Saturday, November 8, 2008

Getting ready for the trip

It's just under two weeks before I leave for Belize. I've been getting items I will need to plot where the house will sit on the property. I will begin to contact various contractors to shop my plans and to get a ballpark figure on the cost to build. I also want to wander through town and find the stores I will need for tile, paint, fixtures,etc.. A friend from work, Hipolito, who is Belizian, will be down visiting family, in Corozal, for a few weeks, so I hope to hook up with him for a few days. He can show me the town and other places that I will need to know about in Belize City and Belmopan. I am also looking forward to meeting Dave and Dianna. They also have a blog that has provided needed information and occasional wit. They have also used a contractor that I am going to try and get a bid from.

While I am there, I'm going to open a bank account and hope I have all the information that they need. I have visited the Belize Forum, various blogs and even the banks' own web site, to get information on what I need to open an account at Atlantic Bank ( It seems that I need a letter of introduction, from two different banks, that includes the date the account was opened, type of account(s), average balance, and that the client has performed to the banks' satisfaction. They also want a color copy of your passport, showing the signature and photograph. One place on the forum said they wanted the original social security card. And I think this is only to open a savings account. If you want to open a checking account, you need to be a resident for six months.

In the following posts, I will include information that I have found with regards to rainwater catchment systems, septic systems, back up generators, solar and wind options, and just about anything else I can think of that can help building a house from the ground up, in Belize. I hope what I learn, and post ,will help other avoid the pitfalls that enevitably befall all large construction projects. The idea is to keep these mistakes to a minimum. The projected start date if all goes well would be around the first of May with some of the ground work started in April.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election '08

I can't believe it. It's finally here. After 2 LONG years of campaigning, the election day is finally today. After ALL the ads, ALL the mail and ALL the phone calls, it's coming to an end. The lines at the polling places, here in Camarillo, were quite long. I was rather surprised to see the turn out. Democracy at work. We voted, but we did it by absentee ballot. Much easier. No waiting in line.

Mischelle liked the McCain/Palin ticket but I went with Obama/Biden ticket, so we just cancelled out each others' vote. They said with all the money being spent, it figured to be about $10 for every vote, so they just spent $20 for nothing.

It's official. We have our first black President. I hope with his election we can move more to the center and find more common ground and compromise than the last eight years. McCain gave a gracious speech in accepting defeat and Obama in his winning speech, talked of bringing a country together. Yes we can.

The other big issue here in California is the gay marriage proposition. The polls are not closed here, so they won't show the results until late tonight or tomorrow. The turnout at the polls broke records here in LA. Good for us. I admired Belize for their embrace of democracy and the high voter turnout. They take their politics seriously. I look forward to watching their elections. At least they don't have as much money to spend on advertising.