December 11
Life in the jungle:
Today is my Sabbath.  I did take a walk to the river to check on the rising level.  The level was actually perfect for pumping water as my vat was getting dangerously low.

The water has dropped low enough that I can disconnect a union (that is at the current water level) and add a short extension and pump water.

I eventually got to reading a book I started a few weeks ago called Walking with God by John Eldredge.  I didn’t get far before I took a long nap.  Because I knew I messed with my night’s sleep with my nap I ended up reading until midnight.

Walking with God by John Eldredge

December 12
Life in the jungle:
I got very little sleep last night.  I spent my morning in the coconut field.  I am back to chopping and cleaning around coconut and fruit trees.  Also, my most recently planted seedlings still needed to be staked.  I lost two more cashew seedlings to excessive rain (water) with more looking pretty rough.  A lot of seedlings and coconut trees are under a lot of stress from excessive water.

The weather wasn’t too hot so I continued chopping in the coconut field after breakfast.  The mosquitos were horrible though.  Eventually, I was exhausted from the chopping.  I spent the rest of the afternoon starting to build a second hen house.  I got it well started by dark.

December 13
Life in the jungle:
Yesterday afternoon I called the phone number I found on the lawyer sign last week.  And she answered.  Over two weeks it took me to track this lawyer down.  The reason I was trying to track this particular lawyer was that the original owners of my land had used her services.   So, she would at least be familiar with some of my situation.  This morning I had a meeting with her to explain my situation with my land deeds and present her with all my documents that were in my possession.  My whole trip to the city was taken up by this meeting as while she made scans of all my documents, I had to go to the bank to get her retainer of $750 USD. ($250 USD per land deed.)

I am not even sure how I am supposed to feel at this moment.  The greatest Christmas present I could ask for is that Belize immigration had intercepted me before arriving at the lawyer and put me on a plane banning me from ever coming back to Belize.  In a sense, from a personal standpoint my land no longer has value to me and to even spend a penny more is a penny too much.  Instead, I hand over $750 USD having no idea what will become of anything.  I never even had time to eat during my time in the city.

Arriving home and after an extremely late lunch I continued working on my hen house.  I often wonder what drives me forward when I see nothing but grief in my future.  I guess it’s like breathing.  I can’t stop even if I want to.  And the more grief I experience the more stubborn I get.  I suspect I exceeded my grief tolerance a long time ago.  And once you exceed your tolerance level you realize that you have nothing more to lose even if it means losing everything.  So, you simply keep moving forward.  This past year has been hell.  And strangely I feel like in this moment if got 1,000 times worse tomorrow, I would just laugh and keep moving forward.  Because F them, whoever they are.

Right before dark I moved the hen house over by the main coop.  I learned from tipping the first coop end over end is very heavy when the coop is completely built.  It’s way lighter to tip end over end to move the coop to its final resting place when it’s only half-built.

Tonight I started extracting papaya seeds from a papaya I purchased last week.  I am planning that this is the last papaya I ever purchase.  [Little do I know that an extremely dry, dry season is coming next year that will basically kill off all my plants.]

December 14
Life in the jungle:
The morning dew is too heavy and the grass and weeds are too tall to chop in the coconut field first thing in the morning.  So, I did a few odd jobs around the house and then got back to work on the second hen house.  By the end of the day, I had the whole chicken house complete except for door hinges and roof hinges.  I also built a shelf with three more nesting boxes for the main coop.  I spent the evening extracting papaya seeds.

My second hen house is coming together

December 15
Life in the jungle:
Before breakfast, I headed to the village for groceries.  On the way out I noticed jaguar tracks on the driveway.  That’s pretty close to the house.   The tracks went down my road away.

Jaguar tracks

Jaguar fur ball

After breakfast, I did two odd jobs that were not priority jobs but I had some extra lumber from the hen house coop.  I put two faceboards on my outdoor kitchen roof that were never put on.  I also built an outdoor shelf for my plants.  I have a pile of potted plants that have been unorganized since the beginning of my arrival in Belize.

After those two projects, I headed to the ponds to water my papaya plants.  We haven’t had rain for quite a few days now.  I probably should have started watering them yesterday or the day before.

Getting back to the house I filled a bunch of seed bags and planted some Rambutan and Sapodilla seeds. This evening I finished extracting my papaya seeds and I extracted some pomegranate seeds from a pomegranate that I purchased last week.

Rambutan – fruit and seeds

December 16
Life in the jungle:
I started my day at the ponds.  I got a good chunk of work done cleaning around all my papaya seedlings.  It looks like there may be more new plants from my very first planting.  After lunch I (continued) painting the apartment windows.  I started this job a long time ago and never got back to it.  I am very, very behind on painting the apartment and greenhouse.  It should have been completed months ago and I have barely started the job.

I am way behind on painting the greenhouse

I am now dealing with another plumbing issue that I don’t know how to fix (at the moment).  My one pressure switch keeps turning on non-stop.  [I would discover a leaky hose the next day.]  Because of this headache, I forgot to go to the ponds to water my papaya plants.  I was so exhausted for some reason I fell asleep around 7 PM and never had supper.

December 17
Life in the jungle:
I woke up shortly after 8 AM.  That was quite a sleep.  After a late breakfast, I went to the ponds to cut grass with the lawnmower.  This job has become a much bigger job now that I have to cut around all these recently planted lime seedlings.  And I remembered to water my papayas.  I spent the rest of my day cutting grass at the house.  This evening I put some pomegranate seeds in some wet paper towels for germination.

At the ponds

Belize Part 58 (Dec 4 to 10)

Belize Part 57 (Nov 30 to Dec 3)

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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