle: I slept in as planned. Today I made two trips to the village. The first one to pick up my cans of paint that I had left at Verna Mae’s the other week and the second trip was for groceries.
After lunch, I was going to head to the ponds to stake out all the places where I had planted papaya seeds last week. But I got distracted by my seedling bags by the house. My seedling bags are in a bit of a mess from planting all the soursops and lime seedlings in the coconut field last week. I also planted about a dozen more lemon seeds that Verna Mae gave me this morning. After doing a rush clean up of my seed bags I headed to the ponds. I was hoping to cut the grass there also but the day ran out on me.
I got a glimpse of a Tropical Racer snake and a Black-tailed Cribo snake. Unfortunately, I had no chance of catching either snake. I also saw that a social media follower identified a beetle photo that I posted earlier as a titan beetle which is apparently worth hundreds of dollars to collectors.
A Titan beetle
Life in the jungle: I slept in longer than anticipated this morning. And by the time I finished my late breakfast my morning was lost. I started my day getting my waterline into the coconut field running. I think there is another leak further in the line but finding that leak will have to wait. The second faucet is not a priority. I cut and capped the pipe just past the first faucet.
I now have running water in the coconut field should I need it
From there I headed to the ponds with the lawnmower and cut the grass. I also cut a section of grass at the house. I then cleaned up the coconut tree that I had to cut down the other week. My last job of the day was pulling the forms off the greenhouse footing cement job from the other week.
The titan beetle from yesterday stuck around and I recaught the Yucatan Banded gecko in the tool room from last month.
Yucatan Banded gecko
Life in the jungle: I woke up coughing. I think I have been coughing for almost two months now, at least it feels like that long. It was an extremely hot and very humid day. I started my day chopping in the coconut field. I am very behind on the maintenance of the coconut field. After breakfast I started working on my watermelon greenhouse. I haven’t worked on that in close to a month. I got a fair bit done on it today. Because of my recent late starts I find myself working into the dark every night. No rain again. My trees need rain badly.
Building a raised flower bed inside my watermelon greenhouse
Life in the jungle: I sort of slept in again. This sleeping in has me feeling pretty lazy. In my defense I woke up in the night all stuffed up. But tomorrow I start setting my alarm again. It seemed like a very humid morning out there. Fortunately, I was inspired to do a little writing, therefore I wasn’t out there in the heat and humidity. We had two short rain showers while I wrote the piece.
A good part of my day was somehow lost. I took some time to photograph a yellow tree frog and the banded gecko I recaught from the other month. I also photographed some type of weevil I caught last night.
When I finally did get working, I continued working on my watermelon greenhouse filling the raised growing beds with dirt. We had a nice rain shower before dark and some rain this evening. My allergies were acting up and my Jack-ass bitters (drink) did not seem to help.
Yellow tree frog
Life in the jungle: I set my alarm this morning but I just couldn’t get out of my hammock. Another morning wasted and it was a breezy morning. A perfect morning to work, if I had been working. I had to go up to the village. I figured I might as well get that out of the way.
I caught my first green-headed tree snake at the bottom of my stairs on my way out. I have seen a few of these guys around as they are quite common but this was my first capture since my arrival to Belize. Getting back from the village I finished filling my watermelon greenhouse grow boxes with dirt except for the last few inches of black dirt I want to add after I hammered in some reinforcement stakes against the walls. From there I fixed two leaky eavestroughs on the house and then I gave under the house a quick organizing and sweep. Other than a quick rain shower this morning, overall perfect weather.
Green-headed tree snake
This evening I sent a final text message to James this paralegal guy who has “supposedly” been helping me. Except I have not heard from him in over a month. I can’t figure him out. He is friends with Jack and Jill but has still offered to help and did help me with some things but all of a sudden stop communicating with me when it was time to get some of these lingering issues out of the way. He was helping me with my tourist license, which I believe he did. He incorporated my business, I think. [He never did.] He supposedly got a letter of approval from the Labor Department in Belmopan for my work permit [he never did] and that’s when he stopped communicating. And supposedly he is supposed to get my land deeds this month. [Once again, he never did.] Unless I hear from him by tomorrow, I am assuming he is trying to screw me over. [He is.]
I hate to generalize, but this is “typical Belizean.” When it comes to outright trust. I trust virtually no one in this country. What I mean is I have about 5 people I can trust for small things, but when it comes to things that only certain people can help me with you can’t trust anyone in this entire country. And when you come to that realization it’s hard to feel bad for people dealing with third-world challenges. Their society chooses how important honor and honesty and commitment to their word is to them. And in my experience that is less than 5 in 100 people here are honest. I am familiar with three societies overall, Canada, the US and Belize. And when I see the challenges and what going wrong in these individual countries, I see each country getting exactly what they deserve. It simply reinforces my choices to avoid as many people in this life as possible.
Before bed, I drafted an email to the Labor Department in order to clarify if there is any point in moving forward with my work permit assuming that I won’t hear back from James. I have already been in Belize for over 8 months and after 12 months I can start to apply for residency.
Green-headed tree snake
Life in the jungle: My morning started by finally getting up early. Except I still got a late start. I received a text from the electric company yesterday to expect an all-day power outage today. An early breakfast seemed prudent. After breakfast, I headed to the ponds. The edges of the pond and slopes require chopping so that the vegetation doesn’t get out of hand. I also needed to do a retake on an intro video for the new social media short video project that I have been recently working on. The ponds offer a good backdrop for videos. About two seconds after I finished a video-take a fairly heavy thunder shower hit. Hard enough on my way back to the house, I had rain water running down the crack of my ass.
Arriving back at the house I wrote the blog post I don’t care anymore. At least this thunder shower was strong enough that my seedlings got a sufficient watering. I found myself in my hammock after writing the post and sleeping for a few hours. Upon my waking the rain started up again. So much for getting any more outdoor work done.
I spent the rest of the afternoon calculating and figuring out my zinc roof requirements for the greenhouse and apartment. The plan is to replace sections of old zinc off my house with a new roof (zinc). And then cut the old pieces to fit the greenhouse and apartment.
It took me a while to get this right as numbers and measurements are not my strong suit. I have calculated that I need to replace 2 sections (of 5 sections) of my roof and that will cover what needs covering for the greenhouse and apartment. I also did a rough layout to figure out my electrical outlet needs in the greenhouse and apartment.
My mulberry produced his first fruit
By the end of the day, I never got a response from James. If a “paralegal” has no obligation to fulfill his word in this country then who does? Before bed, I sent last night’s email draft to the Labor Department regarding my work permit. And I ended up going to bed after midnight as a result of being motivated to complete my electrical drawings for an electrician Orlando knows. [At this time, I have never bothered to finish the apartment inside beyond the exterior.] And the power outage the electric company promised today never happened.
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.
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. I call that my river lot.
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