Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day

Please head over to the World AIDS Day site to find out more about HIV and AIDS and how you can help!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Here I am, FINALLY!

Life has been crazy and it doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon.

I returned from my leave in the States a little over a month ago and I still haven't finished unpacking. Thanks to the folks that came over to cook for Thanksgiving I am a lot closer. While I was trying to clean out my living room and my suitcase in the middle of the floor, it felt like Christmas. It is truly amazing how quickly I forgot what was in the bottom of the suitcase! I rediscovered shoes, cooking tools, storage containers and more. As I tried to clean and get ready for my guests I realized I have lost my measuring spoons. This begs the question, What else have I lost?

Anyway, heading back to the house now. I was just catching up on some stuff I needed to do before our outreach for World AIDS Day tomorrow. I will try to post pictures of it and other things that have been going on for the last month.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Interesting find

I was reading back through a backlog of blogs and came across an interesting article. It is about companies being able to check a website for environmental information. This could spare a lot of habitat, time, and money.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Working lunch?

I was at dinner with my sister K and our friend H. They used to work together. H has been at her new company for one month and this is the first time they have gotten a chance to catch up since then.

K- "Tell me about your job... Where do you eat? Do you bring your lunch?"
H- "We have 6 clean microwaves, 3 refrigerators, and a pond. I sometimes sit by the pond and read during lunch."
Me- hysterical laughing, "What? Seriously?"
K- "We have a crappy microwave and one refrigerator."

Eventually they did talk about what H did when she wasn't at lunch. Is this really how the "real world" works? If so, I am missing out!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Early morning surprise

I was soaking in the bathtub, a luxury that I intend to take advantage of until I return to Belize, when I heard a strange sound outside. There were dogs chasing our rather large pride of domestic shorthairs yesterday morning; this noise didn't quite sound like that, but I wasn't about to ignore it.

I jumped out of the tub, careful not to drip water on Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons (Jess' bookclub selection), wrapping myself in a towel, regretting that I had been too distracted by a bath to remember my robe earlier, and while flipping on all the lights, practically ran out the back door. At 3:30 in the morning I had little concern for anyone catching me in my towel. Thoughts crashed through my mind- has one of the kittens been eaten? what is that terrible noise?

At first, blending in with the wet porch, I didn't notice the puppy. OH! What a cutie! I picked up the pup, the crying stopped, and I took him? into the house. Mom was sleeping before she slept (on the couch), as she woke she looked at me like I was involved in a conspiracy. I asked if she had heard a car go by. No. "What are you going to do with it?" Hum, well, obviously not what I would like to do with it... I couldn't bring him in and dry him off and make a bed for him in my room. No. No, that wouldn't do. No, instead of doing what I would like to do, I put him back outside, got dressed, then went for a walk with my new adorable friend. With the flashlight I was able to tell that there was not another set of cute puppy eyes. This little guy had been dropped off all by himself.

Dad got home a little bit after this. I stood just inside the backdoor, waiting with glee, to watch for his reaction. Priceless! He walks up the steps, knocks the dirt and wetness from his shoes, looks at the porch. The puppy was fairly quite at this point and sitting next to large flower pots. He has a white stripe down his nose, but is fairly dark with brindle markings (like these). He moves and makes a noise. Dad's eyes grow huge, I laugh through the door, and he stares at me.

I find an appropriate box, a shirt, and a pair of Karen's old slippers. The slippers were fuzzy dogs and I couldn't find a toy for him to cuddle with, so these would have to do. After realizing he would rather chew versus cuddle up by the slippers I found a lone sock and turned it into a toy. My cat Quill had moved to the window to watch the intruder and the traitor (me), not at all happy with the situation. Eventually, after being repeatedly placed in the box, he finally calmed down. He jumped out and sat where I had initially found him. Dad and I watched as the pup nearly fell over as he became increasingly tired. We finally turned off the light and he made his way back to the box and is resting there now. Somehow I think that he will be on the back porch waiting for us when we wake up. What do you think?

Sunday, September 28, 2008 = Ecstatic Customers

Anyone that is looking for exceptional customer service and great prices on pet supplies should check out PETSHED.COM

I just placed an order ~ Sunday night about 11:45~ and by 12:13 am today (LESS THAN 30 MINUTES!) the order was not only accepted, but processed and was in the shipping phase!!!!

I have placed a number of orders with them in the past and the customer service has been outstanding.

Good Ole United States of America

Well, I have been in the Good Ole United States of America for just over a week. I have enjoyed entrancing campfires, visits with family, fabulous food with even better friends, a considerable amount of reading, and a schedule that just doesn't make sense! I am looking forward to a few little trips and a quite a bit of shopping.

It's good to be home for a while...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lucky Dog (and girl)!

I am happy to report that my georgous pooch was returned for a reward on Friday.

I made a mad dash to Belmopan Saturday morning to confirm it was him before leaving for the States. He is starting to get an eye infection in his right eye again. He also lost about every pound that I had put on him in the 6 days he was missing. He was walking gingerly; quite obviously had been pounding the pavement to find me. Carlos was found near the office- Chanda and my first destination the day he disappeared. He was as happy to see me as I was to see him I think. To prevent the incident from occuring again I bought: a chain to go around the gate- he had pushed it open even though it had been locked; a 40' long cable to hang between trees, added a pully; a 20' long cable to attach to the pully and dog; a dog house; and a monster size bag of dog food.

It nearly broke my heart to leave, but I feel confident that he will be there when I return. In the mean time I will enjoy my time at home and catch up with friends and family.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good Dog Carlos...

Well, things aren't going so well. Carlos and I moved from San Pedro on Thursday and we have been trying to adjust. It was chaos but that was to be expected. He was fabulous during the whole thing. He was to live outside in Belmopan so I had left him outside for a few hours at a time. Yesterday Chanda and I ran errands for a few hours. When we returned the gate was wide open and Carlos was nowhere to be found. It has been 24 hours now and I have ridden down roads and walked more than I really had the energy for but I still haven't found him. I know the reason he broke open the gate was he was trying to find me. Now I have to hope that he finds his way back. I am leaving in the morning to finish some things up at the reserve. I hate that I am leaving, not knowing where he is. I have hope, but I am not really expecting his return. He is a beautiful dog. Nearly full blood rottweiler if not full. He is strong and I just hope that if he never is able to return that he is taken in by a good family.

Anyway, finally have a picture taken just before leaving San Pedro...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Slim Down with This Vitamin - RealAge Tip of the Day

Slim Down with This Vitamin - RealAge Tip of the Day

YEA Vitamin C... Sounds easy enough. And a good excuse to have a glass of OJ for breakfast!

Peter Shankman's "If I Can Help a Reporter Out"

Peter Shankman's "If I Can Help a Reporter Out"

This sounded really interesting! I am no expert on anything, but I know a few of you are...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Donate Life America

Donate Life America

Check it out. Sign up.

Little known fact: You can donate some organs while still being alive! My aunt Julie (on the top of NC's page) donated a kidney.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Ball IS Rolling!

Currently I am rather excited about the 7pm meeting tonight. It started only about 30 minutes late! It would have only been 6 minutes late except the Mayor and Minister had an emergency meeting. And all but ONE person showed up who was supposed to. He probably would have except we didn't call him today as a reminder. The list included our Mayor, Minister of Tourism, 8 of the 10 current Neighborhood Watch presidents (one is out of the country). We discussed a pilot program and having an answer from the powers that be in one week! We have been attempting to get street names posted for months. Tomorrow some of us will go in to work on the list of streets so they can be processed! Some lights in more dangerous areas have been installed, bulbs replaced. Some police officers that graduated from the academy a month ago caught an undesirable, recovered stolen goods, and followed through to help get him prosecuted this week! Really it is an exciting time to be working with this program, unfortunately my time with it will be limited in the near future. I will enjoy it while I can though!

Friday, August 29, 2008

One down, thousands to go

Getting ready for bed I became a bit anxious last night. Having a dog for the first time in nearly half of my life and never living in my house was strange.

All was well as Ethel and I had dinner last night. Around dinner, Blue, my neighbor's dog decided he would like to intimidate Carlos. Carlos had causally watched him on our side of the screen door on and off for an hour or so. After I went out for laundry Blue got "brave" and came on the porch to check things out. Before he had stood on a pile of boards, barking at a safe distance. Ethel pointed out that he was already aware that Carlos could take him. While Carlos is not in top form, scrawny and actually very much a lover boy, I feel like he would put up a good fight. With Blue and Carlos nearly ramming into the screen I decided it would be best to close the main door. As I got dinner ready Carlos decided to prop his paws on the counter and check it out. BIG NO NO. So, he got a pop on the snout. He recoiled immediately, dropped his head as he did, unfortunately right on the edge of my open oven door. I felt horrible, but if I want to be able to fix food in my kitchen without puppy assistance this tough love was necessary. Had he stuck his nose on a hot pan the outcome could have been far worse. After a little while I let Ethel pet him, then I pet him and talked to him.

Knowing that things would get a bit wild if I tried to take Carlos out on a walk without controlling Blue, Ethel helped. The whole thing went well and night #1 was a success.

This morning I woke by my alarm for my meds at 7. At about 7:25 I was awoken by a different alarm. Fabric ripping was enough to make me bolt up in bed, yell NO, and pop Carlos on the nose. The lovely, still in good condition, but older beach towel was now no longer in good condition. I had folded it in thirds, laid it on my rug, and had a nice little sleeping pad for Carlos. Whatever the reason, empty food bowl, boredom, need to pee, he was enjoying himself. Immediately he cowered. I got up, got dressed as fast as possible for me, then we headed out for a walk. We played in the sea a little and returned to find Blue still out. We walked a little more, shocked that we had made it through without any argument earlier, then went home when the coast was clear.

Today was great. I made a leash for him though I haven't used it yet. Took him for a variety of walks. Left him in the house, several hours at a time and NO surprises! Good Dog Carlos! Tonight after a trip to visit the ice cream shop and our final walk. My friend Enes, her two daughters, and I returned with Carlos on the golf cart. Arriving at the house, he jumped off of hers and onto the Bradley's. He was ready for another ride. A brief visit, another walk, and some relaxing followed. Just a little while ago I listened out for Blue. No sign. So Carlos got put on the leash and was led down the stairs. It wasn't until about a minute later did I notice that Blue was under the utility golf cart staring at Carlos. There wasn't a sound uttered except by me. Carlos didn't pee, but I wasn't going to stick around to see if anything else was going to happen.

There has been a little more chewing on the towel. Some serious gas issues. He is fairly good with doing what I want if he is made to understand. Sit, easy, Carlos- these are words he is starting to get. At some point I was trying to get him back into the house from a walk and he refused. I needed to head out I think and he just wasn't having it. He walked down the stairs, sniffed around as I called him. He squatted a little as he barely lifted his leg and peed. Good Boy Carlos! Just proves that I shouldn't be too upset if he doesn't listen exactly. But now is bed time and he will have no problem with this.

Good Night.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Carlos is the new neutered man in my life. At around 3 years old and living in my house for two weeks, lots of things will be new. Haven't had a dog since I was in high school so this is all new for me again. I really really really hope he doesn't have to go to the bathroom before Blue goes up in the morning. He keeps staring at the door so I hope that isn't what it means right now either. He seems pretty smart and loving so I also hope that means he loves me enough not to pee on my floors. I will let you know tomorrow.

New things in my life...

Sorry, it has been quite some time since I have done an update.

I left for Belmopan on the 19th to get my new home ready, help Chanda clean up (the destruction workers left a mess!) and to meet the new Trainees on the 20th.

I got confirmation that I will be leaving sometime on September 20th. I should be returning on October 27th. Details should be cleared up in the next week for the return.

43 Trainees arrived on a steamy, though not rainy, Wednesday afternoon. Since that time my life has revolved around cleaning and running around helping whomever in the office needs a hand at that moment. With about 15 extra staff for training and a variety of computers not functioning, it made for interesting times. Musical chairs, computers, and rooms seemed to keep us on our toes and amazingly productive despite the challenges.

I am most happy to say that I not only felt, but was useful in making sure a few things ran ok for the first week of training. I hung out with the new PCTs (Peace Corps Trainees), *taught them how to turn on the lights in their rooms at the Gar Den City Hotel, hosted a little dinner party, and really got to know a few of them fairly well for the time available. I have to say that this training class is far more like the group I came in with versus the one from last year. This is going to be an interesting group.

Other interesting news is that I will be able to adopt Carl. For anyone who doesn't know, he is a rottweiler that I found almost 3 weeks ago as I was trying to track down a friend. I had just been by the doggy compound for Saga, dreaming about having a dog, should it happen, what would I name it, all these good things when I came upon him. Carl was walking in the middle of the street near the police station, looking terrified. I called him out of the street a bit, he avoided some cars, then ran back to the middle. As another car got close I called him again and he came over to me. The closer he got the more I noticed the infection in each eye. Poor baby! He became my project. With the help of others I found the vet. Attempted to feed him dog food, going as far as putting it in his mouth as he spit it back out. Moved on to feeding him the pizza that had dropped the previous night. And sending him home with the vet. I am sure that the fact Heather (the vet) is a RPCV (returned pcv) helped me a lot. Anyway I have been hoping for the best outcome, whatever that might mean. I got an email from her last Saturday saying that his owners had not come for him and I could adopt.

This best outcome I was hoping for is hopefully what is happening. I know Carl loves me already, despite his now neutered status. But I worry about becoming a nearly full grown puppy's mommy. The timing is really crappy and he has his own history. Living with him in the house for the next two weeks is going to be interesting. Taking him out for walks and the bathroom will be even more interesting since there are four dogs in the yard that are not going to take to him very well. (we already tried. not pretty.) Moving him to the mainland and setting him up with a puppy sitter (Chanda) for two months is heartbreaking a bit as well. On top of this, I had great plans for travel this year. Dogs are not cats by any stretch of the imagination and having him will make this far harder.

Logistically I need a dog about as much as another hole in my head, but crime is on the rise here. I have heard a saying that I believe- Belizeans are more scared of a dog than a gun. I love the security of a living guard system. I love the idea that I will be able to walk with him and avoid considerable amounts of harassment. I really love the idea that few people will ever think about getting close to the fence with him in it, much less come in.

I hope that he will stop flinching and pulling away as you try to pet him on the head. I hope that he learns to eat dog food pretty soon. I think he has lost a little weight since I found him, he didn't even eat the dog food covered in pizza toppings when he was with me. Chanda doesn't cook for herself, I can't imagine having to buy takeout for him so he doesn't starve while I am gone. I guess he will eat it if he gets hungry enough. I have to find a leash, containers to put the food in (bug prevention), food bowl, all that lovely stuff! I will also see how I can improvise.

Anyway, this is the big news. Kind of drawn out and without any pictures. My camera is broken so those will have to come when I return from the States.

*Note: the Gar Den is owned by folks who I believe are from Taiwan. Clearly marked are the buttons on the tv and a/c remote. Unfortunately, it is in a Chinese or Taiwanese language. The "light switches" are actually button/switches located either on the nightstand or on the wall behind it. It is rather interesting and quite confusing the first time.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good Dog Carl

If you have ever read the children's book by the same title I bet you can guess what this is all about...

Saturday I was on my way to check on a friend that I hadn't seen in about a month when I met Carl. I had just been by her shop, then took a stroll by the dog lot at Saga. Thinking about the dog of my future and knowing that it would still be a few months away. Despite this knowledge I walked down the street daydreaming. I saw Diggity. I imagine that the Cookie Lady named him that thinking Hot Diggity Dog and it stuck. Walking a little further, thinking about the perfect name for a dog, I knew that I couldn't pick the name before the dog, but I continued with the game in my head. Thinking about Renee at the Reserve and Bell and Barney from childhood, I saw Carl. He is a beautiful rottweiler, with a great disposition, but bad "owners". Carl was wondering the street in front of the police station when I found him. He was running frantically back and forth across the street to avoid the traffic. I called him over, he came immediately out of the middle of the street. As I looked closer I noticed that his eyes seemed a little off. I called him out of the traffic again and saw that puss was surrounding his eyes. The poor baby had bad eye infections and it appeared that it had been that way for quite some time. I noticed when I would go to pet him he would shy away. Slowly I reached out to him and petted him on the head, walked with him a little while, then called Saga. Of course no one was there since it was Saturday. Literally seconds later Angie stopped to see what was going on. I showed her Carl's face, she offered us a ride to Island Perk where Heather our vet was , but I declined on the fear that Carl would jump off the golf cart. She went ahead to make sure Heather didn't leave and Carl followed me closely. After a quick inspection it was obvious that he needed treatment but wasn't in too bad of shape.

Carl and I went to the store for dog food. He walked past me, right in the store, lucky we weren't in the States as the employees merely laughed and shooed him out. We walked to my house, I poured a small pile of food. The ravished dog looked at me confused. I picked food up and put it in his mouth. He gave me a look like- You've GOT to be kidding me lady!- as the food rolled off of his tongue. I was inspired by the pizza in the trash. (long story short, pizza boy was terrified of Blue, dropped the pizza, it was in the trash) So, I took the pizza from the trash and fed it to Carl with dog food embedded in it. Carl proceeded to eat the pizza and toppings that fell on the ground, but ignored the dog food, even the pieces that fell off the pizza.

We walked a little more, confused what to do with him until Monday when Saga opened. The pack of dogs at my house had no desire to have a new friend introduced. Yet again Heather came through. She was just finishing a visit with my neighbor when I was trying to figure out a way to get in touch with her. So she took Carl home for the weekend, then to Saga either Monday evening or today.

I stopped by today to check on him. He is on medication for his eyes and already looks better. His real name is Cujo and he has "owners". Truly this is the least appropriate name for this dog that there possibly could be. If all goes well and the owners don't claim him in two weeks he will be mine.

It is a little crazy for me to try to get a dog while I am here. Even more crazy that I should get one while I am away for a month. However, I feel that if this works out, Carl was meant to be mine.

Friday, August 8, 2008


So, I am official! Officially a Peace Corps Volunteer Leader.

I know that I will be assisting in the office in Belmopan and helping volunteers. I will be working on a project outside of the office as well. The hope is that I will continue working with the Neighborhood Watch Board and the Apprenticeship Program.

Now the search is on for a camera that will survive Belize (and ME!) If you have suggestions I would appreciate them.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

New Trainees

On August 20th 44 new Trainees will arrive in country.

Expectations will be rampant. Eyes will be bugging out of heads.

Will they arrive as we did? Heat unrelenting. Standing in the line at immigration dripping with sweat as well as drops of rain. Praying that both bags and their contents found their way from the States to Belize. Will they have pictures erased from their digital camera? No, you can't take pictures of the line at immigration. Yes, they want proof that they are gone. Who will absorb every detail and who will remember a frenzied blur? What will they think as the see their welcoming committee? We didn't have one. Last year we weren't allowed to contact any of the Trainees for weeks. Even then it was because of hurricane Dean.

With a new office staff hope runs rampant!

Monday, August 4, 2008

My Own Solar System

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
~Anais Nin

Thank You My Friends!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Happy News

I just found out that a friend of mine is getting married and having a baby. I am really excited for her but am glad it's not me right now!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Thankful for so much!

I returned to San Pedro this evening. It is good to be home. Really good to be home since I am not feeling all that great.

I was in another location Tuesday through Thursday doing fish surveys. Alicia (the manager of Bacalar Chico) and I went over to "assist" with the fish and coral surveys. By the way, Alicia is able to complete 5 coral surveys and I can complete my 8 fish on two tanks of air.

Alicia showed on Monday to get started. I had to wait until Tuesday morning because of meetings all day Monday. Before I left I had to stop by an office here to pick up blank forms for us to use for the surveys. This should have foreshadowed what was to come, but I was hopeful.

I arrive at my destination early Tuesday morning- 8:30, groggy but ready to work. Hum. Nothing, let me repeat, NOTHING was ready to go. The person "in charge" who we will call IM* had shown up minutes before I had. No one had gone for tanks. IM was also in shock that it would take 2 tanks for each of us to complete our segments of the surveys. The gear wasn't in the boat ready to go. In fact, the surveys I had brought were the only ones that we had with nothing on them. It is a rather well known fact, even outside of the SCUBA diving community, that paper disintegrates in water. Unfortunately IM, a supposed biologist, hadn't figured it out. Well, that among other things. Unfortunately IM also had not read the updated (2006) manual for conducting the surveys and was trying to tell us how to do the surveys from the 2002 manual. IM had not been in the water to dive much less conduct any surveys for 2 years. So back to the paper... In my efforts to learn the fish on the survey- a total of 83 fish in all of their color variations- I had recreated the fish survey on Excel. Alicia had already warned me so I had already sent a copy via email. With no surveys, no hope of waterproof paper, and flat out refusal to write the results of 8 transects, per site, on a piece of white plastic board we printed the surveys on plain paper. At 3pm we set out for the first site. (Hours ago we had determined that this person was just a completely and utter Incompetent Manager*.) Anger had set in. We were ready to vote IM off the island.

Never, ever have I appreciated Alicia's completely different work ethic and ability to plan as much has I have this week.

Wednesday you would think would go better. It didn't. In fact it was almost worst because everything was set from the day before. IM's employees just needed to transcribe the data we had collected. IM felt that we needed to do this but we stood our ground. Well that is except for my disintegrated paper that I had to interpret the tares. Because of the improper equipment it was a huge push to get in all of the fish surveys on Tuesday. Today Alicia and I assigned IM 2 fish surveys and 1 coral. IM wined. LITERALLY wined! We would have happily left her on shore. Probably should have. Anyway. Again we set out late and were utterly frustrated. As we head out to the Blue we know it is too rough but IM wasn't paying attention, we wait for IM to declare this. IM directs the captain to the location of our dive spot, the one that is supposed to be in the Blue. One of the problems is we are not clear of the reef. If we had continued on the route IM had suggested then we would have really been in trouble. The closer we got to the rolling waves in the channel the more we anticipated the order to turn around. The weather is getting worse and we can't go out in the Blue. The order never comes so Alicia does tell the captain to turn around. We finally find a spot to survey, get set up, complete the surveys, and dread Thursday.

Thursday. Most people that have been paying attention would have caught on would have known we weren't going to transcribe the data just because IM's employees didn't want to do anything. Aggravated beyond sitting quietly and playing nice I tell IM that we are here doing her a favor and IM needs to pick up the slack. IM counters that if you are going to do someone a favor you should do it right. I left. I packed my bag. Talked to Alicia about it but she talked me out of it. Again it was a late start. There was no way for us to complete all of the sites. I had appointments the next day in Belize City that I couldn't miss. Also found out before leaving for this site that IM does not know fish. So, I refuse to worry about her sloppy data. Here comes the sick part. As soon as I got in the water Thursday I felt sick. I continued my dive and completed my 6 surveys despite the uneasy feeling in my stomach. We got back to shore and I felt awful. As my body rid itself of the tacos and hand full of cereal I had for breakfast all kind of ideas were floating in my head. Diving injuries, bubbles in my blood, rashes on my skin, the bends. (or bad tacos). I dove within the limits, I did my safety stops, for heaven's sake for 2 days we hadn't been in water over 20 feet deep. Still nagging, still wondering, I wanted to be sure. Maybe seasickness? I tried to eat. Bad idea. Smells from the kitchen, from guests with cigarettes, ugh! Two bites of baked potato and I was on the run. So we left, talked to IM and the Big Boss in Belize, I ran to catch the boat home. If worse came to worse there was a decompression chamber there. I went to see the doctor. Got a shot for the nausea-OUCH!, sea sickness pills, and went home. Aching all over I tossed and turned until the sun was rising.

Yea. It is Friday and I have to head to Belize for an appointment. I decide to stop on IM's island, pick up my computer, and visit with Nadine (the newest nationalized Belizean Citizen in the country!). As the boat pulls up to the dock my head is in another orbit of its own. I practically crawled off of the boat and on the dock. I had a nice visit, despite the whole not feeling well. I figured that there was no way I would last at least two times longer on a boat so I called our nurse, she scheduled a flight, and I was on my way to Belize.

I had good appointments and good visits with friends, but I am oh so very glad to be sleeping in my bed in less than 10 minutes from now. I am so very thankful for my friends who take care of me when family can't, not having a serious condition to deal with constantly, and to never have to worry about whether or not I can see a doctor. I guess that my body fighting a little food poisoning every once and a while will help me remember how fortunate I truly am.

And one last thing that I am most thankful for this week- working with someone who gets it- Alicia, you are great!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pups and Updates

During my time in Belize I have had a fabulous guard dog network of sorts.

At the Reserve I have Renee to watch out for me. There really isn't much to watch out for there. While the occasional tourist or even local fisherman may pose a "threat" and she defends me, her biggest job is to keep the evil iguanas at bay.

At my home in town I have a whole crew to keep me safe. Max and Blue are the two most fearsome of the crew. Max is the old guard dog that is kind enough to people he knows he should trust. Others, well, they are ok if one of us is out and about. Blue, well Blue is another story all together different. Blue has bitten at least one person that he knows well and has certain ideals about people on the outside of the gate. If he knows you and loves you, you are ok once you are inside. If he knows you and doesn't like you or doesn't know you at all, just stay out! He is a short little guy but I have seen him nearly jump the 5 feet tall fence trying to get at someone. Sweetie and Poppy do enough barking, but really, they are small and not so fierce looking. It doesn't help that Sweetie rolls over and displays her belly while wagging her tail or runs under the porch and barks. If Poppy didn't like the intruder I feel comfortable saying that he would probably go after them as well.

With all this being said, I know more about crime on the island that many probably do, just because of my assignment. People with dogs just don't get broken into like those without. While this may not be always true, there is a correlation. Moving to Belmopan (and away from my crew) makes me want to get a dog. This does not exactly fit into my plans for the future, however, I feel that there is a strong argument for a new friend in my life.

I have been making lists of pros and cons for a while now. Talked several friends' ears off nearly trying to make a decision. I have an email out to someone who has a dog here and her thoughts on the situation. So, the decision has not been made final, but after last night's conversation with a dog owner I am leaning back to the "get one" side.

SAGA had a fundraiser yesterday and I had hoped to make it out. However at that time Dorothy and I were getting ready for Steve's farewell. Mashing avocados for guacamole and decorating chocolate (made from scratch) cupcakes kept us busy. While the decorating didn't compare with the last batch, they were still tasty.

So you can try your hand at from scratch chocolate cake try the recipe below. I promise it is just chocolaty enough and lighter than you would think possible. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cake

Full Size

1 ¾ cups---------- Flour

2 cups-------------- Sugar

¾ cup--------------- Cocoa

1 ½ tsp------------- Baking Soda

1 ½ tsp------------- Baking Powder

1 cup--------------- Boiling Water

1 tsp---------------- Salt

2--------------------- Eggs

1 cup--------------- Milk

½ cup--------------- Vegetable Oil

2 tsp---------------- Vanilla

½ Size

1 cup +1 tbs------ Flour

1 cup--------------- Sugar

¼ cup + 2 tbs---- Cocoa

¾ tsp--------------- Baking Soda

¾ tsp--------------- Baking Powder

½ cup--------------- Boiling Water

½ tsp--------------- Salt

1--------------------- Egg

½ cup--------------- Milk

¼ cup--------------- Vegetable Oil

1 tsp---------------- Vanilla

1 ½ Size

2 ½ + 1/3 cups---- Flour

3 cups-------------- Sugar

1 1/8 cup----------- Cocoa

2 ¼ tsp------------- Baking Soda

2 ¼ tsp------------- Baking Powder

1 ½ cup------------ Boiling Water

1 ½ tsp------------- Salt

3--------------------- Eggs

1 ½ cup------------ Milk

¾ cup--------------- Vegetable Oil

3 tsp---------------- Vanilla

« Choose the size of cake you want

« Combine dry ingredients in a bowl

« Add eggs, milk, oil, vanilla

« Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed

« Stir in boiling water slowly

« Batter will be thin

« Pour into greased and floured pan

« Bake in a preheated oven @ 350° F for 35-40 minutes or until inside is cooked

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Art of Blessing the Day

Thanks Molly for Sharing this!

before you get to it- plashing is a light splash or sound of a light splash

The Art of Blessing the Day
by Marge Piercy

This is the blessing for rain after drought:
Come down, wash the air so it shimmers,
a perfumed shawl of lavender chiffon.
Let the parched leaves suckle and swell.
Enter my skin, wash me for the little
chrysalis of sleep rocked in your plashing.
In the morning the world is peeled to shining.

This is the blessing for sun after long rain:
Now everything shakes itself free and rises.
The trees are bright as pushcart ices.
Every last lily opens its satin thighs.
The bees dance and roll in pollen
and the cardinal at the top of the pine
sings at full throttle, fountaining.

This is the blessing for a ripe peach:
This is luck made round. Frost can nip
the blossom, kill the bee. It can drop,
a hard green useless nut. Brown fungus,
the burrowing worm that coils in rot can
blemish it and wind crush it on the ground.
Yet this peach fills my mouth with juicy sun.

This is the blessing for the first garden tomato:
Those green boxes of tasteless acid the store
sells in January, those red things with the savor
of wet chalk, they mock your fragrant name.
How fat and sweet you are weighing down my palm,
warm as the flank of a cow in the sun.
You are the savor of summer in a thin red skin.

This is the blessing for a political victory:
Although I shall not forget that things
work in increments and epicycles and sometime
leaps that half the time fall back down,
let's not relinquish dancing while the music
fits into our hips and bounces our heels.
We must never forget, pleasure is real as pain.

The blessing for the return of a favorite cat,
the blessing for love returned, for friends'
return, for money received unexpected,
the blessing for the rising of the bread,
the sun, the oppressed. I am not sentimental
about old men mumbling the Hebrew by rote
with no more feeling than one says gesundheit.

But the discipline of blessings is to taste
each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet
and the salty, and be glad for what does not
hurt. The art is in compressing attention
to each little and big blossom of the tree
of life, to let the tongue sing each fruit,
its savor, its aroma and its use.

Attention is love, what we must give
children, mothers, fathers, pets,
our friends, the news, the woes of others.
What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
can't bless it, get ready to make it new.

My 2 year anniversary in Belize

For my 2nd year anniversary in Belize I reinterviewed for the Peace Corps Volunteer Leader Position. I also found out while on my way back to Belize City that I had been accepted for the position. Greedily I accepted. All that is left for final conformation of the job is a medical exam. If I am not healthy enough then I am sent back to the States.

I still plan on coming back for a month soon. I need to do some more visiting and shopping.

That night was great. I had a wonderful dinner at Samanti Indian Restaurant in Belize City with Dorothy, Kirsty, Maggie, Kim, Molly, and Jeff. I really feel like I am missing one person and it is completely possible at the hour I am writing this. However. It was a lovely dinner and I got to share the wonderful news with some of my good friends.

If the blog isn't written, it's me...

For those of you that might miss the twisted reference, there is a Jimmy Buffett song that seems somewhat apropos.

While Mom stretches her legs in Europe I will be doing a tour of sorts around the northern and middle sections of Belize.

I will be heading north to Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve first. Just found out a few hours ago that I will be heading up on Wednesday to do conch surveys. Conch season ended last month and it is time to see how the population is holding up. While my despise (ie. lack of skill) for lobster surveys is quite great, conch surveys are much better. See below for a comparison.

  1. Conch don't hang out on the reef so much so I avoid the very shallow and sharp areas- Lobsters love those dangerous and hard to reach/see spots
  2. Conch move at an amazingly fast pace for their dynamics but still easy to catch- Lobsters, now you see them, now you don't!
  3. Conch blend with their environment so you have to concentrate- Lobsters dart out of site so it doesn't really matter
  4. Never been harassed by a suckerfish during a conch survey- Frequently harassed by suckerfish during lobster surveys
Please note: the reasons to enjoy conch surveys more than lobster aren't nearly as clear until you get to #4.

I should be back Monday and heading out to Belmopan or Belize City on the next boat. I have my annual check up starting Tuesday. This time if I don't pass I don't get to stay to do the Peace Corps Volunteer Leader position. So here is hoping that I don't have some kind of bizarre tropical disorder that must be cured in the States.

I finish on Thursday and hopefully will get to stay and try to figure out some of the details of what will be going on with the staff in the office for my new job.

Depending where I finish on Thursday I may be staying in Belmopan or Belize. Friday I will most likely be heading to Corozal for the weekend and possibly a quick trip to Mexico. There is a soccer game this weekend and I haven't been to one yet this year. I am looking forward to the quick trip.

Sunday I will catch the boat back to San Pedro or Caye Caulker depending on the situation with the surveys (see below).

Sunday evening or Monday morning I will head to Caye Caulker for fish surveys. These will be fun since I haven't dove in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve yet. Back to SP for a meeting that night (unless I hear otherwise). Then back to Caye Caulker the next morning. Will probably be out there until Friday.

Once I return I don't expect to want to leave the island for quite some time.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Trip to PG

A quick update on my trip to PG...

I left on the 8am boat to Belize City Tuesday morning. I got on the bus and made it to Punta Gorda around 3:30. I met up with several friends, walked around the town, then visited some more. Wednesday morning we were supposed to go to court but the investigator was in Dangriga. Maggie called me about an hour before we were supposed to be there to let me know that court wasn't going to happen. So I slept a few more hours then enjoyed hanging out for the day with all of the PCVs in PG Town. Thursday we were on the 6am bus back to Belize. I made it to San Pedro around 4:00. It was a great trip and I got my iPod back so the trip was a success!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Down with BTL!!!

Ethel just sent me this information and I am not really surprised about how much they make. I spent over $100 in the two and a half weeks I was here in June! I don't run a business, just assist with an organization, and I was barely on the phone to connect with friends.

COLA Calls for 48 Hour
Cell Phone Boycott

Can you go a full 48 hour weekend without using your cell phone? That's what COLA - – the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action are asking Belizeans to do as part of a boycott against Lord Ashcroft and Telemedia. According to COLA, BTL made over $7 million from strictly cell phones in June – and by their reasoning just a weekend boycott could truly hurt the Ashcroft controlled company. COLA is also asking Belizeans to refrain from buying phone cards for the forty eight hours. It starts on Friday evening at 6 and runs to 6 on Sunday evening. According to COLA's newly elected President Bernard Adolphus, this is the beginning of along fight for justice.
Bernard Adolphus, COLA President
"People believe they cannot do without their cell phones. For the last three days I have not used my cell phone and we have to learn to make sacrifice. Belizeans young and old, particularly the young, have to learn to make sacrifice and after all is said and done, they will be saving some money too and it is important that we shut off, no communication. You might have other means but we're requesting and asking that cell phones are locked off for the weekend, the 11th, 12th, and 13th.
Do you know that over $7.4 million in revenue was collected just for the month of June for cell phone calls? I repeat myself, $7.4 million on only cell phone calls."
And as COLA gets ready for the second protest action, the organization is also starting on a membership drive to Dangriga and Punta Gorda. Read More

Monday, July 7, 2008

To the Mainland

Heading to the mainland Tuesday morning so I can help prosecute the lovely little darlings that stole my iPod and money.

I have been trying to catch up for a while now so hopefully when I return to the island I will get back to blogging on a regular basis.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Back in the swing of things...

Hi Everybody,

Been a bit absent lately. I am still trying to recover from my absolutely FABULOUS trip home. Got to visit friends and family, but still not as much as what I would have liked to have done.

Work has been crazy since I returned. I left at 9:30am yesterday and didn't return until midnight. Had a great day and ended up being able to spend time with friends while I was out.

Last weekend I had a whirlwind trip to Belize, Belmopan, and Corozal. Thursday I reinterviewed for the PCVL- Volunteer Leader position, got the phone call on the way back into Belize that I got the job. Accepted on the spot. Got off the bus and walked across town to my favorite Indian restaurant- Samanti- yummmm! Met Jeff, Dorothy, Kirsty, Maggie, Kim, and Molly for dinner. After dinner all but Kirsty went back to Maggie's house for a bit of old times for the last time. It was wonderful sitting there 2 years to the day after we arrived, saying "see you later" in some cases for the last time. Friday morning I headed up to Corozal to hang out with Chanda for the weekend. I stopped by town to pick up some food for the weekend and cake to bake for a belated birthday. Strawberry with cream cheese icing- a bit embarrassing, but we finished it before we left Monday. Saturday was fun. Chanda's 4-H sponsored a sports day in Patchakan, her village. Jenny G's 4-H soccer team came over from Progresso.

Just noticed an odd sound for this close... Sounds like a plane just beside my house! I peaked outside, hum, there is one, and it is just by my house at the gas station. No, we don't often have planes at the gas station, this one just happens to be a sea plane! Well, you don't see these everyday. I grabbed the only camera in the house... THANKS DAD!!! the cell phone that won't get much use over the next year got some use today. The battery was about dead since I didn't think I would be using it for several months. I snapped a horrible picture of the tail of the plane after deleting all of the alarms I missed since I returned from the States. I will have to wait to share it when I return next time. I am sure there will be pictures in the newspapers this coming week of the event. I will try to remember to post the link so you can check it out.

Anyway, back to the weekend. Progresso won the game. Chanda and I relaxed and ate until Monday about 5:30 am when we got picked up by her host family to meet some of her other 4-H kids in Concepcion to go to the 4-H camp this week in Caye Caulker.

This week has been full of meetings and getting ready for meetings so today I will enjoy! No work, all play! Slept in late after going out dancing with friends. Molly comes tomorrow and I am so excited to see her again.

On a health note I just found a like to some interesting articles. Make sure to check out the one about sunscreen from this page. That is about it for now.

Have a fabulous 4th of July!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Serendipity? Perhaps...

I was standing in the kitchen eating dried cherries (thanks Meme!) contemplating life as I shifted from side to side. Moving muscles and thinking of the atoms shifting. Thinking about the structure of the atoms together making elements(remember being confused about the structure but appreciating it during organic chem), and elements making up stuff. The whole simplicity and complexity at the same time amazing. Well, I did have a birthday yesterday... Anyway. So I am there contemplating life, amazed that everything in the world is made up of atoms. The density changes, the composition, you know, but basically everything is the same.

Fast forward 10 maybe 15 minutes....

Page 155 of The Secret
Bob Proctor
Think of this for a moment. Look at your hand. It looks solid, but it's really not. If you put it under a proper microscope, you'd see a mass of energy vibrating.

John Assaraf
Everything is made up of the exact same thing, whether it's your hand, the ocean, or a star.

Dr. Ben Johnson
Everything is energy, and let me help you understand that just a little bit. There's the Universe, our galaxy, our planet, and then individuals, and then inside of this body are organ systems, then cells, then molecules, and then atoms. And then there is energy. So there are a lot of levels to think about, but everything in the Universe is energy.

If you know anything about The Secret then you would say I brought this on myself...

Friday, June 6, 2008


off on another adventure. let you in on it on saturday! too busy between now and then :^)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fabulous Dinner...

Ethel and I dined on the most fabulous dinner. I made roasted red pepper hummus. We had it in wraps with diced tomatoes, carrots, and broccoli! When we ran out of wraps (aka tortillas) we had the hummus on left over vegetables. When we ran out of vegetables we ate it from the spoon! Don't make a funny face! You would have too.

Here is the recipe...
Tonight I didn't rinse the chickpeas. I used 2 limes, 2 dashes of pepper, all the cumin, and the roasted red pepper and roasted garlic from the recipe below. With the extra lime juice I only needed to add a little water to reach the consistency I wanted.

Rob’s Hummus


1 Can (14 oz) Chickpeas

Juice of 1 lemon or lime

2 Tbs Tahini

½ Tsp Salt

1 Tbs Olive Oil

½ Tsp Cumin (optional)

¼ Tsp Black Pepper (optional)

2 Cloves of Roasted Garlic (optional)


1. Drain chickpeas (rinse if you would like)

2. Put lemon juice, salt, garlic, cumin, pepper into food processor or blender and blend

3. Add ½ of the chickpeas and blend with pulses into a paste. If very dry add some olive oil and/or water

4. Add olive oil, tahini, and the rest of the chickpeas, blend until smooth. Add olive oil and/or water if too dry.


# Add juice of a 2nd lemon or lime. This reduces the amount of olive oil/water that you add extra.

# For Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

o Cut the pepper open, remove seeds and stem

o Place the pepper on a baking sheet with a little olive oil and the garlic to be roasted

o Bake (roast) until the pepper looks a little shriveled

o Add to the blender when the garlic is added

# Serve with fresh cucumber, carrots, broccoli, or sweet pepper

# Blend in Marie Sharp’s, chopped parsley, horseradish, paprika, dill, or other spices to add flavor

# Add orange juice instead of water to make the recipe extra special

# Blend in ¼ to ½ pound of tofu to make a creamier, healthy spread (though I have heard this is not as tasty)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rain recount...

I spoke with Steve- the one who told me the amount of rain- and it turns out there was not over 20 inches of rain. His calculations were based on the increase in inches in their cistern. I have heard that there has been between 13 and 15 inches from others. I doubt that anyone will be even remotely accurate since there were such strong winds.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Info from Nemo

Last post today promise!

Check out the link to Nemo concerning the flooding in southern Belize. The pictures are impressive. It actually looks like they are getting quite a bit of heavy rain now as well. I am rather disappointed in the coverage from The Weather Channel. I know that we are living in Belize and it is an American company, they should realize that there are a lot of Americans in Belize and Belizeans in the States.

The bands that came after tropical storm Arthur were far stronger than the storm itself. At least the part that we felt. With sustained winds of 60 mph and stronger and 20 inches or more of rain, the bands packed quite the punch. I actually contacted a friend this morning at 5am warning her of what was coming her way. I had saved the last of my credit on my phone just in case. Despite her home being rebuilt after Dean, I was concerned that she was in for another home make over. I have only heard from a few people, but the ones I am most concerned about won't be able to be contacted. Good Luck Everybody!

From an email concerning Belizean Hell

A man dies and goes to hell. There he finds that there is a different hell for each country. He goes first to the German hell and asks “What do they do here?”

He is told, “First they put you in an electric chair for an hour. Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour. Then the German devil comes in and whips you for the rest of the day.”

The man does not like the sound of that at all, so he moves on. He checks out the USA hell as well as the Russian hell and many more. He discovers that they are all more or less the same as the German hell.

Then he comes to the Belizean hell and finds that there is a very long line of people waiting to get in.

Amazed he asks “What do they do here?”

He is told “First they put you in an electric chair for an hour. Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour. Then the Belizean devil comes in and whips you for the rest of the day.”

“But that is exactly the same as all the other hells - why are there so many people waiting to get in?” he asked.

“Because there is never any reliable electricity from BEL therefore the electric chair does not work, someone tief all the nails so there’s none to lay you on, and the devil is working for the new government so he comes in, signs the attendance register and then goes back home, calls channel 7's Jewels Vasquez & Indira Craig to help him make up a bullshit story to fool the Belizean People.

DandE's Frozen Custard

I am starting to have separation anxiety concerning DandE's Frozen Custard. While I refer to it as ice cream I assure you it is so much more. I don't think that I mentioned this around Christmas, so here is the story. A few days before I left I started thinking about ice cream. I wasn't really excited even though I would be able to have my favorite Phish Food. Then I realized what was going through my head... I am going to be eating ice cream out of a box! It wouldn't be made where I bought it and heaven only knew how long it had been sitting there!!! I have gotten used to Eileen serving me what ever flavor sounded best directly out of the machine. Dan accepting requests when getting ready to make the next batch. Or even sampling mid way through the process to see if the flavor is right. At the very oldest the ice cream might have made it a week. I go through phases. Sometimes I believe it is better to limit my consumption because soon there will be none. Other times I have been twice in one day because life is short and soon there will be none. While the answer falls somewhere in between I will enjoy it while I can!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Job search stuff

Tonight I have spent hours looking for prospective career options... This basically means that I have been scanning through lists of jobs and their descriptions. Writing down anything and everything that sounds interesting. I also started, though barely, a list of things that I most definitely don't want to do.

A few things off of the "No Thanks!" jobs or areas of employment

  • air traffic control
  • prison guard
  • customs inspector
  • cutting down big trees
  • explosives test operator
  • finance- Karen you can keep it!
  • hand composer
  • language specialist- I have a hard enough time with English
  • lock and dam repairer
  • missile/toxic materials handler
  • mortician
  • petroleum engineer
  • podiatrist
  • security guard
  • stevedore
  • tax law specialist
  • United States marshal
I was feeling like I needed a little Buffett in my life so I put him on for my job search. I have 10.2 hours of Buffett on iTunes and I listened to all but about 6 songs. I think I am caught up for a little while.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Belizean Way and Rain...

I was told when I first arrived in Belize that folks don't show up to work or anywhere else for that matter when it rains. At first this didn't seem really sensible. After the first big downpour it started to make sense. After the second and third, it became a really good idea. I have taken to this Belizean tradition.

I was supposed to meet a friend earlier. I had to do a few things then it started raining... He just texted me. It has stopped raining. My jeans just got washed today. This may not seem like a big deal but I assure you it is... Oh well, looks like I am heading out anyway, despite the puddles. (Puddles count to me when I am wearing clean jeans)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Scavenger Hunt

Wow. This looks like fun! I wish I could be in town for it. Maybe they will post the clues so others can do this at a later time...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


YEA! RAIN! finally rain! power has been off a ton in the last few days. signing off for tonight so i don't mess up the computer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gee Thanks!

Ok folks... I wasn't asking for a decision on whether or not I should stay or should I go. I was asking for things I may not be considering. You know, things I might not have on my mind while sitting in another country.

  • Price of gas- it is already over $5 a gallon here, not a factor. Would have to buy a new bike as mine was stolen.
  • Health care- I am going to have to pay it Belize vs USA
  • Spendin' Money- tickets home aren't cheap and ice cream adds up
  • Local night life
  • Distance/Time away from friends and family
  • Retirement- it would be nice one day
  • The view
  • all the other stuff...
I think my mind is made up. Anything else I should consider?

House Plant Help

Ethel sent this link to me. I think it is a great idea. Anyone with a brown thumb should check it out...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Should I stay or should I go now...

We all know the song... well, it is true. I am trying to figure out whether I should stay or I should go. It is all in the air and the possibilities seem endless.

I am looking for a list of pros and cons. Can you help me?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Seven Things You Must Do in an Interview - BusinessWeek

Seven Things You Must Do in an Interview - BusinessWeek

Ok, now to figure out where to interview...

Just Hello...

Just a little note to say Hello.

Haven't had much of a chance to catch up with you for a while. I have been on the mainland a lot and have just started the 4th Apprenticeship Program. This should be an interesting one...

Promise to do better in the coming weeks!


Friday, May 16, 2008

I know! I can be a Literature Professor!!!

In 14 steps I could become a lit professor. Does this interest you? You can too! Just click HERE!!! Doesn't it look EASY?

Another Apprenticeship Program starting

I really should be much more excited about this. But I am not. I am tired. Want some sleep. Want to not be worrying and scurrying to make sure that the kids (and adults) that show for class on Saturday and Sunday will be placed with a company they will follow through with. Want to not be worrying if the company is going to uphold their end of the bargain.

I think three classes a year is just too much.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ooooh down in Mexico...

Note to All: Vacationing with 7 friends is NOT relaxing...

Just got back this morning from Corozal. Stayed the night at the Maya Hotel with Chanda- we didn't make the last transportation options back to our respective homes. That had nothing to do with the movie we watched in Chetumal. Made of Honor was really cute, thankfully in English, and completely worth the $3.85 we spent. We had talked barely 10 seconds about going to a movie earlier in the bus trip. Actually calling to friends on board as we got up "later- going for a movie", then jumping off the bus without really discussing it, just a bit impulsive. YEA!!!

Mexico was fine. Didn't really do what I had gone there to do. Relax and think. Visited Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Both great destinations for different reasons. The food we had was amazing. There is absolutely NO reason folks in Belize couldn't do some of the same. Anyone looking for business opportunities, there is a niche in good- reasonably priced food that needs to be filled!!!

No decision has been made. It actually looks now like I will have an opportunity to do the PCVL position. Not sure yet as Jerry has to make up his mind on whether or not he takes the job in Korea. Also not sure if I want it since I wasn't really chosen or if they would want me since I wasn't a first choice.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

cuxtal's (Kuush-sthals)

I'm getting 2 cuxtals! Check out Selvin's blog post here about the real purpose for my new goodies. Or Jeff's blog for how the kids planted corn and see some pictures of them.

FYI: x in maya is pronounced like the sh in shush and shush is kriol for gossip

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Toy for book addicts...

I haven't been up on the latest technology so I don't know how long this toy has been around. A Sony eBook looks like it could be rather handy. I have gotten a taste of dragging a bag of books around the country of Belize and it isn't the most convenient thing to do. I love books. The feel of them. The smell of them. The weight of them in your hand. The way you can visit the places inside. Seeing books on a shelf, as a pile on the floor, in a basket, or pretty much anywhere can make me happy. I don't particularly enjoy reading things off the computer. Just doesn't feel the same. It seems though that Sony has taken a lot of consideration of these things. Their eBook is $100 cheaper than the Amazon Kindle. I do have this theory (that has been proven correct several times), you get what you pay for. One of the biggest advantages is that you could download a new book practically anywhere. I do wonder however if that anywhere would include foreign countries as there doesn't seem to be a way to connect it to the internet.

Hopefully there will be newer, even more user-friendly options by the time I am out of the Peace Corps.

Oh, how did I get onto this random topic? I was reading My Open Wallet and saw that Go Green, Live Rich: 50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth (and Get Rich Trying) would be free for our downloading pleasure. I cut and pasted this from Madame X at My Open Wallet.

Dear Friends and FinishRich Community Members,

I'm absolutely thrilled to announce that my newest book, Go Green, Live Rich is an instant bestseller, debuting on both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller lists! This is huge news because as far as we know, this is the first time a book on the environment ever opened on the NY Times bestseller list. So thank you so much for helping to make this happen!

I also want to invite you to help us celebrate Earth Day with a very special offer. We've teamed up with our friends at and Sony, to offer a FREE download of Go Green, Live Rich: 50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth (and Get Rich Trying). That's right! For today only you can download the book absolutely free.

Here's all you need to do to get your free download. If you're an Amazon Kindle user, head over to or search Go Green, Live Rich directly from your Kindle and start your download from there.

To download the book to your Sony e-book reader, visit Sony's e-Book Store. You can also download directly to your computer by using Sony's free download client. Click here for further details.

Remember, this offer is good for today only! And please feel free to share it with family and friends!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

lovely dinner

got ready to head out to dinner with my neighbors and the key to their golf cart had been broken off in the ignition. they had a bit of a problem getting it started. initially asked me if i knew how to hot wire it. hum... no, but i could probably figure it out. could be a handy skill in a pinch such as this.

had a wonderful dinner. went north to a new place called pinki knox. no clue why... anyway, had roast duck, creamed spinach, some huge french fries. dessert was bread and butter pudding with dark chocolate and strawberries. some kind of homemade whip cream i think that was really cold on the side. delicious! the funny part was we got there and the restaurant was closed. however the owners let us stay for a few hours.

so we just got back a little while ago. the moon wasn't as impressive as it was on the way out. it was quite lovely. nearly clear sky with a nearly full moon and a few wispy clouds drifting by occasionally.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Punta Gorda Police ROCKS!!!

Last Saturday while visiting a little village in Toledo I had some money and my iPod stolen. The police were wonderful. Came out, took prints, checked out the scene and all of that. We determined that the people were from a neighboring village and were real pros! At first I didn't believe Chanda when she said her stuff was missing. NOTHING was out of place at all.

I just got a message from Chanda. The police have recovered all 3 of the iPods that were stolen!!!

PG Police ROCK!!!!

Plans in the works...

Jess, Ash, and Lizzy will be arriving next Saturday. It has been hard to plan. Not only because I have been gone so much, but also because of there being so much to do with so little time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fuel Choices, Food Crises and Finger-Pointing - New York Times

Fuel Choices, Food Crises and Finger-Pointing - New York Times

I saw something about this yesterday morning on TV. Hearing what they had to say sent me back about 4 years to my Environmental Science classes. I had raised a question to the classes concerning the effect of bio-diesel production on the availability of certain grains as food. I hope the students are reminded of this as they hear it as well. Perhaps to realize that I am not as crazy as they thought.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Volunteer Leader Update

Hi Folks,

Quick word for you tonight- *EXHAUSTED!* I will tell you all about that after I am rested.

Now for the good stuff... Interviews are on the 29th of April. Jess, Ash, and Lizzy will be here. If all is wonderful maybe we can celebrate before they go home! I will know at the very latest on the 7th of May. WAHOO!!!! Excited about that.

Anyway, been up a really long time. Good Night!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

On my way to the mainland

So, I am off again. I am taking the 3:30 to Belize, then on to Belmopan.

This should be a really good trip. I will update you when I get back.

Have a great Weekend!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

7 PM Meeting

So, it is almost 7:30 now and my meeting was supposed to start at 7... Thankfully it is at my house and I can get some work done in the mean time.

I have been in meetings most of the day and I really would like to not have this one tonight. Unfortunately tonight is the only time that I have for at least another week. I am heading out tomorrow afternoon for either Belize City or Belmopan. I am not sure yet. It depends on a meeting that I am supposed to have on Thursday in Belmopan. Then I am on to Punta Gorda for the rest of the week.

It is almost 8. The crew just showed up, so I need to get started.

Have a good week!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Six Word Memoir

Lizzy tagged me for my own Six Word Memoir

I'm headed in the right direction.

or maybe...

Every decision leads me here now.

Even if you aren't tagged feel free to join in. Leave me your memoir in comments.

Here are the rules:

  1. Write your own six word memoir.
  2. Post it on your blog, including an illustration if you’d like.
  3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so that it can be tracked as it travels across the blogosphere.
  4. Tag at least five more blogs with links. (Jeff, Shella, Scott, Ginnie and Anthony, Nicole and Adam)
  5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

No Outlet

You know, I saw this and thought of you!

Then I thought of Jon and the "Cornflake" Towers.

5th Annual Ambergris Caye Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge


Are you feeling adventurous? Can't wait to get in a boat and paddle? Well, I have the perfect opportunity for you!!! Come out to San Pedro for our 5th Annual Ambergris Caye Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge on April 26th and 27th. Two fun filled days of paddling a kayak. It's only 42 miles. If you did La Ruta Maya this should be a breeze right?

If you'd rather sit back a sip a frozen drink and cheer (or jeer), join us as well.

Ambergris Today Daily Blog: Chelsea Clinton in San Pedro!

Ambergris Today Daily Blog: Chelsea Clinton in San Pedro!: "Chelsea Clinton in San Pedro!

Rumors had it and our sources confirmed that Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former US President Bill Clinton and US President forerunner Hilary Clinton, is vacationing in San Pedro. Our sources say that Chelsea arrived with her boyfriend in a private helicopter and is staying at an exclusive resort on the island.
Posted by Ambergris Today Daily Blog at 9:22 AM"

It's true... One of my friends took her on a private charter the other day. I didn't ask details. He isn't the kind of person that would reveal them. No, I don't plan on asking either.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A little slice of Paradise...

I have to say that the batch of icing on these is the best I have ever made!
Yum! Yum! Yum!

Not too bad with a spoon, knife, and a Ziploc bag!


On our trip to Glover's Reef we met Nicole and Adam. They are heading to Guatemala soon.

Seconds after mentioning that they were going there, I was already back there in my mind. Guate! Guate! Guate! The sounds of the conductors yelling for you to join them on their exquisite buses back home from Antigua at the end of the weekend.

We had such a great time there. I danced the Salsa- ok, not really, but I did take a free class. But salsa was not all that La Salsa Dance Academy offered. The night we were there the famous Buena Vista Social Club was playing. (I broke down and downloaded one of their albums on my iTunes tonight and am listening to it now.) How did we end up there? We were having dinner at El Cafecito- a restaurante comida Portuguesa- and a gentleman stopped by our table to hand us a flyer. It was one of the most memorable nights I had there.

I checked out another site just to see if I had the right location. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. However, there is a mention about the Buena Vista Social Club on this website. It has been nearly two years since we were there so they may have moved on. I don't think you can go wrong though. Enjoy.

For those going to Antigua...

La Salsa's website is and the email is I had trouble accessing the page. But then again I have had trouble accessing everything today on the internet. Nicole, you aren't going to believe it, but I had the correct intersection! The following is what is on the flyer...
7 ma. Av. Norte y 2 da. Calle poniente esquina No. 18 Antigua Guatemala (Interior Bar y Restaurante Chimenea) The telephone is 5400-0315

El Cafecito is at 5 ta. Calle Poniente 7/A


Kitty Poo Poo Pants...

So, there was a little kitty who was in a box. The kitty just meowed and meowed (for hours!) So I called Sterling- not his cat. Visited Maritza- not hers, but she had rescued him. Kitty was playing in the middle of the street and nearly got himself killed. Maritza- the animal lover that she is- picked him up and brought him home. This was Sunday. She had planned on taking him to Saga Monday morning. I knew that he was frightened and wouldn't stop crying anytime soon. It seemed as though there would be little hope of me sleeping if he was in the carrier. I asked Maritza if I could take him in until she could take him to the the shelter. He is a scrawny little guy with a fat stomach- worms. He had really bad "dead rear" as Dad would say. Poor thing!

I put him in my bathroom with a box of sand- courtesy of our "yard"- as a litter box, a bowl of food, a bowl of water and a towel. He came to have the towel, not because I initially gave it to him, but because he found his way to my rather large and plush stack of towels. (EEEWWW!!!) The rest got moved. He did really well. He only cried a few minutes after I went in the bathroom and left him. He was really really dehydrated but wouldn't drink the water. He acted a bit off balance, weaving a bit, I think because of it. I soaked his food and he seemed to do better.

Monday was a holiday in Belize so Saga was closed. I knew this, but I think Maritza was a little surprised. No worries. Kitty had earned the name Little Poo Poo Pants because of a certain odor that was on him and he emitted. To take care of part of the odor and some flees he received a bath. He was not too happy about this mind you. But he was quite happy with me holding him and rubbing him down with the towels and removing the fleas afterwards. His smell improved (most of the time). His diarrhea had slowed down and he didn't seem as dehydrated later in the evening. I gave him an aluminum foil ball to play with but he didn't seem to get it.

Tuesday morning he was moving around, playing a bit, and seemed to be in much better condition. Unfortunately I had a few meetings to go to so I had to put him back in the carrier and leave. I felt soooo guilty! It was heart wrenching! Especially since he was crying, sounding confused that he was in the awful box again.

Yesterday I went to check up on him. He is in isolation for 2 weeks because of his condition. :^( poor little guy. So I talked to the lady at the desk and asked if I could walk over to check him out. I told her a little bit more about him. So I talked to LPPP and he quieted down and started rubbing on the door of his home for the next two weeks.

Just now I thought of a new name. Bunny. It seems appropriate since he was found on Easter. I will ask them to call him that from now on.

I want him. I am having a really hard time convincing myself I should not get him. Especially if I get the Volunteer Leader position. I would be here another year. Ugh. Don't need another cat. But I miss my Quilly, Chloe, Mal, and Tess. If he gets adopted quickly then I have nothing to worry about. But if he doesn't then I don't know what I am going to do!