Saturday, April 26, 2008

Outdoor Living in Belize

One of the huge delights about living in Belize is the way you can use the outdoors to enhance your living space. We recently completed enlarging and roofing our garden palapa. We really didn’t have any dining space in our house... so we decided to add this space, as well as an outdoor kitchen and living room area in our garden palapa. Although it took three or four months to complete, the project went smoothly and design elements seemed to fall into place as we went along. I suppose I could claim we had a grand plan, but that really wouldn’t be the truth. This is one picture of the new space and here is a link to more.

New Belize Puppy...

So Karen is sitting in the palapa and a guy in a truck stops fairly abruptly in front of our gate and gets out and looks around the vehicle and suddenly is depositing a little puppy on our lawn. Well, Miss Karen scoots out the gate and says "is that your dog?" and the guy says "no, he was wandering in the road and I almost hit him." Well, needless to say, he was soon inside with us and after a few days we learned that he belonged to a lady a few hundred yards up the road from us. So Karen brought him back to the owner, and a few hours later she (the rightful owner) was walking by our gate and here's the puppy tagging along with her... well, the puppy spied our place and immediately made a bee-line for the door and found a small opening to come in to the place where there's nice folks and food! The lady said, "he won't stay with me... you can have him." So, now we have a scrawny Belizean puppy to add to the menagerie. After a few days of healthy food, worm medicine, antibiotic for his skin infection and immunizations, he has blended in with the crew very nicely and is named Bowdoin. The name is from Bowdoin College near where we used to live and where our son, Kevin, is the Web Media Manager. Maybe being named after a great college will elevate his status in the world of Belizean mutts! Here's a picture of her (and Taco) more than a year later!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Belize Flower Magic

It's pretty easy to get great shots of the wonderful flowers that are all around The Maine Stay beach compound... and carrying a little digital camera on my belt makes it even easier. Below is Frangipani (Plumeria) and to the right is Bougainevillea. There are tons more examples of our beautiful flowers and shrubs here.

The relative ease in planting, growing, multiplying and transplanting all of these examples really astounded us in the beginning. Now we are spoiled and it would be really tough to try to do this in a different environment!

Must Read books on Belize:

After being in Belize full time for 4 years and figuring "everything" out about this little corner of Central America... I decided to re-read the books I devoured several years ago (and a new one) on the chance that maybe I missed some details and nuance. To say I was surprised and delighted at the revelations and clearer understanding of things doesn't really describe it... it was more like the camera flashbulbs going off at the Superbowl halftime. The frosting on the cake is the new book by Bruce Barcott. Don't miss it. See The New York Times review as well as Belize travel writer Lan Sluder's review.

The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman's Fight to Save the World's Most Beautiful Bird ...By Bruce Barcott

Our Man in Belize: A Memoir by Richard Timothy Conroy

Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer by Rosita Arvigo

Jaguar: One Man's Struggle To Establish The World's First Jaguar Preserve
by Alan Rabinowitz