Life in the jungle: Orlando and Joseph showed up this morning. We replaced the larger section of the house roof with the new zinc roofing that was delivered the other week. We got lucky with no rain all day. After they left, I cleaned everything up and planted 11 jackfruit seedlings at the ponds along with collecting 2 wheelbarrow loads of coconuts. It was dark and raining by the time I got indoors for the evening.
*** The purpose for replacing the roof off the house is to use the old roofing on the apartment and front entrance of the greenhouse. Instead of buying brand new roofing for the apartment and greenhouse.
Life in the jungle: Last night’s check of the weather app told me that I would be sitting in front of the computer today. And my prediction was right. It rained all day. I started by writing Belize blog posts Part 33, 34 and 35. I then started working on some more edits on Chapter 1 of my book when I realized at shortly after 4 PM the rain had stopped. So, to get out of the house I headed outside and did some yard work including planting a whole bunch of crepe ginger cuttings by my front gate entrance.
Before and After. The first photo shows crepe ginger cuttings. The second photo is the same spot a year later in 2023. I plant a lot of crepe ginger because the plant grows like weed but has attractive flowers and is great for filling up space that borders fence lines etc.
Crepe ginger flowers
Today was the release of my new social media short video and reel project. Jordan (my web guy) says his goal is to grow my social media base to 100K Followers. That’s crazy. The deal is that they want to use my life in Belize as a case study (or proof of concept) that they can use for corporate clients to sell them on expensive social media projects for their companies. [After about 4 months they would abandon this project.]
Life in the jungle: A very hectic day. Orlando and Joseph showed up this morning to work. We replaced a second section of the roof over my master bedroom. We then built the rafters for the apartment. And after that, we framed the front room of the greenhouse.
Replacing a section of bedroom roofing
This evening it was a race to the hardware store, lumber store and grocery store. I was able to get all the necessary hardware materials but they are out of stock on the lumber needed for the front room and roof of the greenhouse. I got home just before dark. No rain today.
Life in the jungle: Orlando, Joseph and I spent the entire day putting a roof on the apartment. It’s looking good. I was coughing (again) all day. No rain again today.
Progress on the apartment
Life in the jungle: After my trip to the grocery store, Saul’s son Isaac came by on a tractor with 30 rice sacks full of black dirt. That ended up dictating my project for the day. I finished building my watermelon greenhouse by filling the planting boxes with some of the delivered dirt. I can’t even remember how many months back I started that project. I was always waiting for the lumber from Saul. And then I was waiting for the black dirt to fill the planting boxes. No rain again today.
Progress on my watermelon greenhouse
Life in the jungle: Last night I couldn’t decide my plans for today. This morning I still couldn’t decide my plans for today. This is not a good mindset for me to be in. I have too much work to do. The bulk of my day was doing small odd jobs around the house. At one point I was going to paint. That’s what I was thinking about doing early on, but the sky was funny-looking. And we did get a little bit of rain. I thought I might chop in the coconut field because I was way behind on that job. What I did do is I decided to dig the trench to run a water line from the house to the greenhouse. I have to run 2 PVC pipes. One for drinking water (for the apartment) and the second for utility water. I got the trench dug, pipes laid and trench filled all right before dark. Tomorrow, I need to buy the fittings to connect the pipes to the house water lines.
Mexican Burrowing Toad – one of my favorite amphibians
Life in the jungle: Of all nights, last night insomnia hit me until 2 AM. Belize City was hot as usual. I have no idea how people can live in a city in a hot climate. There is to be no escape from the heat in the city. I mainly needed construction supplies. I also visited the Labor Department for my work permit approval letter. I also went to the Belize Tourism Board office. Over 2 weeks have passed since I first met my area rep and no communication from them afterwards. It turns out I have another area rep taking over my file who should have reached out to me by now. [No one at the tourism office would reach out to me for almost a year after this visit only to tell me that my tourist license was denied. By then I had long closed my Airbnb. How dysfunctional is a Ministry that it takes almost a year to reach out about my status?]
I found some passion fruits at the market for $1.50 USD a pound and I bought a cantaloupe at $.75 USD a pound. Since I am planning to plant watermelon seeds shortly, I should also plant some cantaloupe. My city trips are much busier as I now use the stronger internet signal to upload all my video clips to Dropbox for my social media team to access and edit. Because uploading takes time and organizing to keep everything straight most of my day is now about multitasking between shopping and uploading.
My road as a mess
Getting home I got straight to work. I connected the greenhouse water lines that I laid and buried yesterday to the main water lines under the house. And I cut the grass around the house and greenhouse.
I discovered a birds nest in my pink hibiscus. The next day the spiny tail iguanas would also discover the nest, and that was the end of that.
Life in the jungle: Only Joseph came this morning. We spent most of the day completing the framing of the apartment, mainly the bathroom walls and window frames, plus a few missing 2×4 studs. Everything is ready for the plycem (exterior wall boards) that are being delivered tomorrow. After Joseph left, I almost completed framing the front room of the greenhouse. A full day. I worked right into the dark.
Life in the jungle: Only Orlando came this morning. I was expecting an early delivery of construction materials to be delivered that didn’t show up until late morning. In the meantime, Orlando and I basically completed the framing for the greenhouse’s front entrance and the greenhouse itself. It ended up being a very rainy day and the rain started right after the construction materials arrived. Even with all the rain we still managed to get close to half of the exterior plycem up on the apartment. I worked right until dark as usual.
Greenhouse front entrance
There was lots more rain tonight. The forecast is calling for more rain tomorrow. I think I will be working on writing my book tomorrow.
Life in the jungle: It started raining last night and never stopped until after lunch today. Much of the country in this area got a lot of flooding.
I dragged my morning a bit. I had planned to get back to writing my book. After organizing some recent receipts, I finally got down to writing/organizing Chapter 2 – Atlantic Canada. I didn’t get too far into it before the rain stopped. I needed to take a trip to the hardware store to pay for yesterday’s construction material delivery and I needed more nails for tomorrow.
The road is pretty badly flooded and in rough shape. I need to spend some time chopping along the road. When I got back home, I took a short walk through the coconut field. With all the rain I wanted to check on the seedlings I recently planted. The coconut field is also in desperate need of some chopping. So much work to do! Getting back to the house I got back to work on Chapter 2. Once I get started with the writing it’s actually not too bad.
Life in the jungle: I saw my banded gecko in the tool room again. I heard him the other day. Some species of geckos make a sound that actually sounds like a screaming baby.Only Orlando showed up. We finished getting all the plycem up on the apartment walls, exterior and interior bathroom walls. We then hung the door which gave us a bit of grief, but we got her basically hung. No rain today.
Installing the plycem
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’s house and has a few cows on his remaining 17 acres of land.
Orlando & Joseph – Orlando is an older gentleman from the village and Joseph is technically one of my closest neighbors living just across the river. These are the guys I now call on when I need construction help. They kind of work as a team but sometimes only or the other shows up when I call.
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 an 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, vines, weeds and unwanted trees