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