Life in the jungle: One year ago, today I arrived at my home in Belize from my two year bike ride. What a year from hell. You can read a condensed breakdown of my last year blog post about my year HERE.
Last night I got almost no sleep and then had to get up at 6 AM from my passport stamp in Belmopan. I don’t get stamped in Belize City anymore. The stress and anxiety from that office are not worth it. Better to waste my day and go to Belmopan. But last night I started thinking about the $100 USD extension stamps and how utterly expensive they are. A Google search says that going to Mexico or Guatemala is only a $20 USD exit fee. If I went to one of those countries for a few days I wouldn’t necessarily save money (hotel fees and transportation costs). But I would get a million times more value for my money. [I would learn in the future Belize Immigration would continue to screw me to get their $100 USD a month even if I left the country.]
My passport wait at immigration was 25 minutes with about the same time required for processing and just like last time – no stress, no grief, and no fuss at the Belmopan office. The hassle came later. Today is Friday; the worst day of the week to be in the city. Because of the extra travel time to Belmopan, I was stuck on the 3:30 PM bus home. I got to and on the bus at exactly 3:29 PM. I got the last seat and before the bus was out of the city the bus aisle was crammed. I suspect few people can appreciate an old school bus so full of people that the standing people can’t move. Anyway, I gave up my seat for a woman and got stuck standing for the hour-long bus ride to the village.
When I got home the power was ON! Twenty-three days with no power. I am certain I was the last person in the country restored since Hurricane Lisa on November 2nd. I was utterly exhausted by the time I got into my hammock in the evening.
Life in the jungle: There was some rain this morning. So, I wrote a blog post called 23 Days with No Power. After things cleared up, I planned to go to the village for groceries and the groceries (meat) that Verna Mae was holding on to for me from the power outage. I discovered my bike had a flat tire. I have gotten a few flat tires recently. But it was while I was changing the tire tube that I had an interesting encounter.
A dog showed up out of nowhere. She came up to me very submissive but almost desperate to be petted. Which I did. I messaged Wayne to see if it was his dog. He said no. I also learned from Wayne that the mountain lion I saw a few weeks ago had killed both of Jill’s dogs. Anyways, back to this mystery dog. After I petted her, she seemed determined to be my dog. When I finally left for the village, she wined at me from the yard. Shortly afterward she was behind me on the road. I yelled that I could only feed her if she stuck around. When I returned home about an hour and a half later, she was waiting for me on my porch.
She just showed up out of the jungle
As there wasn’t much of the day left, I did an assortment of jobs. My first priority was to prime my waterline and top up my water vat. Job #2 was to repair 2 sections of my barbed wire fence from where some large branches had dropped on the fence line. My final job was I needed to re-stake a coconut tree that I had staked the other day because it was leaning badly from the hurricane. The whole time this dog rarely left my porch. She mostly laid on my doormat in front of my front door. A few times she even wined when I was walking away from the house. This dog is convinced she is mine. She is well-behaved, doesn’t bark, and did not cause any concern around the chickens, particularly the chicks. I wonder if she was surprised, she got fed dog food tonight even though I have never had a dog in Belize. (I bought a small bag in the village on the off chance she stuck around). If she was from the village, she would have simply followed me to the village and gone home. As I type this she is sleeping outside the front door on the deck. I kind of hope no one is looking for her even though owning a dog was not in my forcible future.
Life in the jungle: Today is Sunday, my day to do nothing. It rained last night and a bit this morning. “My dog” was waiting on the other side of my front door this morning.
I finished reading Desire by John Eldredge and after I finished, I started reading Walking with God also by John. As I have said, I am a fan of John Eldredge.
Desire finished & Waking the Dead started
Life in the jungle: I had to go to the city today. “My dog” followed me down the road. I yelled at her to turn around thee times. The last time I saw her, she stopped near the edge of the village.
It was a fairly busy day for me in the city. I need to get moving on my residency. The first visit was to a medical clinic. I got myself set to return on Wednesday for my blood tests. I then attempted to find a particular lawyer in the city to set up an appointment to discuss my legal troubles but couldn’t find the office. Overall, a heck of a lot of walking today.
I also needed some hardware to keep my dog secured in my yard during my city trips. I had every expectation to see her on my porch on my return home as she returned easily enough on Saturday when I went to the village. But she wasn’t there. She never returned. Throughout the rest of the day, I would regularly look up from what I was doing hoping she would come running over. In the evening I looked out my window a few times. Any outdoor noise had me looking out the window. Nothing.
Later in the afternoon today, Saul from the village made two deliveries of cement blocks. I need to rebuild my hen house pens from hawks eating my chicks. He also removed a 30 foot tree trunk from the yard from the hurricane. He cut it up in large pieces and dragged it into the bush with his tractor. I was impressed by the lack of yard damage created by a tractor running over the grass multiple times.
It was a nice tree at one time
This evening I wrote Awake my heart. Awake my soul.
I wonder if when I wake up tomorrow morning my dog will be sleeping outside my front door.
Life in the jungle: No dog this morning. The first job was to reinforce my staked coconut trees in the front yard. The other week I had staked five large young coconut trees that were leaning badly from wind damage. At the time I used string to secure the trees to the posts. Today I reinforced with wire and protective hose (for where the wire wrapped around the trunk of the tree). The second job I tackled was to build a gate for my yard that would keep “my dog” in, if she ever comes back. But I don’t think she’s coming back. If only I had the materials a day earlier.
If only I had the materials to make this gate the other day
After lunch I dismantled my chicken pen that surrounds my hen house. It was a lot more work building the pen than taking it down. Then I started rebuilding the pen by starting to lay a perimeter of cement blocks (that were delivered yesterday). I have to rebuild the pen to properly protect the chicks from hawks. One of my hens started to “sit” on a dozen eggs today. She has been on and off the eggs since Saturday.
Rebuilding the coop from the ground up
I was feeling lazy and tired tonight, but I actually have more work than I can image. In the interest of being productive and not watching a movie I forced myself to write Belize blog posts numbers 54, 55 and 56. I actually have over 50 assort blog posts written and basically ready for publishing. They just need a last proof read and photos picked and added for the posts specific to day-to-day Belize living.
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 LS����