April 6
Life in the jungle: I started my morning chopping in the coconut field until the internet guys showed up and dropped off my internet tower.  It turns out I needed to make the main tower platform larger (which I then did).  I spent the rest of the day finishing dismantling the deck framing and cleaning the mess up.  I also received a delivery of construction materials from Saul later in the afternoon.

This evening the (fire) smoke came rolling in.  I am hoping that the fires don’t come too close.  These fires drive me crazy.  They are lit with no accountability and no consideration of the fires getting out of control.

A new used internet tower

April 7
Life in the jungle: I started my morning chopping in the coconut field.  I am making good progress in the coconut field as the field was bushhogged only a few months ago and we only had one rainfall since the grass was cut.  The seedlings continue to survive even with no rain.

After breakfast, I did a thorough cleaning of above, around, and under the new cement deck.  I framed my second broiler coop.  I also secured and leveled the footing boxes for the internet tower.  A busy full day. I also set some Kiwi seeds in wet paper towels to see if they will germinate. [They never did.]

April 8
Life in the jungle: I started my morning chopping in the coconut field.  Only one more morning and I will have completed my pass through the whole field.  After breakfast, I framed a wooden “box” to cover my apartment’s septic system.  I expect it will be a while before I properly enclose the box as it is not a priority job. [And it would take me to the end of the year to do just that.]

This afternoon I ended up taking a two hour nap in the hammock.  I don’t like taking the time for a nap but few things feel better than a nap in the hammock.  The latter part of the afternoon was framing the tops for my broiler chicken coops I framed earlier in the week.

Framed over the apartment septic

April 9
Life in the jungle: Today is Sunday; my Sabbath and reading day.  I continued reading from The Year of the Turtle, Moving Mountains, and The Purpose Driven Life.  Later in the afternoon I took a break and went to the ponds to water my seedlings.  I can’t believe how dry everything is.  No rain for over a month now.

Upon my return, I slaughtered and barbecued my first broiler chicken.  It was a successful but inefficient experience.  I feel like I should be slaughtering six broilers at a time.  Except I only have freezer space for one chicken.  These last two evenings and especially this evening there has been heavy fire smoke in the air.  This evening I could even hear the fire crackling in the distance.  I am not impressed at all.  

My first chicken slaughter

April 10
Life in the jungle: I started the morning chopping in the coconut field.  I am now finished with this current sweep of the coconut field.  After I headed to the village for groceries.  Upon my return home, I got back to painting.  It’s been a while since I painted and it is technically a priority job while the weather is dry.  I finally got the first coat of paint on a section of the house that I worked on last year.  I have an upper rear section of the house that was in rough shape and had a leak that would leak rainwater into the kitchen during heavy rainfalls.

Very difficult areas to paint on the house

In the latter part of the afternoon, I worked on finishing the roofs/tops on my broiler coops and placing the coop boxes level to the ground.

Broiler chicken coops

April 11
Life in the jungle: Orlando showed up this morning.  First, we worked on making rebar reinforcement baskets for the internet tower out of all the leftover steel rods from the deck job.  We got two baskets out of four completed when we ran out of steel rods.  We then transferred to the next project.  I am planning to install a 260 gallon water vat 15 feet up in the air in the greenhouse.  We got the main 15 ft post up and secured.  Wow, 15 ft is high in the sky.  After Orlando left, I went up to the village to pick up two more lengths of steel rods for the last two tower forms.

Internet tower footings

April 12
Life in the jungle: Orlando showed up again this morning.  We first got back to work on the greenhouse water vat job.  Until we ran out of lumber.  Then we switched to finishing tower footings.  The tower footing steel rod reinforcement cages are now complete.  That job timed itself perfectly with a lumber delivery that allowed us to continue to keep working on the vat tower.  Only now I was working way up at the top.  A little higher than I like to be working.  By the end of the day, we had 95% finished the framing aspect of the job.

Building a 15ft water tower for the greenhouse

After Orlando left, I planted 30 Star apples and two Mamey seeds in seed bags.  I got a message about possibly hosting a cycling guest in the next few days.  (He would end up canceling).  [See Blog post Part 74 for photos of a Star apple fruit and seedling.]

Mamey seeds and my seedling

April 13
Life in the jungle: I headed to the city.  I need paint for the internet tower.  Upon my return home I spent some time prepping and cleaning the towers for painting.  I also built a small footing for the future walking steps for the cement deck.

April 14
Life in the jungle: I continued sanding and prepping my internet tower for painting.  I then headed to the village.  I wanted an update on the metal plates needed for the tower base and guide wires.  They are still not delivered.  After breakfast, I started painting primer on the tower sections.  I painting all day.

Painting the internet tower to match the house

In the evening things got smoky.  The jungle continues to burn.  It’s just horrible.  It’s interesting how Belize as a nation is conservation-oriented.  But I have never met a single Belizean who wouldn’t kill, cut down, or burn anything for a dollar.  I haven’t actually met a single Belizean who gives a flip for the environment.

Belize Part 74 (March 30 to April 5)

Belize Part 73 (March 23 to 29)

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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