True to its word, Belize Electric Ltd. (BEL) shut down the entire island’s electricity at 6 a.m. Saturday morning for some maintenance projects.
I suppose that sounds a little strange to you, my First World family and friends, but that is how things are done here. When something is taken off-line for repairs, the whole island goes black. I guess we just don’t have the redundancy systems that would allow them to bypass a transformer, feeder, substation or whatever.
By BEL does have a Facebook alert system and the utility posted warnings as early as Friday about the shutdown.
So, you adjust, roll with it and move on. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
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 »
With the departure on New Years Eve day of my youngest son Chris and his wife, Katie, all three of my sons have now visited us on Ambergris Caye in Belize. Ryan was the first, back around Thanksgiving 2014. Brendan, Cami and Brody were here for two wonderful weeks this summer.
My work is done here.
Now all I need do is sit back and wait for each to reach the obvious conclusion: “Man that was fun. Let’s go to Belize again!”
It will happen. Read the rest of this entry »
I pulled up to Marbucks coffeehouse here on Ambergris Caye this morning to see one of the owners, Rob Eykelbeysh, being escorted down to the police station.
I asked him what was happening and he smiled and said it is all good.
But it isn’t. Read the rest of this entry »
We have been enjoying some interesting days lately.
If the answer to all of life’s difficult questions is “Belize,” then why don’t some expats succeed here, while others do?
It is not unusual to say goodbye to someone on whom we were about to bestow with Belize-friend-for-life status. More and more, it becomes clear that if you want to be here for the long-haul you have to behave more like a Rolling Stone than a Beatle. Read the rest of this entry »
Lately I’ve been spending the early morning hours walking north along the Ambergris Caye beach trai?.
Well, early mornings? Most days that might be 8 or 9 a.m. but recently after not sleeping at all, I headed up the coast at 5:30 a.m. And yes, in full sunrise. Sun rises pretty early here, although I’ve succeeded in ignoring it most days.
Anyway, about a mile up from my place, in the Tres Cocos neighborhood, there is a log.
And not just any log.
You might not notice it as you walk north, just past the Palapa Bar and before Ak’Bol Yoga Retreat. In this direction, it is just another log in the water. They float in from time to time and eventually run aground in the shallows, forming a nice roosting spot for the aquatic birds.
I know it is there. I’ve seen it for many months.
But it almost never fails that, as I return home, deep in my meditations, I come upon this thing and it gives me a jolt.
“Mother of Spinach! That is one freaking big crocodile!” my mind says, in so many words. “Run, you fool!”
I quickly suppress the impulse to flee — the one all animals count on to survive as a species — and realize it is my old friend the log.
Just a log.
A log with two piercing eyes that probably glow red in the night, and scaly leather-like bark, and a snout. Who ever heard of a log with a snout?
Gets me every time.
Having lived on Ambergris Caye for only a year, there are few building projects that we can say we were there at the birth. Building things here — even houses — takes a very long time — unless you are Ramon’s Village and you want our fire-ravaged resort to reopen by Christmas. In which case, yes, miracles do happen.
Here on Ambergris Caye in Belize, “Mind the gap” gained special relevance over the past weekend when the landlord of the Palapa Bar & Grill removed 10 planks in the pier used to reach the iconic bar.
The man, who recently bought the property — a diminutive and abrasive Texan, kind of a very bald Yosemite Sam — claims the longtime leaseholders, Scott and Jodi Harnish, were behind in their rent.
Not so. Read the rest of this entry »