Once more to Caye Caulker and a bunch of other stuff, like Reef Week

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Kids who live on Caye Caulker just always seem to be having a good time. Met up with this bunch on a visit to the island on Sunday.
Kids who live on Caye Caulker just always seem to be having a good time. Met up with this bunch on a visit to the island on Sunday.

As small an island as Caye Caulker is, there is always something — or someone — new to be discovered.

Like the kids in the picture above. I have never seen kids have more fun in four inches of water. I’d take a picture and then the kids would all run over to see themselves on the screen. Then I’d take another picture and they’d all run behind the camera to see themselves. Then I’d take another picture . . . . you get the idea.

We could have kept this up all day. Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s to living a trashy life in San Pedro, Belize

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Our mighty Saturday morning crew from the Phoenix Resort, plus San Pedro Councilwoman Flora Ancona. The Angela Maya saying on the wall of the Blue Water grill is: "
Our mighty Saturday morning cleanup crew from the Phoenix Resort, plus San Pedro Councilwoman Flora Ancona. The Maya Angelou quote behind us on the wall of the Blue Water grill is: “Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better,  do better.”

There are so many great things to do here on Ambergris Caye and I don’t think picking up other people’s trash is high up on anyone’s list.

And yet, many of us do find ourselves doing exactly that from time to time.

I’ve written so often about the First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pick-up group that you might think that’s all I do. Truth is, I am quite fond of this bunch. They are neighbors and friends and island visitors who willingly give up some time to make the first stretch north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge look nice, for a day or two.

It doesn’t last but we keep coming out swinging . . .  swinging out trash sticks and garbage bags. Read the rest of this entry »

The continuing adventures of Plastic Trash Man in Belize

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This was our first encounter with Plastic Trash Man, a found adventure unfolding on the shore of Ambergris Caye, Belize.
This was our first encounter with Plastic Trash Man, a found adventure unfolding on the shore of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

When we first met Plastic Trash Man he was wrestling a wild conch atop a post on the edge of the shore in northern Ambergris Caye.

I spotted him as I was walking down the coast toward home and, well, why not, I took a photo. Hey, it was found art on a well traveled path. Or maybe it was just good theater, frozen in time, waiting for a script.

The picture made it into an early April blog post, sharing space with a lizard sitting on top of an abandoned motorcycle helmet.

It was kind of a weird walk. Read the rest of this entry »

More dancing in the breeze in Belize

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Recently, as I walked north along the eastern coast of Ambergris Caye, I encountered a lovely bit of eco-pagentry.  Colorful silken curtains on a beach pavilion were tossing and twisting in the wind, forming beguiling shapes for split seconds at a time. An endless permutation of form,  shape shifting on every fluttering gust of wind.

Walking back home, the palm trees swayed and sashayed in the breeze, the exotic choreography of a chorus-line of palm fronds, full of rustle and bustle.

On Caye Caulker, on Monday, it was a different sort of dance all together, albeit to the same music: a gentle moist breeze, seed pod dancers twisting and turning. The dancer mobiles were for sale at a little art shop on the main drag.

Spellbinding.

On Caye Caulker, “Go slow” is beginning to sound like a plea rather than a way of life

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Leaving San Pedro for Caye Caulker. I can't help it but there is an emotional tug every time I leave the shore of Ambergris Caye -- even if I am heading off on a fun adventure, like Monday's.
Leaving San Pedro for Caye Caulker. I can’t help it but there is an emotional tug every time I leave the shore of Ambergris Caye — even if I am heading off on a fun adventure, like Monday’s.  It is not just that I’m leaving home.

 

So Monday was a national holiday — Labor Day. Lots of our favorite places are closed for the day, and some, like The Truck Stop and Casa Picasso for the entire week. And there is family in town.

So, naturally that calls for a water taxi ride to Caye Caulker.

Shockingly, neither Rose nor I have been to that island since last year’s Lobster Festival. And “shockingly” doesn’t begin to sum up the changes that have taken place. The island mantra — Go slow — now feels more like an admonition. Read the rest of this entry »

This is Belize: Each dancing on a different breeze

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Under less-windy conditions this pavilion is a day spa. Today, there wasn't a soul around. The silky hangings which creat a privacy wall and sun screen were twisting and turning. Each seemed to dance to a different wind. All together, captivating.
Under less-windy conditions this pavilion is a day spa. Today, there wasn’t a soul around. The silky hangings which create a privacy wall and sun screen were twisting and turning. Each seemed to dance to a different wind. All together, captivating.

 

Another walk up north, along the shore of Ambergris Caye today. Stiff breezes and high tide made some parts of the beach simply disappear.

The island feels deserted. I may have run into four or five people at most, not counting resort staffs which were raking up the turtle grass and tying down the canopies and hammocks.

This pavilion stood alone and empty, although a sign out front offers a boggling array of pleasures for the body and soul.

Each hanging cloth was dancing its own dance in the wind. Some seem to take on shapes, fleeting sculptures of intense detail, like the prostrate one on the upper right which seems to be offering up a jug of wine?

I tried to capture them all but I must go back again, when the breezes calm a bit and the dances become more balletic and less like whirling dervishes.

 

Surrounded by beauty, unable to see it? That’s life in Paradise

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On a recent walk up the coast I managed to take one "traditional" photograph that would meet with the approval of the image-conscious Belize Tourism Board. This is it. Wait til you see what else I photographed.
On a recent walk up the coast I managed to take one “traditional” photograph that would meet with the approval of the image-conscious Belize Tourism Board. This is it. Wait til you see what else I photographed.

During a recent conversation with a photographer friend, Karen Brodie, we discussed the loss of the ability to see.

Not blindness. We were talking about the thing that happens when you pass something so many times that you simply stop seeing it.

This is a real thing. Read the rest of this entry »

San Pedro Sunday morning: Covering ground for a good cause

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Some of the runners and walkers begin to mingle around the starting line for Sunday morning's Autism Awareness 5K in San Pedro, Belize.
Some of the runners and walkers begin to mingle around the starting line for Sunday morning’s Autism Awareness 5K in San Pedro, Belize. That is Miss Rose in a yellow top, already pumped from the 7K run she did earlier to warm up for the 5K walk with me.

This morning was the second annual Autism Awareness 5K Walk/Run in San Pedro.

Rose and I chose the walk option off the menu, out of deference for me being completely out of shape thanks to back-to-back surgeries in the past year or so. So Rose prepared for the 5K by rising early and running a 7K. I prepared by looking for my ancient running shoes, which I searched thoroughly for scorpions, lizards, spiders and other creatures who seek shelter in musty, dark places in the back of closets.

The good news is, I found none of the above.

But the shoes. Oh, the shoes! Read the rest of this entry »

‘Criminal Minds’ in Belize? After screening, even worse than we imagined

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Here's the proof! FBI agents on Ambergris Caye are dwarfed by the barren hillsides of the island in a scene from the "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders" episode "Love Interrupted."
Here’s the proof! FBI agents on Ambergris Caye are dwarfed by the barren hillsides of the island in a scene from the “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” episode “Love Interrupted.”

On a balmy Friday night a couple dozen expats gathered beside the lagoon here on Ambergris Caye for an outdoors screening of this week’s episode of the spin-off CBS show “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.”

Since its original TV airing on Wednesday, expats and Belizeans all over this tiny country have been convulsed in paroxysms of laughter. To be honest, some have been convulsed in paroxysms of rage.

This week, the elite FBI team lead by a heavily botoxed Gary Sinese drops into Belize to find a young American honeymoon couple who have gone two days without posting anything on social media, thus raising suspicions of foul play.

Let me say this: We all know Hollywood makes stuff up. That is what they do. That is their job and we mostly appreciate it.

But, seriously? Read the rest of this entry »

“Criminal Minds” episode in Belize? It was just criminal

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"De Los Inocentes" (Left-right) Clara Seger (Alana De La Garza),Mae Jarvis (Annie Funke) and Matt Simmons (Daniel Henney), Unit Chief Jack Garrett (Gary Sinise), comprise the International Response Unit, the FBI division at the heart of the upcoming drama series, CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS, which premieres Wednesday, March 16 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The IRT is tasked with solving crimes and coming to the rescue of Americans who find themselves in danger while abroad.
“Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” team in action:  (Left-right) Clara Seger (Alana De La Garza), Mae Jarvis (Annie Funke) and Matt Simmons (Daniel Henney), Unit Chief Jack Garrett (Gary Sinise). They are called the  FBI International Response Unit and they prefer running around in big black SUV’s while operating discretely in foreign countries. Driving golf carts on Ambergris Caye probably would not have worked for them in last night’s non-Belize-based episode.

My first inkling that the CBS series “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” dabbles in geographic bullshit was the network press release last week that touted Wednesday’s episode “Love Interrupted” taking place on the island of Belize.

It seems an American couple honeymooning on this mythical island is abducted and the FBI’s highly specialized foreign troubleshooting and extraction team drives to Ambergris Caye from the International Airport to rescue them.

Yeah, you read that right.

Drives to Ambergris Caye. Read the rest of this entry »