December 23
Life in the jungle:
By going to bed early last night, I got an early start this morning.  I had to plant pineapple (tops) at the ponds so I spent my morning chopping at the ponds.  I was able to complete the chopping of two of the three mounds, which doesn’t really mean much to anyone reading this.  Let’s put it this way.  A year ago, when I arrived and cleaned the mounds for the first time (in many, many years) it took multiple months just to clean one mound for the first time.

Multiple pineapple tops off of only 2 pineapples

After a late breakfast, I headed up to the village.  I had a conversation with Saul.  It occurred to me yesterday that he might have some experience pumping water from the river even though he does not live on the river.  It turns out he had a lot of experience pumping water from the river and feels confident that something can be figured out once and for all.  This has me feeling much better about my water pump situation.  I was up at the village for quite a while.  When I got home, I gave my bike a (fairly) thorough washing.  While my bike is still in reasonably OK shape.  With all the mud I bike through multiple times a week I know if I brought my bike into a Canadian bike shop, they would tell me only the frame is salvageable.  To pull my bike apart would reveal that the mud has destroyed the bike even though I wash it down virtually every time I use it.

There wasn’t much left of my afternoon after that.  I managed to install all the hardware (hinges, etc.) on my newest hen house.  In the evening I repaired leaking bike tubes.

This morning during breakfast there was a rainfall that ended up dumping a bit of water.  Our road has been a wet, muddy mess for almost 6 months straight.  The road almost dried up right before Hurricane Lisa.

A papaya plant that is doing good

December 24
Life in the jungle:
There was some rain in the night and this morning things were very overcast and threatening to drop more rain.  At first, I was indecisive about what to do and then I became inspired to chop in the coconut field.

I ended up going back into the coconut field after breakfast.  In the afternoon I ended up taking a bit of a nap.  My current situation has me in the unusual situation of only having two main jobs on my plate, chopping and painting.  And I can’t paint with this current weather.  And if I chop nonstop it will result in a very sore elbow.  After my nap, I chopped at the river lot.  I haven’t worked in that area in probably 6 months.  This evening I am thinking that I need to start a container vegetable garden on my deck seeing how my greenhouse completion is too far away into my future than I can see.

December 25
Life in the jungle:
Today is my Sabbath.  I continued to read The Way of the Wild Heart by John Eldredge.  I pretty much read the whole day in my hammock.  I did take a small break and designed two small screen “greenhouses” to go on my deck.  One for lettuce and one for tomatoes.

Another really good book by John Eldredge

Today was quite cool and rainy.  Temperatures were in the low sixties this morning and (maybe) 70F in the afternoon.  Light rain on and off throughout the day and rain into the night.  I actually wore my hoody over a sweatshirt and covered in a blanket while I read.

You will notice an absence of Christmas in today’s entry.  I wrote a separate blog post about Christmas but have since lost the courage to post it.

December 26
Life in the jungle:
The weather was cold and wet like yesterday but less rain.  Today I spent the day writing A Christmas Story blog post that I decided not to post. I also wrote the blog post When it all made sense.  And that pretty much took my day.

December 27
Life in the jungle:
This morning I was a little on the slow side so I headed to the village to grocery shopping out of the way.  Returning home, I spent a good part of the afternoon chopping in the coconut field.  I had a pretty amazing experience there.  At first, I thought it was a boa and quickly tried to go after it.  Upon reflection, it never moved like a boa and turned out to be an adult Fer de Lance snake.  The most dangerous snake in North, Central, and South America.  I think it was at least 6 ft. long.

The tail end of a deadly Fer de Lance snake

I tried to get my chainsaw running with no luck so I spent the rest of the afternoon doing some yard work.  No rain today, the sun was shining, and nice temperatures.

December 28

Life in the jungle:
Another sort of late start to my morning but I finally completed my last sweep of chopping in the coconut field.  Unfortunately, with the rain over Christmas, the field is again too wet for a bushhog.  If I can’t get one in soon, I will have to start the next chopping sweep through the field.

Today is overcast with the occasional 5 second sprinkle of rain.  I am waiting for materials to start some new projects.  Until then my biggest priority is painting, which I can’t do with this current weather.  After lunch, I chopped at the river lot for a bit.  After taking a break I decided a better use of my time would be to be writing my book.  I started organizing and working on my Pacific Coast USA chapter.   It was a good call to start working on my computer as shortly afterward it started to rain.

Saul called later in the afternoon about delivering some of my construction materials.  Except he never showed up until much later in the dark and in the rain.  Apparently, he got stuck on the road and had to go back home for the tractor.  He brought cement blocks for the second hen house coop and black dirt for planting seeds.  Because the tractor is halfway down the road already, he will deliver the rest of the blocks tomorrow plus lumber so I can build my screened-in greenhouses for the vegetables I plan to grow in pots on my deck.  There was more rain tonight.

Taking life easy

December 29
Life in the jungle:
I started my day laying the cement blocks around the second hen house that was delivered last night.  There was no rain in the forecast today and my second delivery of cement blocks and lumber hadn’t arrived (yet) so I started painting (priming) the apartment (again).  Saul eventually showed up with the second delivery.  We also went over my waterline and pump issues.  Saul thinks he can help me.  With the 2×2 lumber Saul delivered, I got most of my first screened greenhouse framed.

The plan was to try to grow lettuce in pots in this.  Ultimately I would fail miserably

Between yesterday’s start and this evening, I was able to complete 2,900 words of my first draft of the State of Washington portion of my bike ride book.

Setting the perimeter blocks for the next chicken coop

Belize Part 60 (Dec 18 to 22)

Belize Part 59 (Dec 11 to 17)

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