Life in the jungle: Today is my Sabbath and I do nothing but read. Somehow my morning dragged out and then I ended up cleaning the bathroom and then the kitchen. They do say cleanliness is next to godliness. I did read for a bit but that led to a nap. I am currently reading Walking with God by John Eldredge. In the evening I read a tiny bit more but I also cleaned the living room. Sporadic, short but heavy rain showers throughout the day.
A good book
Life in the jungle: Last night I was hit with insomnia which screwed up my morning. Pisses me off. I cannot afford to waste my morning unnecessarily. I started my morning filling seed bags with the dirt that was delivered Saturday evening. I planted about 100 soursop seeds and 15 lemon seeds. I also filled another 50 bags with some custard apple seeds that I have had for a while now. I am soaking them for the next four days to see if that helps with germination. My success ratio is not good with custard apple seeds.
A custard apple
After I finished that job, I finished a job that I had barely started Saturday afternoon. I made a makeshift staircase up the river bank along my waterline. It’s nothing fancy. At certain times of the year, the river will flood its banks. When the river level eventually drops the bank becomes very slippery with mud. I placed cement blocks to act as steps. Anything fancier would be pointless because of the river current during flooding and the risk of erosion. Anyone who messes with their river bank has an erosion problem.
A cheap, easy makeshift staircase up the riverbank. [Later I would have to flip the cement blocks on their ends.]
Once that job was complete, I headed to the coconut field. I still have seedlings to plant there. I got eight seedlings planted but still have a few more to plant. On my way to the coconut field, I discovered a piece of a mahogany seed pod under one of the trees at the front gate. I noticed a second seed pod way up in the tree. I found no seeds on the ground but this is exciting for me as I have been extremely impatient waiting for these trees to be old enough to start producing seed pods. There were some brief rain showers this evening.
Pieces of a mahogany seed pod next to a photo of a complete seed pod
Life in the jungle: I started my day at the ponds. I finished planting some papaya seeds. Any spots where seeds did not germinate from last month are re-seeded. I also staked the new lime and custard apple seedlings planted the other day and did some chopping.
After lunch, I worked on the hen house coop. I have basically finished the framing of the pen. I just have to add and secure the chicken wire and make the doors. There was one brief rain shower this afternoon.
Life in the jungle: I spent the whole day working on my hen house coop. I got all the chicken wire installed. I just need to finish the front door and fence divider (between the 2 hen houses). The whole job has been done in the mud. The area is a complete mud bath. I discovered a hen is missing this evening. I have no idea how it disappeared. That really sucks. No rain today but it rained all evening.
Life in the jungle: All day was spent finishing the hen house coop. The construction is basically complete. On and off short rain showers throughout the day. It rained most of the evening. The missing hen from yesterday evening never showed up. So, she is gone. It must have been a hawk. I have been in denial for a few days but I am also pretty sure another chicken is sick.
Life in the jungle: This morning I headed to the city. The road is a complete mess and flooded with all this rain. While on the bus I sent a message and a plea to the Area Rep to fix my road. [He would never even acknowledge my message.]
I headed to the medical lab for my residency blood work. Last Wednesday they said one week. Well, it wasn’t ready as the HIV test was not complete. The machine was down. From there I followed a tip on locating a particular lawyer I was trying to track down all last week. I found the location but it didn’t look like they had done business there for some time. But there was a different phone number on their sign. From there I hit the hardware store for some supplies and from there to the library to use their internet. I finally, finally emailed my letter of complaint to the Attorney Generals office about the Justice of the Peace (paralegal) that royalty screwed my year up. [They would never even acknowledge my email. No surprise.] Overall, the day wasn’t too bad as the city was mostly overcast keeping the temperatures comfortable.
Arriving home, I attempted to re-prime my waterline with no luck. My water vat is getting pretty low. I am at a complete loss for words as to how my water line can be empty and that I have had this problem for a year now. At the end of my waterline (in the river) I have not one but two one-way valves. A one-way valve makes it impossible for water to flow both ways. I have two valves making it impossible times TWO (X2), and yet the water slowly runs back. I have pulled everything apart multiple times in the past year and found no issues. But this afternoon, no matter how much water I poured down the pipe the pipe would not fill. And I can’t take the whole pipe apart right now because the river has risen about 10 feet. All I can do is add a section of pipe where I have a quick release in the line. The problem is the river is not high enough for my scrap piece of pipe to reach the current river level. What a waste of an afternoon.
Life in the jungle: I slept in a little this morning. I got almost no sleep the night before and when I woke up earlier, I could hear rain. I spent the whole day mixing a bag of cement and finishing the greenhouse perimeter foundation. It’s been a long time since I worked on my greenhouse. It took all day as I had to fill in all the cement block holes. I completed the job except I was short exactly one cement block worth of cement.
Right before dark, I planted 5 soursop seedlings that somehow did not get planted when I was planting seedlings last week. No rain during the day. This morning I wrote my shortest poem ever called Alone.
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.