Life in the jungle: I started my morning as usual chopping in the coconut field. I ended up disturbing a nest of large wasps. I never got stung but I had a wasp come at me. He buzzed around me like a drone. I kept swinging at him with my machete but he was able to keep just out of reach. Until he made his move and dived on me. I swung at him with my machete and hit him like a baseball. I could hear him ping off the machete. I stayed out in the field longer than usual. I only have about half a dozen coconut trees to clean and the coconut field is complete.
Man, these things freak me out.
After lunch, I went up to the village. Somehow, I didn’t get back home until late in the afternoon and that was my day shot. I lost another baby chick last night and 3 more today. I started with 16 chicks’ losing one to stress on the first day and now I have lost 10 to some animal. I assume a hawk. Other than redesigning and rebuilding the pen I don’t know how to fix this. More grief, more work, and more expense. I had so much work to do this afternoon and nothing was accomplished. The road is drying up. Only two very brief rain sprinkles this morning.
Life in the jungle: This morning being Sunday I was determined to keep my Sabbath. I just first needed to have a visit with Wayne to see if had any recent contact with James our paralegal. He was in the same boat as me – no news. During my visit, we had a short rain shower. They are now calling for a Tropical Storm Lisa to hit sometime Tuesday.
I started to read Waking the Dead by John Eldredge. John Eldredge is probably my favorite author. I have most of his books and it’s probably been over 10 years since I read this book. John’s writing has easily had the most influence on my biblical theology. When I used to drive a truck, I would listen to his podcast very regularly. I basically read all day today.
Walking the Dead by John Eldredge
Later in the afternoon I took 10 minutes and planted about 25 lemon seeds.
Life in the jungle: Today I took a trip to the city to visit the Supreme Court to see if I could get any information about my land deeds. I discovered no Will (from Melford Hendy) has ever been submitted. For all intent and purposes, I have no land deeds whatsoever for all my land. I was expecting 3 deeds. I think it’s safe to say I am now that guy you read about in the news who has been scammed every which way. The difference is that I have pretty much given up caring.
Getting home I was very busy. Tropical Storm Lisa has now been upgraded to a hurricane and is on its way. I for the 15th time (give or take) primed my waterline to pump water into my vat. That’s 14 times (give or take) too many. I also added a second one-way valve on the end of my pipe. It’s hard to be hopeful that this will solve my water pump problems. From there I cut most of my lawn. Now if there is any flooding this week the grass is cut.
This evening I cut open a papaya that I bought last week and started prepping the seeds by squeezing the jelly sack that surrounds the seed. I don’t even like papaya but I am determined to grow 100’s of plants by the ponds. [The future planting of these seeds would be another failed attempt at growing papayas.] The moon phase for planting starts as soon as this hurricane is over. I worked on the papaya seeds while I watched All Is Lost (the movie). Except for me not getting wet (in Belize) that movie is a perfect analogy for my life.
Life in the jungle: I slept in which is not cool the day before a hurricane. The first thing I did was a laundry and then I planted some pomegranate seeds that had been soaking. I had to go to the village hardware store for a bolt that had loosened and dropped off the lawnmower yesterday afternoon. That’s when we got a little bit of rain. Upon my return to the house, I cut the grass at the ponds. Now all my grass is cut and one less job to fall behind in if things are wet or flooded after this hurricane. I found some fresh mountain lion scat at the ponds.
Mountain lion scat at the ponds.
After the grass was cut, I installed hurricane hangers that I purchased weeks ago for the outdoor kitchen roof and the chicken coop. It seemed like a smart idea to finally get that job finished. This evening I finished extracting papaya seeds. This evening Hurricane Lisa was also predicted to be a strong Category 1 or possibly a weak Category 2. Before going to bed it started to rain and thunder could be heard in the distance. So, it begins?
Life in the jungle: When I woke up it wasn’t raining. But it didn’t take long to begin raining. I mainly organized notes on my computer. As soon as things are back to normal after this hurricane, I need to see a lawyer. I also started organizing my expenses. I keep track of all the money I spend every day. If I can get internet installed in a week or two then I can get a job. I need to figure out a budget to figure out how many hours to work at a potential job. But I couldn’t complete this task as I needed to download all of this year’s bank statements.
I then wrote Belize blog posts Part 49 and 50.
In the early afternoon, the power went out. That didn’t take long. Once it started raining it never stopped. The winds were slow to pick up, but eventually they did. But by mid-afternoon, I wouldn’t say they were terribly strong. But I did hear a tree or a branch crack in the distance. It didn’t take long before I heard a crack much closer to the house. A good-sized tree behind the house came down. Fortunately, it missed the house and outdoor kitchen hearth.
I so much wanted to get into my rain gear and walk outside in the middle of a hurricane but there wasn’t anywhere to walk that I wouldn’t be at risk for a tree falling on my head. Instead, I watched from my porch until I started to get wet from the wind.
The News confirmed that Hurricane Lisa made landfall approximately 10 miles south of Belize City at 3:15 PM. Lisa made landfall with maximum sustained winds of 85mph. A State of Emergency was declared for Belize and Stann Creek Districts.
At 8 PM the curiosity was too much. I went outside with a flashlight. The front yard was in total carnage of fallen trees everywhere. Almost as bad as it was during Hurricane Richard in 2010 that I went through. There will be weeks of yard work ahead of me. Check out Belize blog post 51 for photos of the mess.
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.