Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Everything Will Be Here....After Easter

I've spent the last couple of days clearing up some loose ends and moving the building process forward. I finalized the drawings with Dan, the architect, so he can get them to Belize City for comments and corrections. Hopefully, there will only be a few of both, but I'm not overly optimistic.

George Greenwood , of Taribo Industries, found some wonderful black dirt and I was able to get 30 cubic yards of the stuff. Just in time for us to plant the lawn on the upper portion of the retaining wall. We installed the sprinkler system last week, so that once the dirt get put down, we will need some "carpet Grass" plugs to start the lawn. Sprinkler systems are almost non-existent in Belize, so you better have all the parts, cause there ain't no more.

No going down to the local Home Depot to pick up a few more sprinkler heads, or maybe some cut-offs. Not here. I told the job foreman of my plans for the sprinkler system and here just got this glazed over look. He had no idea of what I was talking about. Add to that the timers and electronic valves and you really get a confused look. Even my contractor had to look twice at the electronic sprinkler valves. Not much use for them in England, where he was from.

Then it was on to the water supply for the sprinklers. We are using the local water supply only for the lawns, but the pressure is so low, that you need to boost the water pressure using a shallow well pressure pump. So we bought a 160 gallon RotoPlas for the water storage system, and it comes with a float valve to shut the water off when it's full.

Another plus is that the RotoPlas will have it's own room, including the pressure pump, and the ceiling above it will now form a table for a B-B-Que and a sink. Since we'll have pressurized water at the pool equipment room, we're going to add a sink and an outside shower. I'm even going to have room for a small refrigerator. I'd hate to have to go to the refrigerator in the kitchen, every time I needed a beer. Especially when the standard Belikin is just over 9 oz, and they go fast on a hot day.

Today, I went out to Orange Walk to look at some tile for the bathrooms. The first place we went to had not only the tiles, and in the quantities we needed, it also had the border tiles. The tiling is now complete for the entire home. The main tiling for the living room, kitchen and both bedrooms, will arrive from Mexico sometime next week. Also arriving next week will be the container that has all of our windows, counters, sinks and more. And to top it all off, the stucco is in and it will be applied on Saturday. And just when you think it can't get any better, I went over to see our cabinet maker, Ravey Gongora, to finalize the design for the front door and he was able to show me the interior doors, almost finished. They are just what I wanted, all in hard wood. No plywood here.

These are other jobs Ravey is working on.

With everything coming in next week after Easter, I think I'm going to have to postpone my return trip, just so I can see everything go in.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Time Flies By

It was a fun filled Sunday, starting with Bocce Ball at Bob and Martha's, minus Martha, because she doesn't get up that early (8AM). A large turnout, with three courts in use. Unfortunately, I was on a losing team, and was eliminated from the completion early on. It reminded me of US curling team in the Winter Olympics. Close, but no cigar.

After that, there was a B-B-Que and Fixin's at the Mayan Seaside. I took over three pounds of chili. Others brought ceviche, mac and cheese, hot dogs, brownies, etc. It was a feast. Great company. Beautiful surroundings. And, of course, COLD BEER! You couldn't ask for more (except for more of the rum soaked watermelon...Mmmm).

My second Mom, in Belize, Elle.

Elle, you go girl!!!

Belize...you gotta love it!

Corozal Comes Alive

With Easter just around the corner, the local schools are now out on spring break for two weeks. On Friday, the last day before the break, the pre-schools throughout the Corozal district put on a parade that went down the main street, almost to the end of town, then they turned around and paraded down the seaside. Almost a quarter mile of kids all dressed up in costume, some walking, others towed on floats. All of them just as cute as can be.

Each school had a theme, such as The Three Little Pigs, Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland, Fairyland, etc. And with no place here in town to buy pre-made costumes, each costume was custom made, by hand. Some were simple costumes and others looked like they just came off a movie set.

The parade route was packed as people lined the street to watch the childen go by. I never realized how many pre-schools there were in Corozal and the surrounding communities. I had heard that half the population of Belize is under eighteen.

The parents walking with their kids proudly showing off their costumes. Cute costumes and kids.

I guess tying all the kids together is one way to keep them all going in the same direction. Maybe they should do it to the parents also. A lot of parents stopped to socialize, so it made the parade go a little slower. And as hot as it was that day, they really needed to keep the kids moving. They still had a long way to go from where we were watching.

On Saturday, there was going to be a Battle of the Bands, and school marching bands from all over the country were here to compete. Part of the competion was marching through town and then down by the seaside then back to the stadium where the competion continued.

Town was all cleaned up and new paint was everywhere. It was time for the mayor to showcase the town. It was the first time Corozal had hosted the event and town was hoppin'. People everywhere. The stadium was packed, the local beaches were packed and the local bars and eateries all were full. It was a good day in Corozal. I wanted to see the competion, but didn't really want to watch it in the hot sun. So I did the next best thing. I went to see Rocky at Jam Rock, suck down a few cold Belikins and watch the battle all on TV. They televised the whole competion. A nice little breeze from the ocean to cool things down. The perfect place to be.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Big Progress at the Mayan Seaside

Our blog has recently passed another milestone. It's been a year since I added the Flag Counter and the Live Traffic Feed to the blog, just to see who and where the people are that visit our site. We've had almost 10,000 page views and 66 different countries have visited our site since March 22, 2009. We've communicated with many of you and have met several of you, here in Belize. Overall, the blog has been a good experience. As we continue the blog, I hope that the information passed on has helped some of you on your move to Belize and to the others, I hope that it has at least been entertaining. The best is yet to come, as our house gets closer to completion.

I recently went over to the Mayan Seaside to visit friends and to see the progress that is being made to the community area over there. Art Higgins is really doing a wonderful job at creating a community with a large park, dock, seawalls and palapas. But it's the neighbors themselves that really make that community. The afternoon board meetings out on the dock are a great way to meet your neighbors and plan for the future. Some are already planning to have a December 21,2012 "Mayastock" with bands, food and drinks. They'll play until the end of the Mayan calendar (kinda like the Titanic). Who knows what happens then.

Our friends, Rick and Dawn, were just down here last month to put the finishing touches on their new home and several others in the area are completed or near completion.

The houses can vary from the very simple Mennonite homes to the multi-story mansions. You can pick your own lifestyle.