January 15, 2014

Day in the Life - Belize

It’s raining today, calm and cool drops of water are making one of their last efforts to coat the ground in moisture before the dry season reaches out her bony fingers to grasp Belize. Nestled into the kitchen/dining room nook, we are sipping our blueberry green tea while we accomplish our various tasks. Blake, being much more pious then I, is lost in the works of Isaiah and Joshua. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” I sip my tea, listening to the rain and feeling the Caribbean Sea breeze move through our abode, writing a meager grocery list.
            The Herskowitz’s have generously stocked our kitchen with the essentials. Every spice imaginable, a few local jams, and some canned goods. It felt like Christmas to go through the cupboards and see what we could add to our list of inventoried items. Sweetened condensed milk, one chocolate bar, and a beautiful jar of peanut butter were all welcome finds. There are windows everywhere in this guest house, including, but not limited to, our entire bedroom. Currently, there are no curtains or blinds either, partially because it would be a shame to cover up the tropical view outside, but also partially because the windows swing inwards like a door, waylaying a few efforts that have been made to install blinds. 
            Today’s events have been casual but interesting. We met the different people who keep Sanctuary (the housing complex, for lack of a better word) that the Herskowitz’s live in, running. There have been around 700 plots of land sold to date, with an estimated 800 more available, while I would guess that there are maybe 25 homes either completed or under construction currently. We explored the Beach Club, a private pool with beach access, a kitchen, and surrounded by “tent hotels” that are almost completed. These tents are not reminiscent of any camping trip I have ever been on, but more like a luxury hotel room with roll up walls. Did I mention that the average number of people who frequent the Beach Club is...well, 0. It's usually empty, a fact that both Blake and I are eagerly willing to change. Everyone we have met thus far has been incredibly friendly and warm, welcoming us to Belize with what appears to be genuine excitement. Last night we were up in the main house eating dinner, when Blake saw what we thought was a large black dog outside down on the patio to our guesthouse. This morning, Victor, the man who takes care of the property, found either jaguar or puma tracks all through the mud and dust. Ironically, we were talking about those big cats at dinner, making remarks like “I doubt we’ll be so lucky as to see a jaguar while we’re here…” Tonight you can rest assured that we’ll be watching through our curtain-less bedroom for any sort of Puma looking peeping Tom (cat).
            It feels strange to be writing this from a foreign country that we will call home for the next few months, mostly because it is so lovely and where we live is so lovely that I rather feel like I am on vacation. Then, I think about our jobs over the next few months and I remember that I am not on vacation but have work to do, and I feel very daunted by the task. Either which way, Belize is lovely and I only have one mosquito bite so far so I have decided that even the mosquitoes are being nice and welcoming and that life is much more agreeable when you have palm trees outside of your window…or, your wall of windows, in this case. Oh, and a crocodile lives in the front pond as well. His name is Crock and he likes to eat frogs.