Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Trip to the mainland

I love watching the sky here in Belize, of course, the changing landscape of the Western Sly was a delight in Winnipeg as well, always a new vista and sometimes spectacular, here I've included the the wake off the back of the boat, is that in contrast or does it balance the shot? I like it!

In Sseptember 07, Sunny sent me to the mainland with Charlie, my plant guy here on the Island to purchase some six foot plus trees. Charlie assured us he knows where to go and he has contacts for a truck and a boat to get the trees to San Pedro.

Well, we made it work with hardly any thanks to Charlie's contacts but we found a truck and a boat, at a higher price than Charlie quoted, but we made it and we stayed at two of his sister's homes along the way and I got to see how these folks live. Happy people living in abject poverty with far too many people in very small homes with limited accessories and barely enough money for rice and beans and tortilla flat breads.

Sail boats anchored offshore between the reef and Ambergris Caye as we leave in the water taxi for a stop at Caye Caulker and then Belize City.

I love the clouds gathering over Ambergris Caye as the water taxi carries us South between the Island and the reef. These are homes and resorts on the beach front, but right now I'm not remembering if this is Ambergris or Caye Caulker, still love those clouds eh!

The next shot was taken through the window on the bus, the sun is setting behind those clouds as we approach Belmopan, or possibly its after Belmopan but before we turn south as we near those mountains,,,,,I think! Hey, it was getting late and it was a long day, and it was last September (07). Love the mountains in the distance.

This next series is of the Julie's home where she lives with her Father, her sister with two kids and her own kids, three at least and the sister was pregnant. They all live on Grandpa's pension which is likely less than %200/mth. There is one bedroom, a living room and the kitchen on the top floor and they don't use the mainfloor because it is in no shape for human habitation, but Charlie and I spent one night down there, hey, its their guest house, and Julie fed us her last eggs and tortillas. I gave her money to go shopping in the morning.

Below is the room we slept in, that's Charlie's foot, I woke up first and took this picture. My mattress wasn't a mattress, there were some cushions from an old couch down the center with blankets or some such beside it to fill in the space. I stayed in the center, there were holes in the walls, dirt floors and the smell of age and dirt, mold and decay. I slept well just the same and was grateful for their hospitality. They were genuine and kind, they gave of what little they had and were happy for the company. Before the kids went to bed, I sat on the floor and started to do some yoga to stretch out after the baot and bus rides. The eldest asked me if I was doing yoga because her sister loves yoga. In thirty seconds all the kids found a space on the floor and they all joined me in my routine. Great kids, so polite and bright. Sorry I didn't get pictures, I was in the moment.

Below we see that many of the homes are in similar states of disrepair, the economy near this village and Dangriga is quite depressed and there are not many jobs even though this is gorgeous country and good agricultural land. There is lots of land for sale for anyone that would like to learn to farm here, its a good life if you can be self sufficient and a good barterer. Remember the weather so you don't need heat except for water, which you don't use nearly as much as in Canada. Fans and A/C are the big expense and you can get Solar Power equipment here, but you don't need windows unless you want to use A/C and nobody uses dual pane windows here. It is better to build with concrete, the wealthier folk all build with concrete, which seems to stay cooler. All houses are elevated on stilts with storage sheds and work shops on the ground level. Stoves are usually gas, they use butane mostly here. Julie's gas tank was hung on the wall, just outside the kitchen with a hole in the wall for the hose, I met a family in town here that has the tank just under the stove, one well placed spark, and they could all take flight, very scary!

This highway shot is looking North, back the way we just came, from Belmopan, this little village is close to Dangriga, we will go there in the morning to see if I can purchase a new skin for my djembe. I put a hole in the skin as I squeezed between a golf cart and the fence with my bike to go to a gig with Will and Dale, the hole in the skin grew so that I couln't really play anymore by the end of the night. I did get a new skin, but the best I could do was sheep skin, which is really too thick, but perhaps it will last longer, and its a drum that I typically let my students play. Now that I have my work permit, which I just got today, but that story will come in another posting, soon. anyway, now I can advertise to get some students and the high school wants to hire me next year and have the class as an option, hey, its music, and they will get a load of rudiments.

This shot shows the yard where Charlie's sister Julie lives, its clean and they do grow some food, but personally, I felt that they should have had a much larger garden. They have running water but no water heater and they shower outside in a makeshift structure for some sense of privacy. It is a simple life but it works.

Below is a shot of the county side showing the hills in the distance. Most of htte land I saw on my journey was flat but the road to Dangriga showed some hilly country, it was a delight for my eyes, sorry I didn't take more pictures.

On the bus ride to Dangriga, the river crisscrossed on its winding way to the sea and this is a typical narrowing of the road for a one lane bridge across the river.

Here is Charlie and his older sister with her four youngest kids, the older girl had already left for school, but the night before she let me read a play that she was going to narrate for a school project. It was written in the Kriol language and it was the first time I got to see that language in print. It really is broken English with some Spanish verbs but folks here consider it their own language.

I liked reading the Kriol so I bought a book called Creole Proverbs of Belize. This is the first time I found the word Kriol spelled Creole. Here are a few quotes so you can sample this interesting and musical language. 1, Di olda di violin, di sweta di music, quoted in support of lod and experienced sexual partners. 2, Di water tas(te) sweetes(t) at di head a di stream, meaning for best results, deal with the person at the top. 3, Do-so no like do-so, meaning the bad we do to others is resented when it's done to us. 4, Everyady know weh de(m) own roof leak, meaning People often know thier shortcomings. 5, Finger neva say "look ya", e say "look deh" meaning we are readier to blame others than ourselves. 6, Hag ax e ma, "Weh mek you mout' so long?" E ma tell a(m), "Wen you get lee bigga, you wa(n) know." Literally: Hog asks its mother, "What makes your mouth so long?" It's mother tells it, "When you get a little begger you will know." Meaning that wise people are not as quick to criticize as inexperienced people. 7, If crab no waak, e no get fat; if e waak too much, e lose e claw, meaning that new experiences are necessary but can be dangerous. 8, If you kyaa(n't) ketch harry, ketch e shirt, meaning take what you can get. 9, Wen fish co(me) fram riva-batam an'tell you haligetta gat pain-a-belly, believe a(m). Literally: When the fish comes from teh river-bottom and tells you the alligator has a belly-ache, believe it. Meaning that information obtained from someone in a position to know is likely to be true.

And this is their home where we stayed the night. The kids all shared one bed so Charlie and I could each have one of the bunk beds. I showered in an makeshift enclousure outside with rain water out of a plastic five gallon bucket, it was good to wash off the travel sweat.

I took this shot looking down the hill from Charlie's sister's house, they live in a lovely community and I'm guessing that most of these people make a living in Agriculture, the Central Farm is a government operated Experiemental Agricultural station where they work to keep the industry growing. It is where we are going to purchase trees for Brahma Blue's landscaping.

We bought a full truck load of trees, they dig the root ball out with the coconut shell still there, the stem rising out at the same end the roots bo down but the roots are much smaller than the expected. Charlie says its best to cut off the roots and plant the shell with the eye facing East and it will grow new roots that will be stronger than the originals and the tree will mature faster than if the old roots have to sustain the tree. It rained as we drove back to Belize City and loaded the tress onto a boat and by the time we got on the boat, it was too dark to take pictures.

However, I have some shots of ride home from Belize City on another occasion when I met these two darling kids who loved having their picture taken.

I like this shot taken off the back of the boat with the silhouette of a Belizean man wearing his Rasta Dreads in a cap

This is my favorite shot of this sunset, it shows the wake from the boat and the last of the sunlight shining on the underside of the clouds which kind of look alive and in flight.

On another occasion, Pierre invited us to a barbecue at the home he was staying at just south of the busy resort section of the beach front of this Island. We had all taken Pierre under our wings when he and Andi Lee broke up. Pierre had already decided to return to France and continue his education and his hosts encouraged him to bring his friends over for a party before leaving.

I forget the hosts names, Joanne and her husband, I don't know what they do, but I think he is a real estate agent here. They have a lovely home and we had a great day on the beach.

This picture was taken from the end of their Pier looking back at the home, nearly totally covered by the coconut trees.

This is looking up the beach to the North, very serene. Its so nice on the beach front, but so expensive that most of us can't afford to live there so its nice to get to spend a day at a private home on the beach.
This is the North side of the beach front on their property.
As the sun began to set, we all got out our cameras and went nuts taking pics until it got dark.

Then we lit a fire, my first beach front bonfire. It was great but coconut fronds burn really fast and there isn't much else to burn on this Island. Ha ha!

1 comment:

  1. Daddy!!!
    keep working on your blog!!!
    im getting alot of my friends to make them too!
    lol, keep at it daddy!