Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Slices of Life from Belize: July 23, 2013

And the rain, rain, rain, came down, down, down...* 

Ah, the rainy season in Belize. Contrary to what some people think, it doesn't rain incessantly this time of year in Corozal. We have plenty of days of mostly sunny skies. Oh, and a tad bit of humidity. How does an average "feel like" temperature of 110-115 degrees sound?

But when it does rain, boy, it RAINS. Most of the storms seem to arrive at night, just when you've managed to drift off to delightful REM sleep. Then, off in the distance, you'll hear a roll of thunder, the palm trees start rustling, and the rain comes down by the bucketful. It will teem so hard and ping off of the metal shutters and roofs to the point that we have to practically yell to be heard. And just when you think, "Boy, can it rain any harder?" Mother Nature replies, "Why yes, yes it can."

I follow two different weather feeds, along with the National Hurricane Center reports. And while the Hurricane Center seems pretty accurate, the other feeds never agree. I can't tell you the number of times we've checked all the forecasts, looked up at the sky before going to bed to see the moon and stars, and think we're in the clear. Nope. The weather gods turn on the water spigots.

Last year was the first time we went through the rainy season, and we learned some valuable lessons. The most important was that when storms come across the bay from the east our porch would get soaked. The rain would blow in so fast that even with a squeegee and mop, it was impossible to keep dry. And I can tell you for a fact that tile floors are slippery when wet. Not that I'm a klutz or anything.

Before Tropical Storm Ernesto rolled through we finally hit upon a solution:

A big tarp. Yeah, I know it doesn't look like the prettiest thing, but you know what? It did and does do an excellent job keeping the rain out.  

Once last year's rainy season was over, we modified the tarp a bit:

We cut it into three sections and had grommets placed around the edges. Carabiner hooks go through the grommets and get attached to the eye bolts on the walls. Now it makes it easy to get in and out of the door, plus raise/lower any piece as we need. David even attached some PVC pipe to the large pieces, to make rolling up the tarps easier. After adding some Velcro straps, we now have a quick release system as well. Just love having a MacGyver kinda' guy.

*How many of you remember Winnie the Pooh and The Blustery Day?

Property Tax Update

Back in April, I posted about trying to pay our property taxes. Our house and lots had been in our name for a year, but when we went to see how much we owed for taxes, we were told our stuff wasn't in the system yet. 

We've stopped by the Land Department a few times since then to find out if any progress had been made. Last week we received good news: we were in the system! The bad news: no calculations had been done yet to determine how much we would need to pay. Advice from the clerk: stop by again in about another week. 

It's Belize baby -- one step at a time.

Permanent Residency Update

While we're chatting about follow-ups, might as well share where we are with our quest to become Permanent Residents. As you might recall, we submitted our packet to Immigration last month. 

The next step is to have an interview with the Special Branch department of the police here in town. 

But before that happens, they have to receive our packet from the Special Branch headquarters in Belmopan. They have our packet so they can check with Interpol to ensure we're not wanted criminals somewhere. 

So much like our situation with the Land Department, we check in every week to see if our packet has arrived. Will be sure to let you all know how that goes, whenever it happens.

Bronte and Olivia

Because of the rain we've been having, our pet kids have been known to spend more time indoors than normal. That, in turn, makes them antsy...

An intrepid balancing act on the gate lock
...and seemingly possessed by evil spirits:

But after blowing off some of the excess energy, life gets back to normal until the next storm blows through.

A Few Quick Bites

Over the last couple of weeks I've played around with some new recipes.

First I did a twist on a BLT:

These are tostadas, crispy tortillas spread with home-made avocado mayo and topped with bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. 
And just to keep the healthy vibe going, I put together a veggie pasta salad.

But a little bit of healthy cooking goes a long way in my kitchen, so then I made a loaf of whole wheat brioche.

Actually, I guess I could pass this off as healthy with the whole wheat element, if you can overlook the butter. Hey, it was only six tablespoons.



  1. Hi Elizabeth! I enjoy your writing so much! The tone of the piece is exactly right and captures the Belizean spirit of "one step at a time"... Awesome. See you Friday! Cathie

  2. Great blog, thanks for sharing your experiences. Good ideas on the recipes - it is often hard to figure out just what to do with local ingredients.