Thursday, December 30, 2010

Piles of Junk...

Some time this past summer, Jose told me that one of the local resorts was getting rid of an old commercial stove from their restaurant. When I went to look, it was in pretty rough shape.  It was cheap enough that I decided to take the risk we could do something with it. The piles of junk you see below are after Jose had "dismantled" it... I didn't get back to the shop quick enough for a really good "before" photo!

It took a lot of time and effort to rejuvenate this very well made Garland commercial stove, but the end result made it all worth it!  No, we don't (and won't) run a restaurant, but we have always wanted one of these and now it's in our palapa kitchen.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Jankuno Traditional Garifuna Christmas Dancing...

Christmas Day at The Maine Stay...

Thanks very much to Hamanasi Resort for the very nice description below of the Jankuno tradition.

“Jankuno” Garifuna Dance

by HAMANASI on DECEMBER 20, 2010
The “Jankuno” dance is a traditional dance performed during the Christmas season. The dancer wears a mask which resembles an English face topped by a hand-made hat similar to the English naval hats of the 18th century. It is said that these dances have their origins in the days of slavery and were intended to make fun of the white masters and their lack of rhythm.

Dum, du-dum … dum du-dum, is the rhythm of the drum that seems to be coming from across the village. It is an insidious beckoning to become a part of the music. As you draw nearer, the drumbeats become more distinct and there is the rising accompaniment of “shingling” shells. Above the crowd you are approaching is the wild movement of brightly colored feathers that adorn the head of dancers you are yet to see. The urge to be a part of whatever is happening gets stronger.
It is early January, the end of the Christmas celebrations and the final phase of a fortnight of dancing culminating in “Dia del Rey”, observed January 6th (or the weekend closest to that date,) by the Garinagu. It is another activity that helps to validate Dangriga’s self-imposed title, “The Culture Capital of Belize”. picture
You know that the dancing of the Jankuno is drawing near when you see a young man here, a young boy there, gathering colorful feathers, assembling an attractive crown, or putting the finishing touches to the painted face masks that will be worn. You might be lucky to see a fully dressed dancer or two heading in the same direction as you, in search of the drums and their captivating rhythm.
Moving slowly to the front of the crowd you are suddenly faced with 5-10 costumed dancers wearing long sleeved white shirts, white gloves, knee length black pants and the occasional skirt, stockinged feet with black or white shoes. Green, pink or black ribbons criss-cross their chests and wrap their waist. At the knees, hundreds of tiny shells strung into knee pads make that “shingling” sound that accompany the dancer’s every move. The heads are wrapped in colorful cloths and the face is covered with painted masks depicting the features of a Caucasian male.
Inside the ring of onlookers is a loose circle of dancers awaiting their individual turns to perform, beginning with the youngest. With forearms extended, the incessant hypnotic movement of the dancer’s feet matches the rhythm and pattern of the two drummers. But it is the dancer’s movement that dictates the drummers’ beat and not the other way around. Paying keen attention, the drummers know when to pause, when to change the rhythm, and how to keep the flow. Each dancer brings his own unique style and flavor so the dancing is not repetitious. The Jankuno has the added richness of the Garifuna history and culture. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Cabana, Palapa and Pier Photos

The 360 degree panoramas I posted about earlier were done by Ben Kim of Esoteric Vision.  Here are 3 stills he took while doing those shoots. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Funny Dogs in Belize

Taco and Bowdoin
I don't know why we named him Taco... since he's mostly Italian Greyhound! Bowdoin is a typical Belizean mutt that decided to walk down the middle of the Placencia Road and stick his scrawny puppy face in our yard... he has thrived!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fly Fishing in Belize...

Some very nice video and stills of the Placencia area flats. Permit, bonefish and tarpon... go for the grand slam!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

First Haircut in Belize!

I spent 3 months working at the Hillside Clinic in Eldridgeville, just outside of PG in early 2001. The friendly barber in PG did a great job. Wonder if he's still there?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Belize "Barefoot Perfect" Wedding

On Saturday, December 5th, 2010 Don and Dena Swanson had a "barefoot perfect" wedding on the beach at The Maine Stay, Placencia Peninsula, here in gorgeous Belize. It was a beautiful, simple and elegant ceremony. The weather was delightful. See more photos.