ex-pats

Blue Water Grill turns its charitable impulses toward the PolyClinic

Posted on Updated on

blue-water-grill
Blue Water Grill is one of San Pedro’s fine dining establishments and one of its most community conscious. Good food and good citizenship go hand in hand — a feature of some of the islands best restaurants.

Every month the Blue Water Grill, here in San Pedro, Belize, picks a different fund-raising project and matches a certain amount of the funds raised from their guests.

December through February, for example, were dedicated to raising funds to refurbish Boca del Rio Park’s playground equipment — and they collected $10,234 to make it happen. They recently raised funds similarly for playground equipment at Central Park in downtown San Pedro.

This month, the popular restaurant has set a goal of $8,000 to buy a new electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) diagnostic machine for the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic, our only public medical facility on the island. Blue Water will match the first $2,000 raised and plans to continue this program into April if the whole $8,000 isn’t raised this month.

This is huge.

ambassador1
This past Friday, Blue Water Grill hosted the U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Carlos R. Moreno and his Embassy staff for their annual meet-and-greet with island expats.

And personal.

I know heart trouble. A year ago, I had a stent inserted into an artery. Most recently, a very dear Belizean friend was airlifted to the mainland with a severe heart problem that might have been diagnosed right here with the proper equipment.

With heart problems, time is always of the essence.

I am thrilled that somebody is turning this community’s immense charitable impulses toward a project that will benefit all islanders. The PolyClinic is a government operated facility that was originally launched by the local Lions Club to fulfill a badly needed service on the island. The PolyClinic does not charge for its services  and it welcomes all — residents, expats, visitors.

Secondly, I am a huge fan of the PolyClinic staff. Since a recent operation in Merida, Mx., I have been making regular visits to the clinic. I find the staff professional, skilled and deeply caring under often demanding circumstances. Not long ago, the PolyClinic expanded into a 24/7 operation, augmenting staff and services to meet the needs of this growing community.

They, in turn,  need — and deserve to have — lots of badly needed modern medical equipment and medical supplies.

When I found out what Blue Water was up to, I immediately went to the cashier’s desk and dropped money in the donation box.

I urge you to do the same, if you are on the island! Even if you aren’t planning on enjoying dinner or a drink at the beachfront bistro, drop by, drop some bills in the box and drop a few compliments on the community-conscious staff!

If you are not here, but hold an affection for Ambergris Caye, why not contact Blue Water Grill and press the “donate” button to show some #islandlove?

My friends have heard me speak of this in the past: I would love to see a regular fund-raising campaign for the PolyClinic, in the spirit of our two biggest island projects — Saga Humane Society and the local Red Cross. Both fulfill strong needs here on the island with the help of regular fund-raising events.

How can we tap into this powerful charitable impulse for the benefit of our only public medical facility, which services everyone from the island’s poorest resident to the most advantaged?

Ideas?

This is just me with my head in the clouds over Belize

Posted on

The clouds have been especially beautiful lately. The sky here is such a broad canvas, only the most robust of clouds can make an impress up there. Of course, they usually bring rain.
The clouds have been especially beautiful lately. The sky here is such a broad canvas, only the most robust of clouds can make an impress up there. Of course, they usually bring rain.

Recently I was approached to do a little writing about our life in Belize by some publications  dedicated to turning ordinary developed country citizens into ex-pats. That is a pretty big business, you know.

I guess after living nine months on an island off the coast of Belize, I have gained some sort of credibility as an “expert ex-pat.” I don’t feel it, personally. To me, every day is still an enigma to be solved, a challenge to be embraced, a mystery to be exposed — albeit, joyfully.

If confusion is the first step toward enlightenment, I’ve barely put my first sandal into the sand. Read the rest of this entry »

A man’s gotta do what a man’s . . . oh hell, it’s just eggs and water

Posted on Updated on

To you, this looks ike a tasty array of jams, sauces, curreys and preserves but in the hands of a klutze like me they are weapons of glass destruction.
To you, this display in the San Pedro boutique named “12 Belize” looks like a tasty array of jams, sauces, curreys and preserves but in the hands of a klutz like me they are weapons of glass destruction.

This is the moment I’ve been dreading for weeks: We are running out of drinking water and eggs at the exact same time.

What’s the big deal? Go to the store, buy some water, buy some eggs, bring them home.

Easy for you to say.

I can do water. I can do eggs. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting high on San Pedro

Posted on Updated on

A drone-eye view of San Pedro Town from this splendid little fly-by video.
A drone-eye view of San Pedro Town from this splendid little fly-by video. Blue building in the foreground is the Roman Catholic school. We live in the very white splotch at the top (north) end of the image.

On Friday morning I watched a little camera drone zipping in and around the lagoon and between buildings.

I’m used to watching birds fly by, fish leap from the water and boats skim across the lagoon.

Drones?

Not your everyday experience here.

So, yeah, it creeped me out for a few moments.

And then of course I just had post a smarmy mention about it on Facebook. “… CIA drone … blah, blah, blah. ” (I don’t know why. It just seemed to be the thing to do.)

My cousin Scott responded with one better, way better: “Coming up on “We Found Robert Hawkins in Belize” on FNC, we follow Bob via the CIA/IRS/NSA/FNC/Century 21 Realty drone as he takes his morning bike ride to his favorite breakfast joint, then spends the rest of the day to ponder the question “What is that constant buzzing sound?” Stay thirsty my cousin, stay thirsty.”

But our friend Ruthie Rinehart came up with actual drone footage from San Pedro! It was a video shot by “ J Massey who used a DIJ Phantom Quad remote controlled copter” to capture our beautiful San Pedro from the air.

I have watched this video probably five times this morning, each time finding some as yet — to me — undiscovered corner of the town.

See the video here.

AmbergrisToday.com posted it to their site on April 24 so it is pretty fresh stuff.

Enjoy!

 

 

Among a slew of perfect days in Belize, the most perfect of all

Posted on Updated on

Could there be a better way to spend a birthday?
Could there be a better way to spend a birthday than snorkeling the Belize barrier reef? That’s Rose, above. Ask her!

On Thursday everything in the universe was was aligned. It was a calendar palindrome 4-10-2014 (4102014). And apparently the sun, mars, the moon and the earth were all perfectly aligned on the same axis.

Powerful, inexplicable, mystical forces at work.

A good day to celebrate a birthday.

Oh, yeah: Mine! Read the rest of this entry »

San Pedro surf’s up: March Blow becomes April’s huff and puff

Posted on

April winds and high surf beyond the reef are keeping the water level high around Ambergris Caye. There's even an occasional crashing wave on shore, like this one in the Boca del Rio neighborhood.
April winds and high surf beyond the reef are keeping the water level high around Ambergris Caye. There’s even an occasional crashing wave on shore, like this one in the Boca del Rio neighborhood.

 

Running along the shore of Ambergris Caye this morning required some dexterity. Waves weren’t only lapping upon the beach. In some spots they’d swallowed the beach and coast trail entirely.

After trying to run between waves, skip over the top of them and a little backtracking I gave up and took a sharp right to the road.

The weather locally is called the March Blow although it is now blowing into April. It is just a strong but steady wind from the northeast that passes through like a slow moving freight train, blowing all the bugs into Belize City and the dust and sand off the roofs. Read the rest of this entry »

Putting on pants for a real night out in Ambergris Caye

Posted on Updated on

Sunset on Friday from the lagoon-side patio of the Hotel in the Tres Cocos section of San Pedro Town, Belize.
Sunset on Friday from the lagoon-side patio of the Hotel in the Tres Cocos section of San Pedro Town, Belize.

I put on pants yesterday.

For the first time since we arrived in Belize, I set aside the daily uniform of shorts, sandals and T-shirt for a pair of khaki slacks, Hawaiian print shirt, Padres baseball cap and oh yeah, sandals.

The occasion? Read the rest of this entry »

Just a little off the top: Things you see, bicycling to yoga

Posted on Updated on

Manuel cleans and buffs the bust of John E. Greif II in front of the eponymously named airport in San Pedro Town, Belize. According to the plaque on the front Greif is the father of aviation and tourism in San Pedro.
Just a little off the ears: Manuel cleans and buffs the bust of John E. Greif II in front of the eponymous airport in San Pedro Town, Belize. According to the plaque on the front Greif is the father of aviation and tourism in San Pedro.
According to the plaque, Kentucky-born Greif was a WWII aviator and engineer. He died in San Pedro in November 2005.
Massage therapy: According to the plaque, Kentucky-born Greif was a WWII aviator and engineer. He died in San Pedro in November 2005.

 

This is Fred. Every day he sweeps the only bridge in San Pedro Town. I think he does a heck of a job and every day that I cycle over the bridge and he is there I make a point to say hello and thank you.
Clean sweep: This is Fred. Every day he sweeps the only bridge in San Pedro Town. I think he does a heck of a job and every day that I cycle over the bridge and he is there I make a point to say hello and thank you.

 

Where would Bowen & Bowen be without John Deere tractors to haul Belikin beer, Crystal water and juices and Coca Cola around San Pedro Town? Worse, where would we be without our water and beer? I suspect that the tractors are as much tradition as a very practical way to get round the town's narrower streets.
Squeeze play: Where would Bowen & Bowen be without John Deere tractors to haul Belikin beer, Crystal water and juices and Coca Cola around San Pedro Town? Worse, where would we be without our water and beer? I suspect that the tractors are as much tradition as a very practical way to get round the town’s narrower streets.

 

We have China to thank for our garbage pick-up in San Pedro Town! To the local culture, the U.S. has added mud wrestling, chicken drops and Jerry Jeff Walker. Let's call it even for now.
International goodwill: We have the Republic of China(Taiwan) to thank for our garbage pick-up in San Pedro Town! To the local culture, the U.S. has added mud wrestling, chicken drops and Jerry Jeff Walker. Let’s call it even for now. Taiwan also supplies almost all the bicycles ridden here so maybe they do have the edge.

A Belize day-in-the-life: Sapotes, yoga, good food and friends

Posted on Updated on

Mayem Sapotes share the bowl with a couple of limes, bananas, tomatoes .... just another shopping day, with lots of yoga.
Mamey Sapotes share the bowl with a couple of limes, bananas, ginger, tomatoes …. just another shopping day, with lots of yoga.

So much for that laid-back island vibe.

Rose took three yoga classes  yesterday –and a hyper-energy dance class at Zen Arcade.

So, what’s a guy to do if he wants to see his wife? I took two of the yoga classes, too.

And that, my friends, constitutes a busy day here on Ambergris Caye. Well, with a bunch of other stuff thrown in between the classes.  It kind of feels like this video, (which was posted by Rebecca of San Pedro Scoop)  — a jittery GoPro bicycle tour up and down the same streets we cycle, filmed by Nicolai Hebert. Read the rest of this entry »

Bliss in Belize: Rose sums up her feelings after six weeks

Posted on Updated on

Bliss in Belize: Sunday's sunset from the deck of our home on Ambergris Cay, Belize.
Bliss in Belize: Sunday’s sunset from the deck of our home on Ambergris Cay, Belize.

Please welcome our guest blogger today, Rose Alcantara!

This is a letter Rose wrote the other day to some of her friends back in the States.  I would love to see her write more often, and not just because she says nice things about me! And besides, it is about time for a fresh voice and perspective here.

If you agree that Rose should write more often, encourage her. If she does write, I promise to take more yoga classes (and maybe cook occasionally … although that may not be much of a bargaining chip).

And now, a word from Miss Rose: Read the rest of this entry »