January 11
Life in the jungle: I started my day getting a job out of the way that had only been partly started a while back.  I finished putting a cement block perimeter around my apartment septic system.   At some point, I will build a cover out of wood to sit on the blocks.  I then started to dig a new garbage pit.  My pit that I dug 6 months ago is completely full as it was 95% filled with unburnable refuse from the last 20 years.  Soon into the start of that job, I realized the weather was good enough to be painting.  So, I switched jobs and I started priming the front entrance of the greenhouse.  I am a little bit motivated to get the front entrance painted as yesterday I paid for the cabbage palm lumber for the front entrance.  Later in the afternoon, I caulked around the apartment until I ran out of caulking.  There is no rain today.  The dry is on!

My apartment septic. [It would actually take me over a year more to finish this job.]

January 12
Life in the jungle: I didn’t sleep so well last night. I’m not sure if I should just stay up later if I am going to keep wasting my mornings lying around from lack of sleep.  When I got going, I went straight to painting. I got the greenhouse front entrance completely primed and didn’t get much further along with the painting when I ran out of primer paint.  Later in the afternoon, I headed to the ponds to water my papayas.

An unusual caterpillar species

January 13
Life in the jungle: Today I headed to the city.  My first job was to get my front bike wheel repaired.  I didn’t think it would take as long as it did.  I had to bus to an auto parts business outside of the city for new bearings and then back to the bike shop.  And then it was discovered that everything internal was seized up.  As a result of this extended repair time, I got nothing else completed in the city.  I didn’t even get breakfast/lunch.  Getting home the wheel isn’t fitting properly.  Rrr!

My road in the morning

January 14
Life in the jungle: I spent a little time digging my new garbage pit until the sun was warm enough to paint.  I spent the whole afternoon painting.  Later in the afternoon, I went to the ponds and watered the papayas.  While at the ponds, I caught my first blacktail indigo snake since my arrival in Belize.  They are the most common snake on my road but are generally way too quick to catch.  This guy seems a little underweight and malnourished.

Black-tailed Cribo snake

January 15
Life in the jungle:
Last night was the coldest night since my arrival in Belize at 13C (55F).  I slept with two blankets on the hammock.

Safari Arie on Youtube

Today is my day off (or Sabbath).  Usually, I read on Sundays, but today I hiked.  I have been wanting to explore my 30 acre parcel of land for a bit.  The front 10 acres have been cleared for crops in the past. Once in 1997 and a second time in 2010.  But the 10 acres have since completely grown in with thick bush.  I wanted to see what the jungle growth was beyond what had been cleared.

On my way to where I planned to enter the bush, not 5 ft from where I caught yesterday’s Blacktail Cribo snake I caught another one identical size but much healthier.  So, I had to walk him back to the house before I could start my hike.

A second Black-tailed Cribo snake in 2 days

Anyway, the problem with hiking into the jungle is that I have horrible orientation and often get lost in parking lots, which sounds weird given that I drove 1.2 million km as a long haul truck driver and biked 26,000 km to get to Belize.  That being said, you definitely don’t want to get lost in the jungle because that can get dangerous really quick, and getting lost is super easy.

I used a perimeter barbed wire cattle fence as a guideline but the bush was fairly thick so I often lost sight of the fence taking the path of the least resistance.  I couldn’t understand why this fence was as long as it was.  In my mind I was just happy I wasn’t lost except technically I had no idea where I was. Navigating through the thick bush I failed to realize that I missed “corners” and without realizing it I ended up doing a complete circle within the initial 10 acres of once-cleared land.  It was just like the movies when someone lost goes in circles.  I couldn’t believe it.  I decided to retrace my steps and this time record my hike with my Stava app.  I didn’t realize it, but it turns out that the perimeter of the front 10 acres is fenced except for the boundary along the road.  After 2 times around, I had enough hiking and watered my papayas while I was at the ponds.  [Thirteen months later I have still never explored this area of my land.]

What I thought was mostly a straight line turned into me going in circles

So, the thing about this front 10 acre section is that the dominant tree species is wild lime which is like a “tree weed.”  The reason wild lime trees are dominant is because after the crop was planted and harvested in 2010 the piece of land became a cow pasture for a few years until the original owner became too old to maintain the pasture and it became overgrown.  I would love to clean the wild lime out and replant it with more biologically important tree species.  I just don’t know where the time would come from for such a task.  The bush is so thick on that piece.  It would become a massive undertaking.

I found a weird dying tree that I think is a mango tree

January 16
Life in the jungle: Today, I was tired and unmotivated.  I somehow kept busy all day with odd jobs around the yard.  I would have painted, but the sky had me nervous about painting.  I did do some prep work for painting.  One of the jobs this afternoon, I burned a brush pile in the coconut field.  A large Four-eyed opossum ran out of the pile just after I lit it on fire.  The opossum was fine.

Burning a Cohune palm tree that fell in the last hurricane

January 17
Life in the jungle: Back to the city. I had to get the slightest adjustment to my front bike wheel which was repaired on Friday past.  What a pain, but what are you going to do?  My other main job was to pick up a box shipped from Canada.  I had my backpack plus a few Amazon purchases shipped to Belize.

Getting back to the village I was informed that my ex-property manager Jill fell Saturday morning in her cabana breaking her leg badly.  Unable to reach her phone she lay on the floor naked until she was discovered late this morning, still alive.

This evening, I had two deliveries from Saul.  Some lumber from him and the cabbage palm lumber I purchased from Nery.  I worked a good hour in the dark moving the lumber to storage.  I now have lots of work on my plate.  My bike wheel still does not fit properly!

Belize Part 63 (Jan 6 to 10)

Belize Part 62 (Dec 30 to Jan 5)

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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