Thursday, September 30, 2010

the cost of being a foreigner

I walked over to Belize Telemedia Limited to set up phone service so that we could get internet at the house we are renting.  Everything was going great until the girl asked for ID and she found out that I didn't have a Belizean social security number.  She had to check with her supervisor to find out how to complete my transaction. 

It turns out that the cost of being a foreigner is a $250USD deposit.  The supervisor told me that the deposit would be refundable after 24 months of service if a good credit record is maintained.  So $334USD later I was able to walk out of there with a new modem and installation scheduled for Friday.

I guess buying a washing machine will have to wait another month!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thought for today

“Whether the weather be fine, Whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, Whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather, Whatever the whether, Whether we like it or not”.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hurricane Season is in full swing...

We survived our first hurricane scare... Hurricane Matthew passed through and apparently we were in the eye.  Which meant that we had three solid days of rain.  No high winds where we are just the rain.  Since Sunday the sun peeks out every now and again and then more rain comes. 

Doing laundry in this weather has been hit and miss.  So much rain has fallen that there is standing water in the backyard.  However, when the sun does come out it is warm enough to dry things off pretty quickly.  Tom was able to hang out all the clothes and managed to get them all off the line about 5 minutes before the next rain fall came. 

I am not sure how frequent our updates will be... but I will update when I can and let you all know if we need to start building an ark!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

WiFi at the Bull Frog Inn

Tom and I are still walking over to the Bull Frog Inn to use WiFi.  We seem to be in good company there are usually several others here at the same time we are.  At first we would order dinner and do check our email, Facebook and what not.  Now we just order something to drink and try to get out of here as cheaply as we can.  We hope to have internet at home next month.  Things here are much more expensive than we anticipated.  But we are making our dollars stretch as far as we possibly can!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Take Back the Land Parade

Churches from Roaring Creek, Belmopan and a few other cities marched together as one body of believers to pray for the country, the people and to celebrate the 29th year of the independence of Belize. As floats, trucks and church buses began lining up around 6pm the Christian radio station was on hand doing a live broadcast to keep everyone abreast of the latest developments and by 7pm the parade was on its way to the first of five prayer stops.

The first stop was the police station where the Chairman of Roaring Creek opened the parade and gave safety instructions. Following that one of the local pastors gave the opening prayer for the marchers and for the country.

At each prayer stop a different pastor led the prayer. Several of the churches including ours, Shepherd's House had their worship teams on hand to keep the crowd pumped up with praise music all evening. At the main prayer stop the Mayor of Belmopan gave the churches a key to the city and prayed a prayer of blessing.

Due to the live radio coverage of the entire parade people were lined up along the entire parade route to watch and some even joined in the march behind various floats. Security officers and policeman were on foot, bicycles and horseback to keep the crowd under control.

The parade was so large that it was ended early for safety reasons so everyone could park and get settled in for the flag raising ceremony followed by fireworks.  This evening was very exciting for Tom and I. We were amazed that something like this could even take place. The religious freedom here is refreshing for us. And we feel so blessed to be a part of the work that God is doing here in Belmopan!

The float built by our church, Shepherd's House.

 The worship team is warming up and checking their instruments for the parade.

Miss Carla trusted this rainbow as a sign that the parade would not get rained out.  And it was dry all night long!!
Tom drove the van that followed behind the float.  There were a few times during the evening when the marchers would get back on and have a snack or a drink of water before rejoining the march.

All lit up and ready to go!!

Shots of the crowd and some of the marchers... the sign says "United Proud Moving Forward We are Belize"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Water sold in bags is cheaper to buy than the water that is sold in bottles.  Just open one of the corners and take a drink!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Market Day

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Tom and I went over to the open market to see what treasures we could find. It was overwhelming to me. Seeing all of the fruits, vegetables, and housewares laid out on the ground on blankets or tarps was overwhelming for me. The markets in Russia were more organized and clean. I know that in time I will come to see this as normal and will be able to shop there along with everyone else. But, this being our first day I struggled to take it all in.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wash day for baby dolls....

We noticed these baby dolls hanging by their hair from our neighbor's clothesline. These dollies must be well loved to have become part of the daily chores!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tom and I were able to enjoy our first large celebration here in Belmopan.  The crowd was huge, the music was lively, and the food was tasty.   

Pastor Joe and his family were there and as we were walking over to the field, about a five minute walk from our house, he called out to Tom with a smile.  Later, as we were walking around looking at all of the booths with food and crafts I heard someone call my name,  It was a little girl named Alina.  It felt so good to be recognized by people already in such a large crowd.  

I found an article on line about the celebration from Caribbean News Now!

BELMOPAN, Belize -- It is said that it was the largest crowd ever seen in Belmopan, Belize's capital, as no less than 8,000 people packed the Governor General’s playing field on Sunday evening to witness colourful cultural presentations from Belize, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Cuba also had an entertaining presentation.

The large crowd was mainly nationals from the six Central American countries and Mexico who now live in Belize.

The occasion marked the 200th independence anniversary of Mexico and the 100th anniversary of its revolution, as well as the 189th independence of the five Spanish speaking Central American countries.

Belize will celebrate its 29th independence anniversary from Britain on September 21.

The ambassadors of all the Central American countries were present and addressed the gathering in their native language -- Spanish. Belize Governor General, Sir Colville Young, was also present, but did not address the crowd, however Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Wilfred Elrington spoke on behalf of the Belize government.

He said, "This event provides a wonderful opportunity to bring everyone who now calls Belize their home closer together, thereby furthering the fusion of our people into the Belizean identity."

He added, "I see before me people of all colours and ethnic backgrounds, young and not so young alike, celebrating in harmony."

The crowd thoroughly enjoyed themselves and waved their national flags in appreciation, as their countrymen and women entertained the gathering with their rich cultural presentations.

It is understood that no less than 250 artistes came from Mexico and the six Central American countries for Sunday night's presentation.

Among the presentations were: The Belize Dance Company, The Traditional Ballet of Merida Mexico, the Wajshaquib Batz (which means Eight Threads or Eight Monkeys) of Guatemala, the Choreographic Group of El Salvador, and the Banda Cubana Group.

The evening's programme culminated with fireworks.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pastor Joe's Birthday

Between all of the stops to pick everyone up for church who needed a ride (including Tom and I) Carla picked up a cake to celebrate Pastor Joe's 50th!

 The girls made sure everyone got something to drink and a piece of cake.

 Saskia with a bit of frosting on her fingers...
take time to smell the flowers...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Sunday

The worship was great and we enjoyed getting to meet everyone.  It is going to take a while to put all the names with the faces but we are ready and willing to be a part of this church family!

Monday, September 13, 2010

time to unpack

Our street is named after a Mayan city... you can read about it here:

We have two suitcases, a duffle bag and two back packs...

just taking a break after all of the running around we have been doing trying to get settled in here.

Time to fill up the closets and drawers in our bedroom!

We are so grateful to have a place to call home.  And we have two empty bedrooms ready and waiting for guests!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

We have a house!

We chose this three bedroom, 2 bathroom house!  The owner, pictured, came down on her asking price by $200 a month just so that we could afford the rent.  God is so good!

Partial view of the front room... the livingroom/dining area/kitchen is one big open space.

View of the other side of the room.

kitchen area.. we have to get a stove and a fridge.

We  move in today and I will get more photos up when I can.  We won't have internet at the house for a while.  This is a three day holiday weekend here so not much will happen until Monday.  It is simply amazing how much we have accomplished this week.  We got here on Monday and already we have a place to truly call home.  And we are both excited that this morning will be the last one that we get dressed out of our suitcases!!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

House hunting

This one was the first one we saw yesterday and I compared all of the others to it.  Originally we were told that the price would only be $400 a month.  However, because they are putting in a fence the price has now gone up to $500!

We will visit this house tomorrow. It is located not far from the University of Belize.  We are not yet sure if this is an asset or a liability!

This property is located about a 10 minute drive from the Belmopan in a village called Tea Kettle.  This is the veranda area where the caretakers of this 2 1/2 acre compound are living.  There is also a one bedroom house and a cement slab that could serve as the foundation for another home to be built on.

Here is a 3 bedroom 2bathroom house that is of interest to us as well. It has high ceilings which gives an open feel. It is also conveniently located in the city of Belmopan and in our price range. There is not as much property but is much closer to the church than the other two houses.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

thought for today

There is nothing more refreshing than a tall glass of ice cold watermelon juice on a hot day!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Looks like we made it!

We have been living out of suitcases and boxes since late February.  It is wonderful to arrive here in Belize and feel as if we have finally come home.

Our cab driver from the airport was very kind.  He chatted with Tom on the hour long drive from Belize city to Belmopan.  After he and Tom agreed on a price for the ride we went to the gas station for him to get enough for the trip before getting on the road!
We were going so fast all I could manage to snap were blurry photos of all the trees along the way.  The countryside is very green with small simple homes made of wood or cement, businesses and tourist attractions dotting the highway.

Tom got us checked in at the Bull Frog Inn and were pleased to find our room modest but comfortable, equipped with amenities we could appreciate namely air conditioning, WiFi and a clean bathroom!!

Monday, September 06, 2010

leaving for Belize

We leave today for Belize... I don't know how long it will be until we have internet access and I can start posting photos for you but as soon as I am able I will!!

Thanks so much to everyone who has hosted us and prayed for us and supported us throughout this journey.  We are truly grateful for each of you!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

thought for today

Some folks are wise and some are otherwise. ~Tobias Smollett