Sunday, December 30, 2012

Caye Caulker, Around the Village

Little girls swimming at the Split. Who needs expensive plastic toys when you can play with a floating log?

Where Jolly Roger's used to be


Beached canoes under the mangroves

Sunset swimmers at the Split

A street scene with Mr. Kim

Beached canoes at sunset

Don't drop Momma

Christmas decorations hanging in the Banyon Tree at Sea Dreams, Caye Caulker

Enjoy the tracks!

Sunday, December 02, 2012


I do declare, the recession is over. I felt it slipping away last year, and definitely this year is better than last. That is, if you use what is happening on Caye Caulker as an economic indicator. For certain areas in the U.S. the recession will never be over, because those areas and industries have always been in trouble. Its over because I say its over. But even so, many of my white middle class friends are still mad that Obama won the election. We survived Bush, believe me, you will survive Obama. Stop whining. Or as we say here in Belize, "Cry cry baby suck Momma big toe."
Remember when we were 25 (mid 80s) replacing those 50 year old dinosaurs who refused to jump on the train of technology? The rules have changed and we're working harder and longer and just have to get used to the fact that those days are OVER. I can't even change myself, let alone anyone else, but if I could, I would remove the following statement out of our collective belief system, "I shouldn't have to _(fill in the blank)_." I would take a giant white rubber eraser and rub that right out of my brain.

There's a natural mystic blowing through the air;
If you listen carefully now you will hear.
This could be the first trumpet, might as well be the last:
Many more will have to suffer,
Many more will have to die - don't ask me why.

Things are not the way they used to be,
I won't tell no lie;
One and all have to face reality now.
'Though I've tried to find the answer to all the questions they ask.
'Though I know it's impossible to go livin' through the past -
Don't tell no lie.

There's a natural mystic blowing through the air -
Can't keep them down -
If you listen carefully now you will hear.

There's a natural mystic blowing through the air.

This could be the first trumpet, might as well be the last:
Many more will have to suffer,
Many more will have to die - don't ask me why.

There's a natural mystic blowing through the air -
I won't tell no lie;
If you listen carefully now you will hear:
There's a natural mystic blowing through the air.
Such a natural mystic blowing through the air;
There's a natural mystic blowing through the air;
Such a natural mystic blowing through the air;
Such a natural mystic blowing through the air;
Such a natural mystic blowing through the air.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Constant is the Rain

As much as I love the Sergio Mendez and Brazil 66 version of Chove Chuva, Miriam Makeba's cover of it in 1966 gives me chills. I wish I could sing in Portugese, or Spanish, or French... its only English for me as my Spanish from 2 years in Mexico is fading like a dream.
Its the end of hurricane season, supposedly, but a cold front moved in pushing down from America, and seeing as I bought new teacups in Mexico yesterday, I'll just enjoy the rain and all it brings. The rain brings customers who can't swim & snorkel, bored, looking for a comfortable, clean, well lit place with cookies and brownies and cinnamon buns, oh yes! A wonderful side benefit of the cold front is that I have stopped sweating, I mean perspiring, I mean being all dewy on my face. And that indeed is a bonus!
I think your portugese is about as good as mine is, so I'll give you a rough translation:
It rains, it rains non-stop
Rain rain rain, it rains non-stop
Because I'll make a prayer To God, our Lord
For rain to stop wetting my divine love
That is very beautiful is more that the infinite is pure and
Innocent as the flower is beautiful
Please no bad rain water over my love
So please no bad rain water over my love so
Rain rain nonstop rain rain, it rains, it rains non-stop

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Importance of Being Called Miss Lee

Its been so long since I've written anything more than 50 words, I'm not sure I know how to string 3 sentences together, so let's start with the music first.

"Looking to the sea
Crowds of people wait for me
Seagulls scavenge, steal ice cream
Worries vanish, within my dream
Left my soul there, down by the sea
Lost control to living free
Left my soul there, down by the sea
Lost control to living free
Fishin boats sail past the shore
Most send in mayday anymore
The sun is shinin the water's clear
Just you and I walk around the peir...
Left my soul there, down by the sea
Lost control to living free
Left my soul there, down by the sea
Lost control to living free"
I've been living in Belize so long that the little boy who would visit me at my shop on his way home from primary school is now the traffic officer for the island.... 12 years. When I went on this grand adventure 12 years ago, I thought it was an experiment,that if things didn't work out, I could always go back and work for one of my clients, as I had dissolved my company. I didn't go back to visit America for 2-1/2 years after leaving, and now I've lived here so long, I've lost track of time...

I'm still asked these 3 questions daily, and the price list for answers remains the same.
1.) Where are you from?  Price: $1 
2.) Why did you move here? Price: $5
3.) Do you like living here? Price: dinner & drinks

I get lots of other questions too, many of which are really too personal for strangers to be asking, but they ask anyway, and I try to not be offended any more. The more personal the question, the more creative the answer.

The routine has gotten easier to cope with, along with the heat. My blood has thinned out and my skin has thickened. The days start early with the sun coming up in that unobstructed view of the horizon kind of way. Taking an afternoon siesta, since getting up at 5:30 a.m. is a long day, without the afternoon nap. One of the most important things I learned right away is how to make headway while walking in the sand, and the art of not sweating too much. That is the real meaning behind the Go Slow signs posted everywhere on Caye Caulker. And make sure you walk in the hard sand by the water's edge. Always try to keep to the shadows when walking down the street in the noon day's sun.

In 12 years of shopping in Belize City, the business center for Belize, I've learned which taxi drivers to use, which to abuse. Which stores have what and what stores have shat. Which businesses close for lunch that should really be open straight thru. Boat rides and water taxi schedules, and the little planes that fly in and out won't wait for me, so being on time and not asking for too many favors is important. If you run down the peir, you will be sure to fall as the bridge boards are uneven and you need to keep your eyes on where you place your feet. I don't like to ask for favors, but if I do have to ask for a favor, I make sure its a good one, because people don't like to have to compensate for your bad planning. And always say Thanks.

I've also learned important things like, which windows to close when it starts to rain, and which can stay open. How to kill cockroaches, the big kind, without maiming yourself.

Banking hours, ATMs that run out of money on weekends, especially long holiday weekends, electricity on, electricity off, internet on, internet off. Save your document often. Don't scream when the lights go off, just sit still and listen. Be still and know that sooner or later, they will come back on.

Living in a small place where the energy goes round and round is initially invogorating, for the newcomer, but for the long term resident, it will wear you down. Being in a small place is nice for so many reasons, like the ability to call the hardware store and ask them if its o.k. if I send someone for this and that and I will be by later to pay. I have learned the importance of Being Called Miss Lee., and the fact that I'm the only Miss Lee, so I better behave. Be friendly with everyone, but keep your sunglasses on.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Guatemala September 2012

Not feeling much like writing these days. I'm doing the facebook thing which satisfies me in 50 words or less from time to time. I just thought I would share photos from a trip to Guatemala in September 2012.
Night time view from the park.

A view thru a hole in the wall

The buildings are straight, its the streets that are crooked

A new vine on an old wall

This church reminds me of a wedding cake

This plant reminds me of a dread wig and I love the hanging orchids. At least I think they are orchids.

Antigua, 4 guys on the street

Antigua in the late afternoon



Guatemalan Independence Day marching bands

Hand woven fabric

The Hope


Three Friends

A street in Panajachel

I love to see the character in this woman's face. What a life she must have lived, and the stories she can tell.

Clerks relaxing outside a shop in Panajachel

Saying goodbye to Lake Atitlan on my last full day before returning to Belize.


A look inside, from the street to an inner courtyard

 And now for the music portion of the blog...
I think this video was shot in Argentina

Tuk Tuk

Panajachel street scene


Hanging orchids


Love this photo shot in the late afternoon in Antigua. I love long shadows.


Hanging Heliconia, which is from the banana family

Soft focus

The flower shop in Antigua

Shops in Antigua

Old things in Antigua

Blue flowers

Electric Avenue

More old things

A pimped out red chicken bus

More wedding cake churches