The Little House in the Bush
If something drastic electricity-wise (read: exploding transformers or downed lines) happens on Caye Caulker, after dark, we know that we have to wait until daybreak for a technician to come over by boat from San Pedro. On the mainland of Belize where the Little House in the Bush is, we don’t have transportation issues in getting repair technicians in place, we have problems with theft and sabotage.
Recently, the whole area was without water for 5 days because theives had stolen the pump and water purification system from the community well. Talk about cutting your nose off to spite your face...
The electricity went out at 9 p.m.
“FAAAAAAAAAK!” I said very loudly, and instantly felt better.
I had consumed 2 big cups of coffee an hour earlier so I could stay up late and paint. Bigness was already asleep, but the dead calm blanket of air air woke him up.
“Better jump in the shower to cool off before the tank empties”, I called from the kitchen where I was looking for the lighter to get the candles going.
“FAAAAAAAAAK!” he said very loudly, and instantly felt better.
We lucked out, the water in the community well’s holding tank lasted until both of us could shower and I could fill up the two five gallon jugs we keep for spare water.
I unhooked the computer from the UPS battery backup and hooked the fan to it setting it on low to conserve the battery. It was so hot, the air hardly moving at all, like breathing through a blanket, the air hung on my neck.
The laptop battery was fully charged so I set it to low consumption and put in the DVD, “Teeth” a movie that I had just received from the bootleg movie guy. Every man’s nightmare, a cautionary tale. I love Indy movies, and this one won a Sundance Award and a bunch of others.
A totally pointless and psycho movie about a high school girl, not very in touch with her own body, and to put it simply, a girl who’s coco chews off boy carrots if they are not nice to her.
Bigness was my captive audience. I knew as long as the fan was semi-blowing, he wouldn’t stray too far.
It made him chuckle, and then laugh the unabashed belly laugh I love to hear, especially during the really gory parts, blood squirting, boy carrots being flung hither and yon. He stayed awake during the entire film, which is a record, since usually 30 minutes into any movie he’s snoring, unless there are nekkid ladies jumping up and down.
The movie finished, and the computer died. After 2 hours I called the electric company and a very nice young man answered the complaint line when I inquired why and for how long. He told me that someone had cut a high tension electricity pole with a chain saw to steal the copper from it. The electricity company techicians had to install a new pole.
THEIVES CUT DOWN A HIGH TENSION ELECTRIC LINE SERVICING THE WHOLE AREA TO STEAL THE COPPER FROM IT.
That just pissed me off.
I finally slipped off to sleep, sweating under the sheet that was keeping the mosquitoes at bay and woke up hours later to the sound of the big ceiling fan in the bedroom on high speed whamp whamp whamp sounding like a helicopter rotor, and the lights blazing through the house. Only, after turning the big overhead helicopter-sounding ceiling fan off, I realized that I was actually hearing a helicopter outside in the night. The only legitimate (read: legal) helicopter sounds we hear in the night are British military search and rescue. This wasn’t a British military helicopter I was hearing, this was someone else taking off and landing on the next field over. Helicopters in the night, are never a reassuring sound. I try to not ask too many questions, but why are helicopters taking off and landing in fields in the middle of the night just west of my little house in the bush near Mile 31 on the Western Highway?
Things will get worse before they will get better.