Friday, August 31, 2012

Doing this for the distraction, mostly

I'm not sure how great this post will be - but I'm trying to take my mind off of my sick puppy and my two workers who were shot BY THE POLICE last night. (I have no solid details yet, so that's not what the post is about)

Ummm.... I guess we'll just start with the new waffle joint and swimming hole in Belmopan:

Casa Cafe - 43 Forest Drive, Belmopan
Free wifi is always a plus!!

I'm a sucker for cute napkin holders

The beverages:

Bob's cappuccino with complimentary cookie

My java-chip mocha frozen coffee

The waffles.... YUM:

Me - plain ol' waffle with syrup and ice cream. SO GOOD.

Bob tried the waffle with fruit - the pink and white varieties of Dragon Fruit, Granny Smith apples, watermelon and banana.

If you're ever in Belmopan, give this place a try - the service was reasonably quick and the food really good! I'm not sure if the ice cream is homemade or not, but it tasted like it was.

After we ate, we went for a walk down a dirt road - which might still be Forest Drive but there was no sign.

Shoes on the wires - reminds me of home!

The swimming hole at the end of the road

I stood up after this picture and managed to lose a shoe in the process. It was ok though - Bob ran down stream and rescued it for me.

so clear and pretty.... a damn good spot.

 an enormous new building going up in Belmopan - anyone know what it is???

I parted ways with Bob after our walk and hopped on a bus to Cayo, where I stopped at the MayaWalk bar to cool off with a few bottles of Belikin. I talked to the owner, Jimmy, about finding a cheap hotel nearby that offered free wifi and he hooked me up with a great deal ($20us) at his place - Nefry's Retreat. (Small world - Jimmy is my friend Janell's uncle, and the hotel is right across the street from her house) 

This place is super cute and it's far enough out of town that you don't hear cars go by, but close enough to walk anywhere you want to go in San Ignacio.

the courtyard

The large room with everything you need - air conditioning, cable tv, fresh filtered water, coffee maker, instant coffee, comfortable beds, and a bathroom with good water pressure.

I was totally happy with the room - but the wifi did NOT work and I was a little perturbed about it because all I wanted to do was work on my assignment for the online class I'm taking and I wasn't able to.
If they get it fixed, I'll definitely be staying there again next month when I go to Cayo overnight. 
I went back out, since I couldn't get online, and had dinner by myself at Ko-Ox Han-Nah (really good cheeseburger with crunchy fries)

This place is a MUST try in San Ignacio. Most of their ingredients are organic - they have a farm nearby where they raise they're own lamb and pork, and they buy other meats locally. (They also do their own butchering and processing) They process local milk and make their own yogurt and feta cheese, and their salad dressings and curry sauces are all homemade as well.

They have a great menu, too - Belizean, Asian, Indian, and Vegetarian cuisine at fair prices.

I had to buy myself this necklace - a guy right outside the restaurant was selling them.

I ran into some people I know at a bar on my way back called Mr. Greedys and listened to stories about castrating horses, theft, home invasions, and murder. 

I just went back to Nefry's after that and fell asleep watching Scream 5 or 8... the one where Sydney's niece ends up being the killer.

In  the morning, I left early and stopped at the Belize Coffee Company for an iced vanilla coffee on my way to see Marley in Santa Elena.

2nd floor, Burns Ave

how fancy!

That's pretty much it for this week's Cayo experience.... 

When I got home yesterday, after stopping to say hi to Bob in Belmopan and having lunch at Windell's cafe in Steadfast, I found myself doing yet another thing I never thought I would do - walking barefoot through the mud in the Belizean jungle! 
It started pouring when I got about halfway up the driveway and my plastic Chinese "slippers" totally suck when they get wet, so I was better off being barefoot.

An ordinary night at home was interrupted around 11pm when we got a call about the shootings in the village.... 

All my readers - please pray for a guy named Bolo.... he isn't doing very well.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

TRYING to catch up...

I have so many things to post about - but I haven't had even an hour of good "alone time" to work in the past two or three weeks. I tried, I really really tried last night, I swear.

I went to Cayo yesterday, after stopping in Belmopan to try out the new waffle place and finding a good swimming hole (post on that later, I hope) and found a place to stay for the night.
The plan was to have a drink, get a room, go out for dinner, and then back to the room to pay attention to the blog for the rest of the night. All good intentions.

Long story short - I got a nice room for a great price in a cute hotel.... but the wifi did NOT work.

Here's something just to let you know I haven't forgotten my blog, and I'll post again as soon as I possibly can:

The new found swimming hole in Belmopan

Sunday, August 26, 2012

"What do you do?"

A lot of people have been asking lately, "What do you DO all day when you're 'stuck' at home?" and, "What do you do without electricity?"

Well.... I'm actually not too sure, to be honest, so I've been keeping track of how I kill time in order to answer your questions.

 I usually wake up, for the first time, around 4:30-5:00, when the roosters start their crowing... or yelling, whatever it is you wanna call it.

The baby rooster, born in April. 
I hate him, this picture is actually labeled in my folder as "Asshole"

I can usually fall asleep again after a bit, but even if I don't, I generally won't get out of bed until around 7-7:30ish.

The first thing I do, after than do the obvious bathroom things -teeth, face, etc -  is wash dishes from the night before, because usually by the time dinner is over, it's too dark (without electricity) to wash them.

After dishes, I clean the litter box - which we will be getting rid of as soon as the cat enclosure is finished - and make sure Bubby and Muffin have food and fresh water. (Trip feeds the dogs before I'm out of bed, most days) 

Next, I'll make the bed and then go out to feed the chicken, but I'll get sidetracked by the dogs and end up petting them for a while - or picking sticky things out of their fur - before I make it over to Roberts to get the chicken feed. 

 When I get to the greenhouse - the chicken's temporary home - I'll hang out in there for 10-15 minutes to chat with her while I clean out her water bowl. 

Now that we have goats, my next stop is the new goat corral to say good morning and make sure they have water and try to bribe them for friendship with carrots.
This fence only took three guys two days to complete - one of the quickest jobs we've ever had done - and it's built with sticks cut from the Madre de Cacao tree in order to create a Living Fence.

It's around 10:00 by the time I've done all this... and by now I want to get online to check my email and see if I have any more postcard requests to send out, but my laptop is dead, so I have to ask Trip to charge the battery for me so I can hook my computer up to the inverter to let it charge for an hour or two. (He does that by taking the battery outside and hooking it up to the truck for a few minutes)

If the truck won't start, which happens from time to time, Robert has a battery at his house that's connected to a solar panel - so if there's sunshine, we can charge electronics over there if we have to.

While the computer is charging, we'll think about eating for the first time all day. Today I'm just having a cantaloupe and a banana, but some days I'll mix up pancake batter (try the Belizean Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Pancakes) and trip will make them on the grill, or he'll cook up some kind of chicken or soup.

Then, dishes again, and sweeping the floor, dusting the window slats, wiping down the counters... these are *almost* every day things I do to kill time, but sometimes I'll read instead, or spend some time filling out postcards.

One thing I DO do every day now, usually during the afternoon, is palm roll my dreads to try to keep them neat and... dready. I do it dry most days, but sometimes I'll use beeswax or Locksteady Tropical Tightening Gel from KnottyBoy. (I also like to use their Peppermint Cooling Moisture Spray right after I go see Marley to have them tightened up, which I'll be doing again on Tuesday.

I think I counted 37 dreads, and it takes about an hour to roll them all. Roary - if you move down here and crash with me, one of your jobs will be to help me with the daily palm-rolling!

When my laptop is charged, I get online for anywhere from an hour to three hours, depending on what I want to do - just check email and my blog, post a blog, make some moves in Words With Friends, read some news articles, edit pictures, etc. When I'm done, I'll plug the computer back in to use after dinner.

Before it gets dark, I round up the puppies and Mama for "tick checks." I'll seriously spend about 2 hours a day picking ticks off of the three of them, and I get literally hundreds off of them every week. They get bathed, they get spayed with flea and tick spray.... but they still get covered with gross bugs, and I refuse to have dogs with tick infestations.

I'll go feed the chicken once more and see if any goat other than Higby wants to eat a carrot, and I make sure they still have water. If they ever don't have water, I just tell Trip and someone takes care of it, like magic.

By the time I'm done it's time for Trip to make dinner. Yes, he is the cook of the house, and he does everything on the grill, and it's always really, really good. I just stay in the kitchen while he's out on the verandah and hand him whatever he might need through the window and man the iPod.

You know that, by the time we're finished eating, it's too dark to do the dishes properly, so I just load up the sink for the morning. The computer has enough battery power again by now to watch a movie or two, so we pick a few out of our bootleg movie collection and just watch as many as we can.

When the battery dies or gets to low to start another one, that's when I usually brush my teeth and wash my face again and get ready for bed. Sometimes it's 9 o'clock, sometimes it's 11.... 

I really don't know where the time goes, but that's basically what I do every day that I'm home and that's how I'm able to charge my batteries sometimes.
We have pumps for the water - so I can still use the sink, toilet, and shower without electricity.
When we can get to town in the truck, we pick up ice and meat and use the cooler for a few days to keep things cold.

Other things I do while home:
Chase the dogs away from the chickens that have gotten out of the coop
Pick weeds from the greenhouse garden
Laundry - in a washing machine under the carport, run by the generator
Go through my clothes - I still live out of three bags since we haven't gotten our closet yet
Wander around the property taking pictures
Walk with the dogs
Play with cats - they love chasing trashballs

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The International Postcard Swap continues

I just LOVE going to the post office these days! Today I got THE best card ever, sent from my sister Shannon, along with 17 other cards from around the world....

Hahahahaaa.... my sister knows how to make my day!

From David in France - the Grand Prix De Monaco - these old race cars are so cool. I want one.

 Stamp from Monaco, December 2000

The stamp from France - Chateau De Crussol-Ardeche.

From Claudia in Barcelona - Wow! Look at that bench, designed by Antoni Gaudi.

Cool stamp - but look at that kitten sticker!!

Card 1 from Cara in Rhode Island - the capital city, Providence
Narragonsett Bay (top right corner) Kennedy Plaza (triangle shaped park in center)

Card 2 from Cara (thanks Cara!!!) Lighthouses of Rhode Island
The bottom left, Castle Hill Light, is my favorite!

From Radim in Czech Republic - the Moravskoslezke Beskydy mountain range

 My new favorite stamp!! Thank you, Radim!!

Card 1 of 2 from Hella in Ireland - Cork! 
I'm not sure where in Cork, exactly, but that's where my dad's family comes from!

"A typical view of West-Cork"  - the Emerald Island
Thank you, Hella!!! (I love the fish stamps, too, but can't get a decent pic!)

From Kate in Belarus - The Football Manege in Minsk

Gorgeous - from Don in Australia!!
He wrote so much information on the back for me, too!

crazy little Australian critter

Multi-views of Germany from Maren
Moselschleife and St. Goarshausen look SO nice!

cute kitties! Luchs?

12 views from the Black Sea in Bulgaria, sent by Fidel. Pretty!!!

From Anna in Russia - she says this card is of Kremlin of Yarosla vl'- Russian old city around Moscow

love the architecture on the stamps

A super cute promo card from Rebecca at! 
 We'll be getting together for some sort of joint-blogging adventure once I get my Jeep down here...

Ok... talk about amazing architecture...
This one is from Nana in Spain - all the spots that tourists need to see in Barcelona.

Another cool multi-view, this one from Dony in Holland!
He says it's boring there... but I don't believe him!

From Helga in the south of the Netherlands - her hometown, Someren.
I LOVE the cows and this is exactly what I picture the Netherlands to look like!

I got one little care package this week, from Mr. Wujianming in China:

I love their fancy envelopes

front of postard

the back.... Can anyone translate for me?

Hand painted.... again, I need a translator!

My friend Bob came back from his visit to Costa Rica and brought me back some cards from his travels...

Where Bob is moving to.... and where I'll be taking a 60 hour bus ride to visit!

El Salvador

El Salvador

To view ALL my postcards in one place, check out my Flickr link, HERE