November 3
Life in the jungle:
I woke up at 6 AM and did a walk around.  The yard is a complete disaster with many mature trees down.  The river lot is basically decimated.  Virtually every mature tree is destroyed.  Besides debris, only two large trees in the coconut field went down.  No fence breach with Wayne’s cows.  At the ponds, three large coconut trees went down plus debris.  The road was blocked multiple times by young trees.  I was able to clear a path for the bike all the way up to the village.  Because I am by myself, I suspect months of cleanup, but we will see.

Hurricane Lisa damage in the backyard

Still no power, plus no internet or phone.  As weird as it sounds with so much cleaning up to do.  Once I cleaned around the immediate area of the house of debris, I went into the coconut field and planted trees.  Based on the current moon phase I only have a few more days to plant seedlings and then I would have to wait until next month.  The hurricane has already caused a ton of grief and the mess isn’t going anywhere.  No point in losing my tree-planting window on top of everything else.  I planted 24 soursop, 15 lemons, my last 2 ice cream beans and my first 8 starfruit seedlings.  A very full day.

Hurricane Lisa damage in the backyard

With sunset at 5:22 PM, this will be a long night in the dark.  My prediction is no power for one week.  [Boy was I wrong.]  I can live without power fairly easily thanks to living on a bike and my camping stove.  But not having a running fridge sucks.  At least having a running fridge would make a big difference.  Having cold water during the day would be worth a million dollars just for that.  I can’t run my laptop as I don’t know when the power will be back on.  Better to conserve the battery for a rainy day.  With no phone/internet service no updates on when to expect power to be back on.

Hurricane Lisa damage in the backyard

November 4
Life in the jungle:
 I woke up at 6 AM this morning to rain.  Still no power or internet signal.  I spent virtually the whole day at the ponds planting.  I planted my last Jackfruit seedling, 22 Local lime, and 17 Custard apple seedlings.  I also put 5 posts in the ground to help hold up 5 large but young coconut trees that leaned over as a result of the hurricane.  Hopefully, they will recover.  I also cleaned up all the hurricane debris around the ponds.  All that’s left is to cut up the 3 mature coconut trees that fell over.  That being said cutting up busted trees in the coconut field and front yard takes priority over cutting up trees at the ponds.

This evening I discovered I have water flooding into the yard.  A quick check of the river confirmed that the river has top-galloned (or flooded its banks) again.  I also discovered that another chick has been taken so I am down to 4 chicks.  I have a new plan to protect the chicks from hawks.  Unfortunately, with the road the way it is and no power I won’t be able to build a new pen in time.  I can only keep feeding these last 4 chicks until they become hawk food.

We got phone service back but no internet.  A few brief rain showers throughout the day.  Another full day of work.

Hurricane Lisa damage in the backyard

November 5
Life in the jungle:
This morning my yard flooding is worse than a few weeks ago by multiple inches.  But still a few inches short of historical flood levels.

I was back at the ponds this morning.  Today I planted papaya seeds.  This is my third attempt to grow papaya and hopefully my last.  The first attempt was with plants I had raised myself.  But right before I planted them, they got sick with a disease called dampening.  Where the roots just rotted away.  Because I wasn’t 100% sure if they were sick, I planted them anyway.  Most died, and some are still living.  The second time I planted the seeds directly into the ground.  But I was very rushed and hoped that they would grow on their own.  I never watered them.  I don’t think any of them came up.  This time I am determined to do it right.  So, we will see.  I don’t even eat papaya.  But for some reason, I am obsessed with trying to grow them.  I planted 3 seeds together and I planted 115 bunches of seeds in total (or 3 of 4 rows along the ponds.)  I will finish the last row on Monday.  I also staked another young coconut tree at the ponds that was leaning.

At the ponds

I went up to the village.  I can live without power, but I need something cold to drink.  The jungle along the road is devastated all the way up to the village.  It’s deceiving.  You think there are all the trees in the jungle but ultimately you are looking at vines that grow from tree to tree. And then a hurricane comes through and flattens everything you wonder if there was ever a jungle.  I saw Spoonbills (birds) on my road today.

The village is possibly expecting power tomorrow.  But my power lines come from a different village on the other side of the river.  So, I am still much further down the line.  No rain today.  I think by the end of the day the river level peaked and even dropped an inch already.

Hurricane Lisa damage in the backyard

November 6
Life in the jungle:
First thing this morning I went up to the village with my cast iron pots for Verna Mae to borrow.   This morning she was planning to boil coconut oil and had returned the pot she had borrowed in the past.  Yesterday when I was in the village, she was digging out a stainless steel pot out of storage.  She would have destroyed that pot on an open flame trying to boil coconut oil.

On the back home, I stopped at the ponds and watered all the papaya seeds I planted yesterday.  Like I mentioned yesterday I am determined to make this my last attempt at planting papaya.  After that, my Sabbath started.  It’s amazing, once I came to terms with the fact that no matter how much I work I do I can’t get ahead here in Belize.  So now all I look forward to is Sundays.  A day I do nothing but read or nap.  I finished my book Waking the Dead by John Eldredge.  I actually read for a few hours last night with my headlamp.  I have now started another one of his books called The Utter Relief of Holiness.

Finished one, start the next one

The flooding in the yard continues to go down.  No rain today.  I got a text from Verna Mae at 6:30 PM.  They have power in the village.  Let’s see how many days it takes to get to my end. But still no internet signal.

November 7
Life in the jungle: I started my morning at the ponds and planted the last row of papaya seeds.  I got 43 more papaya seed groups planted.  I then planted 10 lime seedlings in the coconut field.  From there I started cleaning up hurricane debris in the coconut field.  Before it got dark, I went to the ponds to water all my papaya seeds.  Every day unless it rains, I need to set aside an hour to water my papaya seeds.  Another full day.

No rain today.  No internet and no power yet.  Apparently, everyone in the area has power but they bypassed our farm because our power lines cross the river.  Because I couldn’t fall sleep tonight I attempted to write two poems – When You Look Upon My Heart, and I Can Only Imagine.

Belize Part 51 (Oct 29 to Nov 2)

Belize Part 50 (Oct 24 to 28)

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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