October 4
Life in the Jungle: Waiting for a load of gravel to be delivered I planted seedlings in the coconut field.  Saul from the village brought me a yard of gravel from the hardware store.  He also brought me some lumber for my next hen house.  The yard of gravel was for my apartment septic trench.  With the gravel delivered, I got most of the apartment septic system completed.  I had the final pipe to install and caulk into place.  Tomorrow when the caulking is dry, I will complete the backfilling of the trench.

Apartment septic bed

Afterward, I went back to planting seedlings in the coconut field.  In total I planted 12 soursops, 5 local limes, my first 7 lemon, and 4 ice cream bean seedlings.  The watermelon plants in my watermelon greenhouse are coming along very slowly (unfortunately).  I had a really nice cantaloupe plant coming along but some insect bit the stem in half.  It’s very frustrating.  [My watermelon plants eventually got sick and died.]  The ground continues to dry fast.

October 5
Life in the Jungle: There is nothing better in life than hitting the snooze button over and over in the morning.  Once up and about I went to the ponds and planted 2 jackfruit seedlings, my one and only Maumee seedling and only star apple seedling, and my first 5 Custard apple seedlings.  I also did some chopping.  There’s nothing better in life than having a nap in the afternoon.  So, I took one.  No rain again today.

A jackfruit, papaya and star apple seedling

October 6
Life in the Jungle: This morning I had my rescheduled online work permit interview.  I biked up to Bermudian Landing to ensure I had the best internet signal.

“Hi, how are you?”
“Hi, fine. How are you?”
“Good. So, your business is a bed and breakfast?”
“No, it’s an Airbnb.”
“Can you spell that?”
“A-i-r-b-n-b.  You have never heard of the platform?”
“Yes. Were you able to upload your last passport stamp extension?”
“Yes, I tried like 15 times and for some reason right before our meeting it finally uploaded successfully.”
“Yes, I see it here.  OK, I think we have everything. I will work on your application and it should go before the review committee next week.”
“That’s it?”
“Yes, thank you. Goodbye”

And that was my important work permit online meeting.  That being said if I had not gone up to Bermudian Landing, I probably would never have been able to upload my last passport extension stamp.  [I never heard from the Labor Department again.  But I didn’t care because by then I decided I no longer wanted to have any kind of business in this country anymore.]

Now that the first part of my day was shot.  Getting home I released my hens and rooster out of their coop for the very first time. They hung pretty close to the coop and went back into the coop at the end of the day with no problem.

Before I left for my meeting, I attempted to fix my water pump and line for a third time in a matter of weeks.  But this time the line was completely drained of water.  Way back in the beginning when I first installed my water line back in January, I installed a brass check valve on the end of the last pipe section that ran into the river.  That valve turned out to be faulty.  I tried a different type of valve that only worked (for the longest time) as long as I turned the pump on every morning for at least a minute (to keep the pipes/line full of water).  And every once in a while, water would drain out of the line requiring a repriming of the pump until a few weeks ago the water would now drain randomly for no given reason (???).  This afternoon I finally installed a second new brass check valve that I have been holding onto for over half a year.  This had better fix this very irritating problem once and for good.

I spent the rest of the afternoon chopping in the coconut field and cutting stakes to stake more seedlings in the coconut field.  I feel like I am almost 90% finished chopping and staking in the coconut field.  No rain today again, but we had a very light shower last night.  My allergies were super bad all of a sudden today for no apparent reason.

Banded Garden Spider

October 7
Life in the jungle: I woke up to an overcast and a threatening to rain any moment sky.  Even though I felt like I slept pretty good last night with severely stuffed-up sinuses I was exhausted this morning.  Taking a moment in my hammock somehow turned into a nap.  For the last week, I have actually been sleeping better than I did since my insomnia for all of September.  But this change and this overcast weather zapped me of any energy I should have had.  And then after lunch when I started to get myself into gear a real rain shower hit.  We had a good little downpour over the next hour.

I couldn’t believe it but my water pump and waterline were drained of water after pulling everything apart yesterday.  I can’t believe how much effort I have put into the waterline and still have problems.  I pulled everything apart again.  The river bank is very slippery with fresh slippery mud from the river level dropping.  Upon inspection of the brass one-way valve, I discovered a nut.  There is/was nothing to suggest that this nut should be adjusted but I have no other options.  I adjusted it, put everything back together, refilled the waterline, and re-primed the water pump.  If this doesn’t work, I have no more ideas.  I am at a loss of words for how much time I waste on any given day.  For all intents and purposes, I accomplished basically nothing today.

It is mind-boggling how many challenges, tribulations, wasted time, and money I have experienced over the last 10 months here in Belize.  The important thing is what am I learning.  What have I learned?  Who knows.

October 8
Life in the jungle: I fell asleep fine last night but I woke up in the middle of the night and stayed awake a long time.  Last night I also started a blog post about my first year living in Belize.  Something tells me that was a contributing factor in my inability to fall back asleep.  It rained fairly heavily through the night last night.

I started my morning at the ponds.  I finished chopping one side of the far mound.  I chopped the first half of the mound when I planted the custard apple seedlings the other day.  After a late breakfast, I went into the bush to chop some wooden stakes for the seedlings in the coconut field.  That was until a rain shower hit.  I worked until my hands ended up getting so wet that I couldn’t maintain a grip on my machete.  Returning home, I decided to call it a day for any more outside work.  Tropical Storm Julia which hit Nicaragua has turned into a hurricane.  This is where all the recent rain is coming from and they are calling for a fair amount of rain more until Monday.  It turned out to be a good call to call it a day.  It rained on and off most of the rest of the afternoon.  After all that work yesterday my water pump is not pumping water.  I don’t want to think about pumping water anymore.  This is a problem that has technically lingered for almost 9 months now.

It’s very difficult to be motivated for anything.  I forced myself to write some more for my book.  I wrote 1,900 words and completed a first draft of Chapter #5 The Prairies and the Badlands.  I noticed earlier today that there seemed to be fewer chicks visible.  I wasn’t sure if that was because they were hiding from the rain.  When I locked them in the hen house, I only counted 10 chicks.  That means 5 chicks got eaten by something today?  Likely a hawk.  That’s a lot of chicks to disappear in one day, I think.  The grief never ends.

Red Rump Tarantula

Belize Part 46 (Sept 30 to Oct 3)

Belize Part 47 (Sept 21 to 29)

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.

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 a 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.

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