Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

One of my favorite restaurants here in Belize is Bird's Isle.  It sits on it's own little island. Located in Belize City; it is one of those places that we had to have someone else drive us to the first time.  Now we can find it on our own and we try something new each time we are there and have not been disappointed.

We took Nathan there when he was with us:

We have enjoyed eating simple things there.  The burgers are great!  Nathan ordered fried shrimp, Tom had grilled shrimp and I had chicken.  Yeah, kinda boring.

Bird's Isle has an incredible harbor view:


and a great atmosphere:


 Even the view from where we parked our car was awesome:



As I was looking online for a link to Bird's Isle Restaurant I came across various reviews but they don't seem to have a website of their own.  I found several blog posts about the place and one of them stood out above the rest.

Megan, who writes a blog called My Bohemian Life has an adventurous spirit and she doesn't seem to be afraid of trying new things.  I found a [blog post] of hers where she describes eating gibnut.  This is not a regular item on the menu.  Megan got a special heads up when it became available.

Megan's photo
This dish looks tasty and here is her description of the dish from her post on May 13th :
 The meat was prepared in a stew and the first bite was tender like pork, but with much smaller bones that I had to work around. Gibnut is gamey, but not like rabbit. It’s white meat, but not like chicken. Essentially, gibnut tastes like gibnut.


I am just amazed.
 I don't think I could eat it.

 I mean he is too cute to eat...don't you think?
Megan's photo
 I have bookmarked Megan's blog so I can read more of her Belizean adventures... I hope you do too!


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Monday, May 30, 2011

bonding between women..

One of the ladies who attends our little fellowship does nails.  Works of art in my opinion.  She asked me if I had a color in mind and since I didn't she just decided on her own what to do.  These are not decals.  She painted each design free hand.  I admired her passion for her work and her gentleness with me.

I have to admit this is not something I normally take the time to do.  After all as a missionary I should be devoted to more serious pursuits, right?  Like investing in the lives of people.  This gal has had her share of life struggles.  She has 4 children.  The father of her youngest son was recently killed.

Something told me I needed to spend some time with her away from church.  So I drove over to her salon; which is a hole in wall that was not easy to find.  She beamed with joy at seeing me.  We chatted a bit.  And then I left with toes done and a sense of a new stage of relationship between us.  At church today she drew me close and whispered for me to come by and see her again.

A few of the other women had also gotten pedicures that week.  And we all stood around showing off our toes, talking about hair and, you know, bonding.  The pedicure cost me $5 USD.  But, I think it was worth so much more.  And time will tell just how much of a return that investment will yield.

Friday, May 27, 2011

What's in the news here in Belize?

Homosexuals are fighting for their rights here in Belize...according to what we have heard from the friends who mentioned this to us last night this will be a nasty battle that could turn bloody.  There are those who claim that foreigners are forcing their agenda on Belize.



This graphic shows a poll that was taken by one of the newspapers here in Belize and here is an article from this week's paper:

Belize churches join GOB in court battle against homosexuals

Posted: 22/05/2011 - 10:46 AM 
Author: Adele Ramos - adelescribe@gmail.com 


The Belize Association of Evangelical Churches and the Council of Churches have applied through heavyweight attorneys, Rodwell Williams, SC; Eamon Courtenay, SC; Jackie Marshalleck, Christopher Coye, and M. H. Chebat, to join forces with the Government of Belize in defense of Belizean laws against sodomy—laws which are being challenged in court by Caleb Orosco and the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), an organization which Orosco leads.

Belize’s criminal code calls for imprisonment for 10 years for persons who have intercourse “against the order of nature” with a person or animal, once they are convicted of the act. UNIBAM is challenging the constitutionality of the law.
  
UNIBAM is represented by Lisa Shoman, SC, and is supported by the International Commission of Jurists, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, and the Human Dignity Trust, as interested parties. These agencies have hired two other attorneys to litigate against the government: former Belize Attorney General, Godfrey Smith, SC, and former British Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, QC.
  
The churches made the application last week to join the Attorney General of Belize, whom UNIBAM is suing over homosexual rights, to defend the laws currently outlawing sodomy. The churches are seeking to be added as an “interested party” in the Supreme Court case, to be heard on July 13.
  
According to the joint press release from the churches on Wednesday, May 18, “This [UNIBAM] lawsuit was filed to establish a new ‘right’ to engage in homosexual acts in Belize. In every country that has granted a new ‘right’ to homosexual behavior, activists have promoted and steadily expanded this ‘right’ to trump universally recognized rights to religious freedom and expression.”
  
They also say that this “homosexual agenda” demands that same sex marriage be recognized.
  
The press release further states that, “This advocacy group has been heavily influenced by foreign interests who seek to impose a worldview that directly contradicts the supremacy of God as reflected in our laws, challenges our national sovereignty, and threatens our very way of life, not least by targeting our children.” (The full press release appears elsewhere in this edition of Amandala.)
  
May 17 is dubbed International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia by those who support homosexual, bisexual and transgender persons (those who identify themselves as a gender other than their biological sex, such as a man assuming a female identity).
  
Amandala has given the public a chance to have a say through our online poll, atwww.amandala.com.bz.
  
The question of legalizing homosexuality, and particularly sodomy, is very controversial, and one that many people feel very passionately about. This is reflected in the record number of hits to our poll this week.
  
The poll question was: Do you believe homosexuality laws, including sodomy, should be erased off the law books or repealed, so as to legalize same sex relations and marriages in Belize?
  
At press time this evening, there were over 2,000 votes – 73% disagreeing with the notion that the laws should be changed to accommodate the UNIBAM agenda to abolish laws against homosexuality.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tom's teaching in Kona!

Well, he's not literally in Hawaii.  He is using the wonders of internet video conferencing to teach from our living room here in Belmopan, Belize to a group of YWAM students sitting in a classroom in Kona, Hawaii.  He taught yesterday and is scheduled for tomorrow and Friday as well.

We woke up to the electricity being out on Wednesday morning.  I called the electric company, based in Belize City, and was told it would be out here in Belmopan until 1pm.  We were very happy when it came back on just before noon.  We both got excited, however, that excitement quickly faded as we discovered the internet was down.  After a phone call to the Belize Telemedia, our internet carrier, Tom learned that technicians were already at work on the problem.  The only problem was they gave no indication as to how long it might be down.

Fortunately, the internet came back on 20 minutes before Tom was scheduled to be contacted by the staff in Kona.  We can't say that it went off without a hitch. But he was able to teach the first session with only a few interruptions.  Once we lost our internet connection and a few times they lost theirs.  But all in all the jungle to island connection was fairly strong.

Spencer served as the emcee so we had the added benefit of seeing him as well!  And unlike having to get up at 7:30am when Tom taught for YWAM Latvia this week's classes start at 2pm each afternoon.  Pray for Tom and for the students, that the connections will hold throughout the week, and that these students will be enriched and encouraged by Tom's teaching.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thought for Today

May we all marvel at His creations and know without a doubt that it is good! 

Although I still get chills of fear when I see an iguana I do appreciate its beauty.  And I am grateful for the zoom on the camera that means I can appreciate but not have to get too close.  Nathan actually spotted this one when he was here.  

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Yesterday was a holiday here in Belize.  It was Commonwealth Day... it used to be a day to celebrate the British Queen's birthday and now it is a celebration of belonging to the Commonwealth of Nations.

We noticed that businesses closed up on Saturday for the three day weekend.  A while back I discovered that Farmer's Trading Center, a Mennonite supermarket, is on Facebook.  They are located in the village of Spanish Lookout about a 20 minute drive from Belmopan.

photo from FTC website
I happened to see an update on Facebook from them saying that they would be open today... on a national holiday.  What smart business people they are!  The store was busy when we arrived.  They were using all four checkout lanes and we actually had to wait in line for the first time.



We found some interesting things in the produce section like huckleberries:



and lychee:




Both of which we chose not to buy... we opted for more traditional things like avocados, corn on the cob, bananas, and lemons.  And if the lemons had not been labeled I would not have known they were lemons because like the oranges I wrote about a while back (click here)  the lemons were also green.

We found everything we needed on our list and a few things that were not on the list but we felt like we needed them anyway!  After our shopping trip we came home and I made dinner from our haul at the supermarket; barbecued ribs and corn on the cob.

To have tasty ribs in just 4 hours put 2 1/2 pounds of ribs in the crockpot and cover with about a half a bottle of barbecue sauce and set on high.  Your reward will be falling off the bone meat and a house that smells divine.


Oh and we even got to Skype with Spencer...Yeah, it was a great holiday!!


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Monday, May 23, 2011

Resourcefulness

We saw this truck when we were filling up with gas in Roaring Creek not long ago.  It appears to be a trash truck... but this is not the normal trash truck that we have seen here in Belmopan.  It is fascinating to us how people use their creativity to make what they need to get the job done.

Friday, May 20, 2011

What's in my garden?!





I wish I knew all the names of the plants and flowers in the yard.  We are seeing things now that were not in bloom when we first moved in to the house.   We lived in an apartment building on the 4th floor in Russia and have not had a yard since we left California six years ago.  It's all so beautiful!

I am hoping to make some contributions to the landscape here... but need to decide what to do.  I would love a vegetable garden.  Any suggestions for a beginner?!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

God is good...all the time!

Yesterday the people that we had been borrowing furniture from came to pick it up.  So we were left without living room furniture, a dining room table or a bed for the guest room.

We brought the plastic lawn chairs into the house.
We ate our meals sitting in those chairs.
Nathan and Tom took turns inflating the air mattress for Nathan to sleep on.

We made do.

We went to the zoo and enjoyed our day... we moved on.

Another friend had baked a birthday cake for me.  I went to pick it up.  I made dinner.  We watched a movie.  We accepted our situation without grumbling.  Nathan is here.  We have each other.  Nothing else mattered.

God is good... all the time.

The people in our fellowship found out that we didn't have furniture in the living room or dining room.
Things started to arrive.  A picnic table, an end table, a few chairs.... and then they came over to pray.


They prayed for our home and for it to be filled with all that we need.
They prayed for us.  They prayed over Nathan.
They filled our home with laughter and love.
All we gave them in return were cups of cold water and heartfelt thanks.

In time we will purchase furniture.  We have been saving up for the things we need.
Tonight we saw that part of what we needed was to be surrounded by people who care.

We came here to Belize to offer help, be of service...show God's love,
And here we are receiving...experiencing generosity from those who don't have much and yet are willing to share what they do have... and we are humbled.


God is good...all the time.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Sunday was my birthday and one of the ladies from our fellowship, Miss Dale, baked my birthday cake...
it was moist and flavorful and so tasty!  

Having Miss Dale make my birthday cake was a huge treat.  In Russia you are supposed to throw your own party so this was the first time in a very long time that someone baked a cake for me.  And we all celebrated after church with cheese dip, corn chips, cake and punch.



For dinner we decided to order pizza and have it delivered.  
The best pizza in Belmopan is from Pasquale's.  We also like their subs and their brownies... all yummy!!   

It was a great birthday... Having Nathan here is such a treat.  We skyped with Spencer so I got to see him too.  And we ended the day with a movie and pizza.  A perfect ending to a perfect day!



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Monday, May 16, 2011

why you should get to the airport early...

Nathan arrived on Saturday.  We got to the airport 15 minutes after his plane landed.  We thought we had plenty of time.  Thought it would take him at least a half an hour to clear customs.  He was in and out of there in ten.  So he sat on a bench in front of the airport and waited for us.  He saw us drive in and followed the car as we looked for a parking space.  When I got out of the car he walked up to me and said "hi!"... I screamed...He and his dad thought that was hilarious.  He scared the living daylights out of me.  And Tom saw him coming and kept quiet.

Yeah, it's awesome to have him here!


Partners in crime!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Nathan is coming!!

Nathan arrives tomorrow and we are so excited... it will be his first trip here to Belize.  We are counting the hours until we pick him up at the airport!

My birthday is Sunday and having him here to celebrate with us will be quite a treat.  The only thing that would be more perfect would be for Spencer to be with us too.  

I am speaking this Sunday at church.  And my talk is based on a hymn I grew up with called Take Time To Be Holy.  Basically it is a teaching on how to study the Bible, and how it takes time to mature in your relationship with Christ.  I am not a preacher so I won't be preaching... just teaching from things I have learned personally about how to grow spiritually.  

So this weekend will be exciting; Nathan will be here, along with celebrating my 48th birthday and my first time speaking at our little church!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Leave the Phone Alone!

I had to take a photo when we saw this sign on a car window at the Agricultural show.. and tonight I found an article online that explains more about the activist and the program.




Belize City, April 12, 2011

Since March 3rd 2011, John Brackett could be seen protesting the use of cell phones while driving in school zones.
In an interview with the BELIZE TIMES, he stated that he would be satisfied for now if the banning of cell phone use in school zones was passed.
Brackett, who belongs to the Citizens for Safety organization, believes that cell phones are too much of a distraction in these areas, where there is a great chance of an accident.
He has been campaigning for the last 5 weeks and intends to push the agenda as far as he is able to. He hopes to gain the interest of Government Ministers, councilors and everyone, in order for this law to be passed. He believes this is a serious issue and will not stop until it is addressed.
When asked why he decided to do this protest, his said he has made observations over the years, and the texting and talking on cell phones while driving has increased all over the country, placing not only the person doing it but everyone around him/her in danger.
Citizens for Safety hopes to garner the support of the Belizean public in this fight for safety in our school zones.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thought for Today

May we continue to come together, share in one another's burdens and pray.




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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

I love using my slow cooker and I love dessert... I think this means that I have to give one of these a try!




Captivating Slow Cooker Carrot Cake 
To see the recipe just click here

or 

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Cup Cake


or perhaps...

Slow Cooker Chocolate Pudding Cake


I am thinking one of these will be my birthday cake on Sunday!

Have you ever baked a cake in the crock pot before? 


Monday, May 09, 2011

A Call To Worship






Saturday night in Belize City there was a 3 hour worship service that we were able to attend with another couple from our fellowship.  It is an hour drive from Belmopan to Belize City so we had a nice block of time in the car chatting with them and getting to know them better.

We stopped for burgers before the service and got to the church just as things were about to begin.  It was an awesome night of worship.  The church was packed.  And the congregation sang and danced with gusto the entire evening.  If you are here in six months maybe you can attend the next one with us!

Friday, May 06, 2011

free is good, right?!

Here lately I have been reading books from Kindle.  I don't own a Kindle... but I do have Kindle for PC downloaded on my laptop.  I love being able to read in bed without needing a light. And I truly love not needing to wait for a book to be delivered to me.  It just takes seconds for a book to appear and I am off in another world. 

The only downside is that you have to act on it right away because they are not offered for free for very long.  

One of the places that I hear about the free books is from friends on Facebook or from bloggers like Karla Meachem at Empowering Christian Women.  Last night I did a search on Amazon.com and found several  free books to add to my collection!






















No matter what genre of books you are looking for you will find something for free in that category and if you find anything that looks interesting let me know... because free is good, right?!