Life in the jungle: Today was my second trip to the city this week. It was all about working on my Belize residency. The first thing was a tuberculosis test. I will have to go back to the city on Friday for the results. They prick you with “something” and they want to check for any kind of reaction two days later. Then I went to a second clinic for a blood and urine test. I get those results in one week. The next stop was the Belize police station. I need to get a Belize criminal check and I need to find out what I need to submit for that. I also made a second attempt to find a particular lawyer about my legal issues. The search was futile (a second time). Time to find a different lawyer. [I would ultimately abandon my residency application until November 2023.]
When I got back to the village, I went looking for an update on an internet connection. About two weeks before Hurricane Lisa hit, I was told two weeks. But of course, the hurricane caused a lot of damage. This afternoon the update was two more weeks. We will see.
I continued working on my hen house pen until a short thunderstorm rolled through. The timing was not helpful, nor was the rain. Things are wet enough as it is and I do not have time to sit around. In the interest of making up for lost time when it got dark instead of going inside, I grabbed a headlamp and a long sleeve shirt (for the mosquitos). I took a wheelbarrow load of seedlings to the ponds and another wheelbarrow load of seedlings for the coconut field in the dark. Tomorrow tree planting week starts as if I don’t have enough work on my hands.
Life in the jungle: This morning, and most of my day was spent at the ponds. I planted 32 lime and 5 custard apple seedlings. I also weeded and cleaned around my papaya seedlings. I counted that about 70% of my seed groups (3 seeds) that I planted had at least one papaya plant germinate. I replanted 30-40 groups (3 seeds) where none germinated. But I ran out of seeds before I finished. I also cleaned up dropped coconuts and fronds at the ponds. [My papaya seedlings would not survive the upcoming dry season even though I watered them very regularly.]
A custard apple seedling and a custard apple. I am not a big fan of the fruit but I am planting lots of them.
Later in the afternoon, I started planting seedlings in the coconut field. I planted 9 lemon and 6 soursop seedlings before the mosquitos forced me back to the house. We had two rain showers today. One at lunch and one late in the evening. Things have been wet for far too long. All the trees in the coconut field need to be cleaned and chopped around. I feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I have. I am so behind, getting further behind every single day. And I don’t even have a proper day job. But in a few weeks, I might. What am I supposed to do then?
A lemon and soursop seedling
I discovered a flat tire on my bike right before dark. Fixing that flat this evening I discovered four thorns embedded in my front tire. My evening was spent repairing four bike tubes. I lost track of how many bike patches I used.
Life in the jungle: Today was my third visit to the city this week. I don’t have time to go once a week let alone three times. I needed to show the medical lab my arm regarding my tuberculosis test. Which was of course negative. From there I went to the police station to secure my criminal check. On Wednesday they told me all the necessary paperwork I needed to have. This morning I was made to wait over an hour to speak to someone. It was then I was informed that my residency criminal check goes through immigration AFTER I submit my residency application. I am not sure if I am excelling at wasting my time or if Belize is excelling at it.
I didn’t have a lot of time left before my bus. I headed to the library to use the internet. At first, the computer wouldn’t turn on. Then I had to switch computers because the keyboard wouldn’t work! First, I looked up getting my Belize residency to help avoid any more mix-ups. Then I attempted to log into Amazon. I am planning on a box of belongings being shipped from Canada and there are some items I desperately need from Amazon. Except Amazon wanted to verify my account via my old Mexico phone number. Rrrr! It is completely mind-boggling how much of my day is completely wasted on any given day.
On the bus home, Orlando randomly called me. I casually mentioned I was trying to track a certain lawyer. He happened to have used this lawyer and gave a possible location to her office.
Arriving home, I focused on tree planting in the coconut field. I got some soursop and starfruit seedlings planted but I still have some more seedlings to plant. A phone call from an aunt in Canada interfered with that job. But I was happy with the interruption. The mosquitos were crazy bad.
This evening I extracted seeds from a small papaya that I bought in the city. I only got a small one as the papayas had doubled in price since last month. Unfortunately, small papayas don’t have many seeds and I will still need another one. This evening I also discovered two of the bike tubes I had repaired last night were deflated. I think it’s me who excels at wasting time. I have so much work I can’t even imagine a light at the end of the tunnel in my lifetime.
There was rain last night, there was a little rain this morning, there was a little rain this afternoon and this evening. I wonder if this place will ever actually dry out for at least one day. The road is a mess with water and mud.
Life in the jungle: There was rain last night along with a few short rain showers this morning. Everything is wet. This morning I got back to working on my hen house pen. I finished the cement block perimeter and used up what 2x4s I had from the greenhouse construction to start the chicken coop framing. When I ran out of lumber, I had lunch. After lunch, I headed to the village to purchase the remaining lumber required to finish the pen. Upon arriving home, I started constructing steps up my river bank from the remaining cement blocks that I purchased from the hen house perimeter. My river bank has a very slippery bank that is difficult to walk up when I deal with my waterline. I didn’t get very far with that job when Saul showed up with my purchased lumber and bags of black dirt (for bagging seeds). I currently get all my planting dirt from Saul and his son. I worked into the dark putting away the lumber and dirt.
Starting to frame this hen coop
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.