May 17
Life in the jungle: I was expecting the public works guy to stop by sometime today.  First, I started putting the patio stone materials together.  I then headed to the village to see Saul’s modification to the tower and get groceries.  After a late breakfast, I went back and finished making the patio stones.  I have 146 patio stones (1 broke this morning).

I then removed the forming lumber off the internet tower footings from Monday’s mix.  And then I got into a bit of an issue with a can of paint that caused a bit of a mess.  I spent the rest of the day framing the rear house skirt for cabbage palm wood.

This evening, I discovered two dead broiler chickens.  I can only assume from the heat.  But it didn’t seem that hot.  What a waste of meat (and work).  This is a total of four dead broilers.  Perhaps this is a bad time of the year to raise them.  It’s also a lot of work to slaughter them.  The hardware store had more broiler chick’s but I didn’t buy any.  The public works guy never showed up.

I found a Black Mastiff bat on my deck. I have lots of bats living around and under my house.

May 18
Life in the jungle:  Today I turn 50.  I made my patio stones and continued working on framing the rear house skirt.  In the afternoon I went to the village for more lumber and cement.  I also did some touch-up painting on the tower section that is at Saul’s.  The rest of my day was tied up with a few phone calls from family.

May 19
Life in the jungle: Wayne, the other Belizean living on the farm called first thing.  Apparently, the public works guy did attempt to come down the road.  But stopped halfway down the road he turned around.  He is very concerned about the condition of the road and the ability of the dump trucks to turn around on the road.  He is pushing road repair back a week.  This is scary given the rainy season could start any day.  The plan is that Wayne and I are going to get the road bush-hogged for the roads department.

I made patio stones after breakfast and then went to the village to touch-up paint the tower section at Saul’s.  It was very hot today.  Just before I was about to continue working on my house skirt, I received a birthday phone call from my aunt.  That took up a good part of the afternoon.  Getting off the phone I spent some time watering my seedlings until it was time to slaughter a broiler chicken.    Later, Saul’s son brought back my tower section this evening but forgot the hardware.  After supper, I biked up to the village to retrieve it.  I saw one of those Gray four-eyed opossums in the village.

This evening I bet the universe 1 million dollars that the internet guys won’t come tomorrow.

May 20
Life in the jungle: I saw the Yucatan Squirrel this morning.  I haven’t seen him in a while.  I made my usual dozen patio stones this morning waiting for the internet guys.  I had no appetite for breakfast.  It was hot (102 F) this morning.  I took a short nap.  I spent the afternoon working on my house skirt framing.  I had some tough angles to cut and I was able to make them.  Of course, the internet guys never showed up and of course no phone call.  I guess the universe owes me a million dollars.  In 50 years, I never dealt with such incompetence.

Some tough angle cuts

May 21
Life in the jungle: I woke up last night to use the washroom.  I retrieved my phone.  I had received a message from the internet guy.  I was so pissed I didn’t fall back asleep for hours.

The chickens woke me up as usual this morning.  After feeding them I just laid in my hammock until after 11 AM.  I’m tired.  It’s my guilt-free day off.  I just lay there wondering how many more weeks, or months, or years I can take this kind of daily beating. Ultimately it doesn’t actually matter because there are no other choices but forward.  And if I get beaten back to the starting line, forward is still the only direction I can go.

There was a short but very heavy rain shower at lunchtime.  I was in the mood to write.  I have done very little writing these past months.  I suspect that is contributing to my exhaustion.  Not emptying my monkey mind.  I wrote a blog post about turning 50. You can read that HERE.  Afterward, I took a nap. This evening I figured out my internet tower expenses.  By the time this tower is installed, it will have cost $2,000 USD.  I also wrote out part of a proposal looking for tourism investment and partnership.  I think that might be my way forward through this current disillusionment I feel for this country.

Praying mantis

May 22
Life in the jungle: I sort of slept in a bit.  I did my patio stone mix.  I am now at 117 stones plus the 77 stones in the front entrance of the greenhouse.

I had no appetite for breakfast and went to the village for groceries.  Returning, I cut the grass at the ponds.  It didn’t take long as the grass on the mounds hadn’t grown much since the last cut due to lack of rain.  Back at the house I cleaned/washed the steel internet tower platforms of any cement residue from last week’s mix and gave them a last coat of paint.

I had reached out to another guy in the village about the tower installation.  He wanted $450 USD (close to $150-200 USD more for the job).  So, we will see if the internet guys even show up on Saturday.

I then went to the ponds to plant two pineapple tops and do some chopping.  This evening I discovered a missing hen.  This was a young hen I raised from a chick.  I am not pleased.  But something would be wrong if there wasn’t grief.

I confirmed my time with the internet guy mentioning that I hope to not pay more than $250 USD.  He referenced that the usual price is $1,000 USD.  Even though I was quoted $450 USD by a tower installer earlier in the day.

May 23
Life in the jungle: As per my morning routine I made my dozen patio stones.  I then spent the whole rest of the day working on my house skirt.  I finished the framing and started installing the cabbage palm.  I got a good portion completed.

The cabbage palm skirting is coming along nicely

Belize Part 79 (May 9 to 16)

Belize Part 78 (May 1 to 8)

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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