In Belize, we finally made our move, and not where we thought we’d be!

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Here's part of the view from our living room porch in the new condo at The Cloisters. Next purchase: A fishing rod.
Here’s part of the view from our living room porch in the new condo at The Cloisters. Next purchase: A fishing rod.

A man paddles north in a kayak so brilliantly green that it matches the water beneath him.

A young Belizean in a sideways red ball cap, a basketball jersey and white baggy Gekko shorts, his hands clutching a small throw net, pursues a school of feeding snapper close to shore.

View of the Cloisters from the pier. We're just off to the right, second floor.
View of the Cloisters from the pier. We’re just off to the right, second floor. To the far left is Barrier Reef Village, our former home and literally across the street. To the far right (if you squint) is Scott and Jodie’s Palapa Bar, a terrific place for Sunday night beverages and to take guests.

A woman in the shade of the palm trees watches her dog chase crabs and lizards.

Several cinnamon hummingbirds hover over the blades of a yucca plant.

Our swimming pool!
Our swimming pool!

A people-packed water taxi speeds north while an empty one heads south.  A tugboat pushes north the biggest barge I’ve ever seen, laden with sand and vehicles.

An endless band of bicyclists pass by on the hard-sand trail.

Beside me is Haruki Murakami’s “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,” demanding to be reread, if only to dispel the wet and weighty disappointment. Did I miss something? Was it the distraction of returning to Belize and moving that robbed me of the usual euphoria I feel when wrapping up one of Murakami’s novels?

But I am also torn between finishing Jo Nesbo’s “Headhunter” which, despite the great title, is not a Harry Hole crime thriller, and launching into Kevin Fedarko’s “The Emerald Mile,” about the fastest ride ever through the Grand Canyon (and much more). Or, maybe, Thich Nhat Hanh’s meditation manual “The Miracle of Mindfulness.”

We've started using up prizes from Rose's  Lobsterfest haul -- like dinner at the Blue Water Grill last week. Rose had  angelhair seafood pasta and I wend for the snapper covered in pecans and brown sugar. Mongolian baby ribs and a shared pear and walnut salad opened the meal. Of course Caye Lime Pie to finish! Great night, great meal.
We’ve started using up prizes from Rose’s Lobsterfest haul — like dinner at the Blue Water Grill last week. Rose had angel hair seafood pasta and I went for the snapper covered in pecans and brown sugar. Mongolian baby ribs and a shared pear and walnut salad opened the meal. Of course, Caye Lime Pie to finish! Great night, great meal.

Oh, look, another bird, surely a great tail grackle, black as coal with very long tail feathers. It looks like a small turkey-in-training when it turns its back to the wind.

So.

Can you guess what I am doing?

If you answered waiting for Belize Telemedia Ltd. to come install WiFi in our new home (more on that later), you would be correct.

I was told that they would arrive on Monday or Tuesday. The guys called Monday afternoon to say they were finishing another job first.

Then.  Nothing. Today is Thursday.

It is no big deal. As you can see, I have plenty to do while waiting.

Oh, look. Another bird. One with colors. I’m fairly sure it is a Mexicana Bananaquit, thanks to a lovely illustration by Dana Gardner in H. Lee Jones’ “Birds pf Belize.”

I imagine Gardner, Jones & Hawkins will identify quite a few birds over the coming indefinite period of waiting.

I hope I don’t sound impatient, antsy, agitated or put out – all of which could be synonymous with being an American abroad, I suppose. Aside from the fear of going out to eat  moments before the installers show up, I am quite happy to sit. And wait. And count birds. And boats. And people.

Indeed, the absence of the Internet is a good thing. I spend way too much time watching people do amazing things with melted chocolate while riding bicycles, or ritually pouring icy water on top of their heads in the name of a terrible affliction, or – wow – is that the cutest puppy video you have ever seen in your life????

Reality check: This bike sat next to mine for six months and was never used. Just look at what tropical rust can do!
Reality check: This bike sat next to mine for six months and was never used. Just look at what tropical rust can do!

Way too much time. Way, way too much.

In fact, while back in the States, Rose and I discussed turning off the Internet  two days a week. We would go out and do something else, like bicycle around looking for people pouring ice water on their heads or do amazing things in real time with chocolate while cycling. Or, hey, will you just look at that cute puppy on Barrier Reef Drive!

Or snorkeling. Or maybe just talking to real people. In real time.

Well, we talked about it. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, while I’m waiting, now seems like a good time to bring you up to date.

After six weeks in transit, we returned to Ambergris Caye two weeks ago and this week, we moved into a waterfront condo development called The Cloisters.  It took all of two full trips in a golf cart borrowed from our friends Ed and Shirley. Later, Rose and I hand-carried the few remaining items, as we are quite literally moving just across the road.

I know what some of you are thinking: Aren’t Bob and Rose supposed to be moving to the south end of the island?  And the rest of you are thinking: Aren’t Bob and Rose supposed to be moving to San Ignacio?

The answer to both questions is: Yes.

The explanation is, well, things change. What’s the saying? Life happens while you are making plans.

The longer we stay on Ambergris Caye the harder it becomes to think about moving to the mainland. So we modified our goal a bit and decided to simply try the south end of San Pedro for six months to a year.

Then, this place in The Cloisters became available. Like so many things here, we found it by word of mouth. It wasn’t even on the market. It didn’t take but a few e-mails between the owners before we’d worked out an arrangement that works well for all of us.

And so this will be our home for the next year. Simple as that.

We have great friends here, north of the bridge. In fact, we now have great friends all over the island. So, living north or south  seems less and less important. The goal is not to run around Belize looking for the best deal, either renting or buying. The goal is to settle in, become a part of Belize. Maybe the right home will come along and maybe we’ll just keep renting. Maybe here on the island and maybe on the mainland or maybe on some idyllic caye out beyond the barrier reef.

I think Buddha said that only when you stop pursuing something will you be able to catch it.

Like my WiFi guys. I stopped wondering about when they would arrive days ago and started paying attention to the world around me, and it is an amazing world, filled with so much more than you can see in a pretty photo or a postcard.

They will arrive when they arrive.

And they did. And they installed the WiFi and it worked beautifully.

For less than 24 hours … because sometime early this afternoon I think I fried the wiring inside the router.

But that is another story for another day.

Right now, I need to call BTL and see if they make house calls on weekends. And find a bar with WiFi so I can tell you all this stuff.

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6 thoughts on “In Belize, we finally made our move, and not where we thought we’d be!

    Robert Chodowski said:
    August 23, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Great, and interestingly written post. You know how to “paint” a picture. We’ll be spending the first 10 days of the new year at our condo. Hope to see you and Rose New Year’s Eve? We plan early.

    Like

    Pete said:
    August 24, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Good choice Robert, better then GReef Village. Sorry i ever bought a Timeshare at so called Resort.

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      August 24, 2014 at 8:02 am

      Ha! I just heard the term GReef Village for the first time the other day — after living there six months! I must say that as renters, our experience was mostly positive. There was a pipe break and water tank failure and a leaky fridge but none of the really messy issues that shareholders,owners etc. have been confronting. I understand a court decision was due Friday. I hope it is good for all those who sunk their savings and trust in that place.

      Like

    Tracey said:
    August 24, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Congatulations on the move. You must love being on the water now! Great meeting you and Rose last week at Coco Loco s! Tracey

    Like

    Susan Watts said:
    August 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Sounds great. My husband are in Belize now looking at retirement property. Love the island.

    Like

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