On November 2nd Hurricane Lisa hit and I have been basically without power since then. Check Belize Blog post #53 for more hurricane details.
Life in the jungle: The power shut off at 10 PM last night and then Insomnia hit but I still managed to wake up early this morning. This morning I headed to the ponds with my chainsaw. I removed the 3 downed coconut trees from Hurricane Lisa.
After breakfast I became overcome by exhaustion and took a 3 ½ hour nap. Later in the afternoon I cut grass. While watering my papaya seeds this evening, I discovered my first new papaya seedlings. The power came on at 6 PM and went off just after 7 PM. No rain again today.
Life in the jungle: There was a little rain late in the night. Insomnia didn’t exactly hit me but it was after midnight before I fell asleep. This morning I gave the chicken coop a quick cleaning and then I staked four leaning coconut trees in the front yard (leaning from the hurricane). This afternoon I finished cutting the grass. Except for the burn piles everything has cleaned up nicely. I then went to the village for groceries. Not that I have many options with no power. In the interest of variety, I got a pack of hotdogs. I will eat half the pack for supper and the other half for breakfast tomorrow. Just like I used to do on my bike ride (without a fridge).
The power did go on from about 4 PM to 6 PM. No rain today. Because of last night’s rain I skipped on watering my papayas today.
Staking and straightening leaning coconut trees
Life in the jungle: Trouble sleeping last night led to a late morning this morning. I started my morning weed wacking. I actually haven’t weed wacked in many months. It’s kind of a miserable, hot sweaty job to do in the tropics. Because it’s been a few months I gave the machine a once-over. I discovered the primer bulb is leaking! How do you fix that?
Hopefully in a few days I have a bag of cement being delivered. I would like to complete my greenhouse perimeter and finish this job I started a few months back. So, I spent sometime cleaning around the greenhouse perimeter which was also the main area I weed wacked.
The power came on after 10 AM but turned off at 3 PM. What good does that do me? At 3 PM it also started to rain. That didn’t really help much either.
I had made a note to myself about checking my eavestroughs after the hurricane to clean them out of debris. The rain shower reminded to check them. Which was a good idea as they were pretty full of debris. The power came back on at 6 PM and then went off at 7:30 PM. So far these on/off power surges have burned out 2 light bulbs and wrecked 2 GFCI outlets. There was more rain tonight.
Today I wrote the poem Don’t remind me of what can never be.
A Cane Toad
Life in the jungle: There was rain last night. Things are wet. So, this morning I did a little computer work until I completely drained my computer battery as I am now on day 17 with no power. I organized some of my notes and discovered a few lost poems from last year to be posted to my website (whenever I get an internet connection). I also did a proofreading and made edits to my letter to the Attorney Generals office regarding my complaint against my paralegal and Justice of the Peace who has been screwing me over for the last year.
After lunch, it rained. So, I fixed some punctured bike tubes. After the rain stopped, I fixed an eavestrough issue and then did some yard work. I am now ready to finish the greenhouse perimeter foundation as soon as a bag of cement arrives.
My smallest chick was eaten this afternoon, probably by a hawk. He was always my concern when I let them all run loose. Only three chicks left. On a positive note, almost every day there is a new egg left in one of the nest boxes from one of my hens. Also, at first, I didn’t believe I would see a behavior change but many of my chicken’s roost on the nesting boxes making a mess with their shit. Verna Mae said at night you just lift them to their proper roost and tell them “Not to roost there anymore.” It seems to be working. At this moment I still have 2 stubborn chickens but one moves to the roost as soon as I come into the coop and one makes me lift her to the roost. But neither return to the nesting boxes after I leave the coop.
The power came on for a few hours late this afternoon. Right after I peeled a potato for supper for the frying pan the power went out.
Mexican Burrowing Toad
Life in the jungle: Today is Sunday. I spent the better part of the entire day continuing to read Desire by John Eldredge. Because a chick was eaten yesterday, I left the 3 last chicks in their hen house only letting them out at 4 PM to scratch and pick for an hour. Day 18 with no power.
John Eldredge – Desire
Over the last few days, I have come to realize a mystery that at the moment I have no answer for. Every day for over a week, the power comes on for a few hours. I could not explain why. The timing is always random. But whenever the power comes on the generator from Jack and Jill’s cabana can be heard running. And it seems (though I can’t confirm every time) that the start of the generator coincides with a visit from Jill’s helper from the village. Somehow, I am getting power from their generator (???). The power was on for about three hours tonight.
Life in the jungle: I woke up early enough this morning but I did not get out of my hammock. It had rained last night and was overcast and cool this morning. I have no (regular) job and none of my problems are going anywhere. Staying wrapped up in a blanket only made sense.
When I got in gear I decided to work on my book. It has been many, many weeks since I have done any writing, largely thanks to this power outage. I was able to write 1,900 words finishing the Vancouver section plus the first 900 words for Vancouver Island before my laptop battery became drained.
During my writing, Jill’s helpers showed up and the power went on for about 2 minutes and that was it. I guess that means no power today and who knows if again. I messaged the power company for an update. They replied – hopefully by the end of the week. That’s over 3 weeks without power!!!
Later I headed to the village. Through Verna Mae, it was confirmed that what little power I had received over the last week and a bit had come from Jill’s generator. Somehow the generator was hooked up to service her, Wayne, and me. But that was too much strain and today the generator finally burned out.
Overcast and light on and off rain during the day and rain tonight. With no laptop entertainment tonight, I am reading Will to Win by Robert Herjavec.
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.