Thursday, February 14, 2008

Just a word or two

No photos today. I have had a bit of a headache and tummy troubles for the past three or four days. It is probably caused by a combination of the different food, pure water, (none of the water in Belize except for Dangriga has chemicals in it. Irony as Dangriga means "sweet water" in Garifuna!) the change of air, the heat and, of course, the stress etc of being here on my own.

I must say that anyone coming here from the north will feel the heat. It is always hot except for a couple of hours around 04h00 for an hour or two. The six hour difference also makes a difference. I find that I am up by about 04h30 and finished my day's work by 06h00, even taking into account the internet hassles.

The DSL line is quite fast but it has a very narrow bandwidth and download speeds are slow. My room is right in the middle of two wireless connections, and I find I have to change connections quite often during the day as more people use one or the other. For instance, this is the first time I have been able to write this blog in my room. I went for a swim and got quite cool in the shade with the wind blowing so came in and decided to try it. Normally, I have to sit in either the restaurant, where I have to buy a meal to surf, or under a palm tree by the sea. (Free)

I don't have an air conditioner but do have two fans that are on full bore whenever I am in the room. The sun never shines on the room but it is still hotter than under a palm tree. I also think that my shoulders have become quite tense from sitting awkwardly and this doesn't help the head. Just now, when I was swimming - very shallow, but choppy as the tide came in, - I found that my muscles pulled and groaned quite a bit. So I guess the tension has a lot to do with it.

Kraig and Barbara left today. We spent quite a lot of time together and had some good chats. An amazing couple with very strong ethics. I will miss them and their pragmatic views on life. Kraig gave me a panga as a gift. Can you imagine wandering around with one of those in England? The locals cut bush with them and they come in fancy sheafs to wear on a belt. Could be interesting when a Belizean takes his panga to America and tells the Homeland Security that he is going to cut "bush" with it.

I leave for Trek Stop in the Cayo on the 26th until the 6th March. Then off to Punta Gorda, probably to the St George Hotel. I met a Canuck named Gatain (sounds like Gator the way he says it) and he has put me in touch with a Belizean at PG who knows of a house and a few acres for sale at about $50 000. Too rich for me at the moment! But a good contact. I have had no reply from Celiano in PG yet. But it is early days.

The other thing I have noticed is that for the first few days I constantly looked at British papers to see what is going on. After 10 days I don't even remember to look. In fact the world news seems to have faded away into the background. I see TV – I think Canadian – on the odd occasion. A couple of days ago it was all about a crane falling down for about an hour. Today it was some sort of car racing. At 09h00 it seems a strange thing to watch. I guess that is why no-one at the watering hole bothers.

Local gringoes are very “superior” to new comers. They expect them to come a cropper. They will go to great lengths to tell you how there is so much to do they can hardly get it all done, and then spoil it all by telling you that they have been “working on the outboard” for a month and still haven't decided what part to strip down to fix it. I guess they are so bored with life that they savour every moment and make it last forever. Only one has said that he is bored stiff – Gatain. He has been here for 26 years. He is 61 and looks about 75. He has no electricity and says that he goes to bed with the sun and gets up with it.

At some time I guess I will have to decide whether to write in American or English. I am getting a bit mixed up. Probably getting into the manana way of life, too! Why rush?

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