Earlier this month I started rebuilding the rear section of my deck. 

March 30
Life in the jungle: There were no cracks in the deck floor this morning.  I am very thankful for that.  But I am also certain my deck surface would have a much cleaner finish had the proper attention been given to it yesterday.  I am still pissed off.

This morning I had to head to Belmopan for my passport stamp.  I was in and out in 10 minutes.  I am still curious how the same procedure took an average of an hour and a half in Belize City when I would get my stamps there.  At some point today I got a headache that stayed with me the whole day to the point that it made me feel sick.  I rarely get headaches, but am surprised I don’t get them every day.

I spent the rest of the afternoon attempting to track down the materials I needed for my internet tower installation.  I got home at 5:30 PM and I collapsed in my hammock until midnight.  I took a shower and went to bed without dinner.  Headache gone.  For my sins, a hen went missing this afternoon.  (A few days later I would find feathers in the coconut field.)

A Star Apple – fruit, sliced and my seedling.

March 31
Life in the jungle: I did a laundry first thing.  I then cleaned up my coops.  I am expecting chick’s this afternoon.  With a recommendation, I found the missing materials required for my internet tower at a hardware store in Spanish Lookout.  I wasted a good part of my morning trying to open an email on my computer from the store.  Belize has got to be the only country in the world where you have to fill out a credit card authorization form to pay with a credit card over the phone.  I never could get the form filled out.  Nothing is easy here.

I went up to the village and picked up another half dozen broiler chicks.  They forgot to pick up the dozen layers I ordered.  (I would end up picking the layers on April 21.)  The hardware store is going to pick up my internet tower materials from Spanish Lookout next week.  I just gave them the money for the items as I couldn’t complete the credit card authorization form.

Getting home I headed to the ponds.  I watered everything and then I cut down a coconut tree that had just suddenly died.  The trunk was rotted and turned out to be full of worm grubs.  Right before dark I set all of it on fire and worked into the dark to burn the grubs to death.  I can’t afford to have them live and spread further destruction to the rest of my coconut trees.

A late night burn. Burning up a grub infested coconut tree.

April 1
Life in the jungle: I started my morning chopping in the coconut field.  After breakfast, I headed to the village to pay Saul for the use of the cement mixer and help to mix the other day.  I also picked up one of the large cast iron pots I lent to Verna Mae.  I will soon be butchering my broiler chickens.  I need my large pot to soak the dispatched chicken in hot water to aid in plucking.

I then headed to the ponds and cut the grass.  I also cut a small section of grass at the house.  With basically no rain in the last few months the grass is growing very slowly (thankfully).  I also started to dig another footing for the internet tower.  There are rumors that my ex-property manager Jill is being brought back to the farm (after being moved to the village after her serious fall) but considering returning to Canada.  [She would finally return to Canada in early February 2024.]

A female Spiny tail iguana feeding in the hibiscus beside the house

April 2
Life in the jungle: Today is my Sabbath.  For the last 2 weeks, I have attended a local church.  I have decided that I can’t deal with that right now.  These last few weeks have been tough in regards to dealing with some of the locals, particularly with my internet connection amongst other things.  Not that that has anything to do with going to church.  In regards to attending church, one of the members attending is the brother of the man I hired to fix my road last year.  Resulting in me being ripped off for $3,000 USD.  This attendee was the guy running the bulldozer.  So, in my books, this guy is indirectly/directly connected to ripping me off for $3,000.  And last week they had this guy preach the sermon.  Between my daily local challenges and this hypocrisy, it’s too much for me to deal with.  Better for me to stay home as much as I can and avoid the locals.  Also, I found going out on Sunday mornings disruptive to my much-needed rest on Sundays.

I continued to read from The Year of the Turtle.  It’s been a few weeks since I had read.  The book kind of reminds me of Algonquin Provincial Park in Northern Ontario.  Algonquin Park is a very special childhood place for me but the park has gotten far too busy in recent years.  I wonder if I will ever return there someday.  I also read a new book called Moving Mountains by John Eldredge.  I had my mom send it in a package I received from Canada the other week.  In the evening I felt like writing.  I wrote Belize blog posts # 70, 71, 72, and 73.

The Year of the Turtle & Moving Mountains

April 3
Life in the jungle: This morning on my road to catch the bus to the city I saw a Toucan.  He was too far away in the sky to see his colors but there was no doubt about his distinctive bill.  The main reason for my trip to the city was to withdraw cash for the internet tower.  And sure enough, this morning I got a call requesting a deposit for the tower.  In the time I had left in my day after getting home from the city, I built a broiler feeder out of PVC pipe and elbows.  All my broiler chickens do is eat and eat and eat.

I built a PVC pipe feeder for my boilers

April 4
Life in the jungle: Most of my day was digging my three internet tower guide wire footings and then building the four footing boxes.  I also spent some time removing framing lumber off my new cement deck.  I should have also watered my papayas but ran out of time.  I’m tired.

Internet tower footing

April 5
Life in the jungle: My morning was spent framing a broiler coop and a chicken feed box out of the used lumber I stripped off the cement deck.  I headed into the village to pay off the internet tower.  The tower is ready to be delivered and they were supposed to deliver this afternoon (but of course they didn’t).  On my way to the village, Derrick drove by.  He was bringing Jill back to her cabana on the farm. A month or two ago she broke her leg really badly and almost died.  Apparently, she wants to be able to drink her rum and smoke her pot by herself.  I for one am not happy she is returning.  I like being the only one back here.

New broiler chicken houses

I spent most of the afternoon stripping lumber off the cement deck except for watering my papayas at the ponds.  Except I probably should stop saying “watering my papayas”.  I suspect I am watering more seedling lime trees at this point.  Most of my papayas have not survived the dry season regardless of all my watering trips to the ponds.  In the village, it was very smoky.  In the last week or two everyone has been setting fires.

Always smoke in the distance this time of year

Belize Part 73 (March 23 to 29)

Belize Part 72 (March 16 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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