March 6
Life in the jungle: I spent my day finishing moving all my seedlings to a location away from the house.  I am planning to replace my rear deck and need working space by the house.  It took a lot of work as there were close to 1,000 seedlings to check and some of them needed re-bagging.  I spent the last part of the day caulking cracks and seams in the apartment.

1,000 seedlings moved

I need to replace this entire section of deck

March 7
Life in the jungle: Today was a mixed day.  I started my morning in the coconut field.  I wanted to take some time to inspect my seedlings.  Most of them were under a lot of stress from too much rainwater from last year.  And now the field is dry as a desert.  Overall things are better than expected but the dry season has barely started so I am still scared.  I also fixed a gate that got damaged in the last hurricane.  After breakfast, I headed to the village for groceries.  After getting home I started painting until Saul dropped by and delivered some construction materials.  He/we also looked at my plumbing issues with my waterline.  I learned a few new things and a few things I needed to do.

March 8
Life in the jungle: The parrots are eating the seed pods from the tree behind the bedroom.  Their morning commotion is something I am waking up to each morning.  I started my morning at the ponds chopping.  I decided watering my papayas should wait until later.  After breakfast, I painted the greenhouse.  I have finally finished the first coat of blue on the greenhouse framing.

Chopping the mounds at the ponds

I was expecting Orlando to stop by to help figure out what it will cost to replace about 200 Sq ft of my wooden deck with cement.  Instead of waiting around I decided to head back to the ponds.  That was until I met Orlando coming down the road.  Estimating the job took longer than I expected and I was unable to return to the ponds to water my papayas.

This evening I reviewed my notes and numbers on the deck estimate.  It looks like replacing a 200 Sq ft section will cost about $3,250 USD.  Last year I discovered a considerable amount of wood rot underneath the deck.  The deck was not designed or built properly and I get to pay for that mistake.

 March 9
Life in the jungle: I started my morning at the ponds.  I don’t usually like watering my papayas in the morning.  But it’s been five days now.  I also did some chopping.  After breakfast, I did some caulking of the apartment.  This afternoon I started ripping down my rear deck in preparation for the rebuild.  I caught a cat-eyed snake in some rotted lumber.

Ripping out this disaster

Finding Cat-eyed snakes in the wood rot

March 10
Life in the jungle:
I slept in this morning.  I find that few things in life are as enjoyable as sleeping in.  (Until you calculate the cost of a lost morning of work).  After breakfast, I headed to the village for groceries.  I spent the whole rest of the day continuing to rip down my deck.  I found two more cat-eyed snakes inside my deck.  I was able to catch one of them.

Cat-eyed snake

March 11
Life in the jungle: My whole day was ripping down my rear deck.  After I finished the section that I was planning to replace I realized that having and keeping the very back deck and the section that wraps around the rear of the house is not necessary for the aesthetics of the house.  (The house was originally built with a complete wrap-around deck.)  I decided to rip down the rest of the rear of my deck and not replace it.  Thousands of dollars wasted but thousands of dollars saved by not replacing and regular painting upkeep in the future.

Before & after of the section of deck that I am not going to bother replacing

The other day the internet company said they would come today.  They didn’t.  It’s been three and a half weeks now since they were here last!  For over the last month or so, there have been two agoutis (possibly more) that graze regularly in the backyard every evening.  Today, one came within ten feet of me.

Two agoutis in the backyard

March 12
Life in the jungle: I got a message last night about a potential biking guest on Warm Showers.  But the message was vague. Even though this is my Sabbath (day off) I decided to finish cleaning up the ripped-down debris from my deck as I am not sure how things may play with this guest who I suspect may not arrive anyway.  After lunch, I needed my hammock badly.  For the first time in months, I ran the fan most of the day as I napped.  Later in the afternoon, I got around to reading The Purpose Driven Life which inspired me to also read the book of Psalms.


All cleaned up

March 13
Life in the jungle: Last night was quite warm and muggy.  I am not used to that.  People that fear the heat are scared of the tropics.  The city is hot for sure.  But most of the time I find the days here typical of a nice Canadian summer day and the evenings comfortable.  The next three months will be the hottest of the year.  Today I headed to the city.  A hot day all around.  The cycling guest canceled due to limited time in Belize.

March 14
Life in the jungle: Last night I actually went to bed without eating supper.  I was too tired to make anything.  Orlando showed up this morning.  We first recalculated the materials needed (as I am not replacing the entire back end anymore) and then I placed the order for materials.

We worked on building cement forms.  During the day a dump truck showed up with a load of gravel mix for mixing cement and a second delivery of steel rods and bags of cement.  A long, hot day.  At the end of the day, I headed to the village to pay for the materials delivered and to pick up some sawdust for the broiler chicks.  These broilers are messy chickens and the sawdust will be used as bedding.

I put my broiler chicks on sawdust

March 15
Life in the jungle: There was a very heavy thunder, lightning, and rain shower last night.  We were desperate for that rain.  Orlando came again this morning and we worked the whole day on building deck forms again.  After Orlando left for the day, I planted a bunch of watermelon and cantaloupe plants that I had started growing a while back.  I was waiting for a heavy rain shower to soak the dirt in my watermelon greenhouse which finally came last night.  [Unfortunately, the plants would end up getting sick and dying.]

Belize Part 70 (Feb 23 to March 5)

Belize Part 69 (Feb 12 to 22)

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. In my first 2 years of living in Belize I also planted about 250 assort fruit tree seedlings (Lime, jackfruit, custard apple, pomegranate and avocado).

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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