Saturday, April 19, 2008

Spending Time in San Pedro

So, what have I been doing in San Pedro while waiting for Brahma Blue to open? Well the obvious was to take walks on the beach, past rows of Coconut trees that line the beach.Many of which are loaded with Coconuts, I have learned to harvest coconuts for the meat and I love drinking coconut water, it makes the best mix for fruity drinks like pina coladas.Meeting new friends is easy here,Ok, so I only met one of these ladies, two counting the Mayor in the white top at the head of the table, I've had my magic hands on her shoulders. She was also at another Beauty Pagent I attended here. It was held at Ramones, and I had an invite to sit in with Will and Dale playing Caribean music. Will on keyboards, with a drum track and Dale is the best acoustic guitar picker and grinner on the Island, they both sing and its dinner music, nice songs that can be danced to by the older folks who want to take each other in their arms on the beach. Not even Will and Dale knew what was to happen that night. Nobody thought to tell the band they were going to be interupted by a Fashion Show featuring Miss Belize and Miss Top Model, Belize.

I have posters but I don't have pictures of the event to post, sorry, you can check out the web sites, or and but both women, Maria Jeffery and Tracey Robateau walked the boardwalk past the head table, down to the bandstand and back in four different outfits. Some one screwed up and they only had one song on a CD by Micheal Jackson to walk to, so they played it every time they walked. I had the inspiration to make the song a bit different by jamming with it on my Djembe. The models smiled at me so I was encouraged to play along differently every pass and the girls strutted up to me where I was playing and I'd build my solo up as they approached me where I was leaning on the guardrail at the end of the runway.

I was just making it interesting for me while waiting for the band to be allowed to start again, but I must say, it is intoxicating to be in the company of such Beautiful women. If you ever want to understand the hype about a beauty pageant, I suggest you attend one first.

As for the above setting, I was walking home along the beach and I could hear this steel drum band so I followed the sound and found this show at Crazy Canuk's. I talked to the musicians and they are all government employees from the mainland who meet every Wednesday to learn to play the steel drums. If I ever go to Belize City on the mainland on a Wednesday, I could join in.

This is the only shot I have of Will and Dale and I, my camera was still new and Stacy took the shot

I've also been getting close to the wild life,

I caught this kitty sleeping so I sneaked up on it,

then I tried the same thing with this crock, but it swam away, ha ha!

Cormorants waiting for fish, I'm guessing! What else would they be hanging around for?

This huge Iguana (below) is about 3 feet long from nose to tip of its tail, it lives near my home, here it is sunning itself on the Seawall in my back yard. If you look closely you can see that it is shedding its skin on its tail.

My neighbor and his partner Fred, own Coral Beach Realty and they have a boat and we sometimes get invites to join them, here Fred's dog, Coco perches on the bow as we pass under
the bridge at the cut, the other side of this bridge is Boca del Rio, the public park on the beach which I'll refer to again later on.

These Black Birds are all over the Island year round. They make all kinds of noises, they have several unique whistles and a rather strange throaty chuckle sound and some clicking sounds as well. Very trippy and the most noisy birds in

Name this bird if you can????

Blowing Conch (below), now don't get silly, I purchased two polished Conch Trumpets and Rick was a natural on one and I prefered the other, it seems its all about the size after all, the size of the hole the artist made for the mouthpeice, that is! The sound of the conch shell trumpet is used in many coastal traditions around the world and considered sacred. The sound is rich and full so the whole room seems to vibrate with it. It travels for great distances outside.

I've also done a lot of walking up and down the beach watching the sailboats go by just inside the reef, you can see the waves breaking on the reef in the background.

I've fished more in my first year here than my whole life back home. Here we are with my second landlord, Doyle, we hired him to take us out on his boat with Mario, a local musician (Mario and the Punta Boys) and fisherman as our guide.

Casting for sardines in the shallows among the mangrove roots, Mario is an expert with the net.

Hauling in the Barracuda, they love live sardines. I had one on the line and got it close enough to see it jump just before it took my line and swam away.

Here we are, Rick and Leona and her daughter, Emily, from Winnipeg, getting ready to go snorkeling along the reef.

Below you can see the coral heads just below sea level, the water here was from 3 to 5 feet deep and we often had to swim carefully maintaining a horizontal posture over the coral making sure not to kick it or drag our bellies over it.

I've also been checking out the vegetation, this is a Blue Agave, these produce a fruiting body that can be refined into a very healthy sweetener. Anna stand nearby to give a size perspective.

These cacti (left) never bloomed in my window back home! Here the green houses are shaded to lessen the power of the sun! Below is my garden in my backyard, I live on a man made channel of the lagoon. Its three blocks East to the beach front.

This is my garden in my back yard.

It seems that food is tricky to grow here. Tomatoes give one round of fruit and then you have to start a new plant even though the plant is still alive.

This pictures centers on a Pineapple plant I planted, I'm told it should begin to fruit in about nine months from planting. I doubt it, it took two months to establish itself. I planted four so far and they are all still alive. I just cut off the top and rooted it in water for a few weeks and stuck it in the sand, no soil. I water them often because the sun is so hot it bakes the soil dry.

Below is my succulent planting. Aloe Vera with a slip of Crown Of Thorns on the upper left corner of the pot and Candlelabra Cacti in the center, with a long, skinny succulent on the inside edge at the upper right corner. I've had all of these in my collection in Winnipeg over the years, all indoors of course, I'm tripping about this, its so fun, I don't have any indoor plants, I leave the windows opened all the time, ok, I close the big one for security reasons and twice I felt cold and instead of a blanket, all I did was close the window in my bedroom.

I've been learning to play Garifuna Drums, this one (below) is a Primero, the shell is made from a single peice of wood and the hides are usually deer skin, the rope is neoprene, I find it interesting that the rings are made of wood instead of metal as in Africa even though lots of re bar is used in construction here and you can pick up pieces at any construction site.

jammin with local band, Barrington and the Islanders, here we are at the Festival Die de San Pedro.
Here we are again with the Lyrical King, a local solo artist, on maraccas, local musicians all know each other and Barrington lets them walk up and join in whenever they show up at one of his gigs, just like me. I learned to play a Reggae beat, Soka, Kumbia and Punta by jammin with these guys, but I'm not playing traditional beats, neither are they, Barrington says they play Belize style.

Here we are playing on the beach at the trophy presentation of the Fishing Derby, Lyrical King joined us again and got the beach rockin'Well, he got the dogs jumping at least!That is Molly, she is a local "pot licker" who lives with Paul and Cindy who are now my upstairs neighbors since I moved in below them in September 07.

Beach Parties are great fun, this is at Boca del Rio, a public park on the beach front by the cut at the North end of town, by the bridge over the cut that connects the water on the beach side, to the lagoon on the back side. Beach is East, Lagoon is West.

Laurie, aka Taco Girl and her husband Paul, aka Taco Boy volunteer at the new RC School and they invited me and John, a very accomplished didgeridoo player to perform at the closing ceremonies , summer 2007. You can guess how hot is was in the school by the sweat stains.

Laurie made a bunch of shakers and drums out of cans and passed them around so the kids could jam with us. What a noise, I could hardly hear my drum and was forced to do something to get control of the situation so I called out for them to repeat after me and we made some vocal noises to get their attention, then I tried to synchronize them but it didn't work and we ran out of time.

At one point it got so out of control that John stood up on his chair to play because they crowded in on us, I'm still playing in the picture below but the kids are pressing in against me and some even tried to hit my drum with sticks and I had to block them with my hands while still trying to play. That is when the teachers intervened and ended the show and began serving snacks, whew! These kids are from poverty homes and this school's mission is to provide an education for these kids that would otherwise not be able to afford one, they have had no training of how to behave during a presentation and for many, this was more excitement than they have ever had in a closed room such as this.

This is a Tai Chi Class learning White Crane Spreads Wings at the Tennis Club and Fitness Center.Mike on the left owns the Tennis club, that is Paul in the white top, Laurie in the red (taco boy and taco girl) and Cindy on the right, they are all facing me just out of the picture.
Above, Cindy, Laurie and Paul learning Brush Knee, not bad form, but Cindy needs to shift more weight into her forward foot, you can see that most of her weight is in her back foot, but her back is straight and her pelvis is tilted forward, she is suspended from above and her spine is plum erect. Tai Chi is all about how you carry your weight so your body can be relaxed on the skeletal frame.

Checking out the clubs, I love the entrance to Jaguars, this place opens at midnight and often just gets going at 4 Am. I've danced there, its all techno and techno reggae.

Tackle Box is where I jammed with the Islanders on Friday nights. Its a great open air bar on a Pier on the beach front.

Sharing Jager shots with Herb at Pedro's Inn, Pedros makes the best Pizza, Walter is the head cook and does most everything to keep the place operating, Cindy works the bar on Fridays, and Laurie often throws B-day parties here. This is Walter's birthday party (in the chef hat beside Cindy).

Check out Walter's dreads that he keeps under his chef hat (below left)

the kids always love the drum, this is at a private party at the Tackle Box during a break with the Islanders.

This is Walter with Beth, she brought three cameras here in her luggage, one for Cindy, one for Laurie and one for me, yay!

Dancing at Canuck's Beach Bar with Stacy.

Here we are in my home playing cards with Pierre, he moved back to France, and Paul who is laughing because he just made me pick up a mitt full of cards.

And below we are having a barbeque on our deck last winter. Mia is sheilding her eyes, Paul is flashing the camera, they are Brits and Dick in the top right corner is Canadian, he lived near Winnipeg for a while in his younger days. That is Laurie in the center, she and her Paul are from Toronto.

And that is night time so I'll say g'nite from San Pedro Town, Belize.

I hope you enjoyed this blog.
Master Zac, Hot in Belize

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