28 April, 2008

my thatch roof.

Top view of my thatch roofed house. Such a nice thing to wake up to with the early sun shinning in or while lounging about on my hammock.

My Washing Machine.

It's called the pila and takes some getting used to but I am becomming an expert in the art of washboardish type laundry. Soaking in the large middle part, then adding soap to the clothing and scrubbing it up and down on the right part then back to the middle to rinse. I did a big load consisting of about all I brought here and it took me hours...
Now, I wash about every 2nd morning and only have a pair of pants, couple of shirts, socks and underwear and in 20 minutes, I have them all hung to dry before breakfast. Much easier!

Sunday Morning Coffee...

Any morning is nice to wake up to brewing coffee...unfortunately on Sunday's it's also nice to relax and not have to walk to the kitchen, start the fire in the stove just to heat some water. Also, Sunday mornings are nice family time for the Nesbitt's without interns, teachers, or volunteers roaming about.

Brad found this cooking contraption and brought it to our houses. Basically you put burning material (corn husks, dry grass, sticks, etc.) in the side hole of the big can and then the heat goes up through the top of the other can which heats the small pot of water sitting on it. After trying for about 20 minutes to get the thing lit and moving it from place to place (so the smoke wouldn't go into my house or B&A's house and not on a wee wee ant path) I set it down and within 5 minutes or less, I had a boiling pot of good ole' H2O. Add some powdered milk and instant coffee and wahla, the breakfast of champions and computer geeks alike.

It was only 7AM so I settled down in my hammock with my luscious hot beverage and began the finishing process of my latest basket. What a morning!

27 April, 2008

Trip to PG

Punta Gorda (PG) is an hour bus ride from the village. B, A, Jamie and I went for the day. It was my first relaxing "free" day off the farm. Previously I have gone into PG, but always on a mission and with one of the little girls. This time was adults only (age wise not maturity level, mind you).

We headed out at 6AM in order to hike to the village so we could catch the 7Am bus into the town. Once in PG, we went to the open market and drooled over all the luscious fresh fruits and vegetables and then headed to Deja Brew for coffee and breakfast.

After a little comparison shopping for material so I could make me a skirt (soooo much cooler than pants here), we passed an "open thrift store". I haggled on an Old Navy brand cute dress and just when I almost had him down to 5.00 (US 2.50) the guy took a closer look and once seeing the brand name stuck to his original 7.00. I passed on the dress and then found a really funky skirt (purple and blue circle things on it) which he let me have for 5.

After buying homemade "SPICY" tortilla chips and some long needles (to make baskets with) we were on our way to get a COLD beer. The bars were already loud and full of rowdy men and it was only 11 AM so we ducked into a Chinese restaurant for 3.00 stouts.
After that we were starving and even as a vegetarian, I am not willing to eat Chinese food in a foreign country. We headed to Gomier's Restaurant where we knew I could get a good ole' tofu burger or other incredibly yummy vegetarian fare and we were not disappointed. After scarfing down some tofu curry it was almost time to catch the bus back.

We wandered down the main road to the bus stop, although you could basically stand anywhere on the bus route and flag them down. Using B and A's bar knowledge, we wandered into a sea front bar and downed another before the bus arrived.
Successfully hiking back in the dark, we brought Christopher the tortilla chips and mozzarella cheese he requested and he whipped up some of the best nachos I have ever tasted...which could be due to the fact that I have not had nachos in about 2 years or that without refrigeration cheese of any kind on the farm is a luxury or even that it was a perfect snack to end a perfect day, but regardless, they were superb and the day a big hit! I am ready to do it again in the near future!

08 April, 2008

Photo's of my house...

View of my house from a hill above. - Trail to the right of the palm.

My house! - The house on the very left of the photo is Amy and Brad's. It's more comforting having them close, plus, Nancy (a.ka. - the mean bitch) sleeps right outside my door. I feel completely safe with her there!
The wires in the above photo are connected to these solar panels which is our electricity source.

Close up of my house and porch.

Peeking in my front door.

Home sweet home!

Nancy - My great guard dog! She's the best!

The Columbia branch of the Rio Grande River...which is our "highway" when you don't want to take the trail to the house.

01 April, 2008

art class in the village

Today E and I went into the Village to attend an art class at the 2nd grade class in the local school. It is held every Tuesday from 1:15 to 2:15. Since it was the first day for us to actually have a timed agenda, we ran late and we were taken halfway to the village in the dori (canoe) and then we hoofed it the rest of the way. We got there just as art time was starting. It was really cool for me to be in that environment; a classroom full of Mayan children. The art project consisted of painting designs on large rocks the kids had gathered earlier. Since we were not aware of the project before hand, we scooted out to the road next to the school to find a cool one.

Rock in hand we headed back to the classroom and E found her friend Carmaleeta and started in on hers. I just toured the classroom checking out the posters and watching the children. Because of my different appearance (light skin, blue eyes, pants) I was constantly being checked out. I decided to jump in and goof around with the kids so they would see me as a human instead of a freakish lump sitting on a bench. Pretending to pour paint on their heads (as I refilled the containers); guessing that the obvious bird a little guy was painting was a fish, etc. seemed to do the trick.

After art class was over, we thanked everyone and left the school. A very interesting day!

new book

I am going to write a book titled “The Belize Bug Bite Book”. My legs look like they did when I was 13 years old, all scabby and red. There is the infamous mosquito, but then many others; two of which I have named the red dot bug and the blister bug. The red dot bug bite is just that a little red dot on the skin as if someone took a fine red marker and touched you with it. Under the innocent looking red dot is another story. The bite becomes a large (larger than a quarter) size hard lump which begins to hurt and then itches worse than 10 mosquito bites put together, then it hurts again, then itches again. I have tried different methods such as digging a needle into the dot and flipping off the little red top; or squeezing the hell out of it in hopes of releasing the poison…neither provided much relief with the latter causing more pain.

The blister bug, which I found out, is called the dr. fly. A bite from this insect causes the area to swell and itch like hell, but when you itch it (or even if you don’t) the bite turns into a blister which then bursts and continues to leak a clear fluid and eventually (if you can refrain from itching it for a couple days) it scabs over until, in a moment of weakness and desperation, I grab a loofah (which are grown on the farm) and a bar of soap and run to the river to relish in the masochistic act of pure scratch gratification while pushing the thoughts of what you are doing to your skin out of your mind.

For those of you who are still reading on, there is a third (and final) character that will henceforth be called “the bite that ruled them all” (btrta). Btrta is the worst and just downright nasty. The area will develop a hard little swell with an unseen bite mark and will hurt like hell for a couple days; an achy kind of pain with intervals of sharp painful blasts. After that, following suit, it begins to itch. But, when you scratch it, it become even more painful, but you can’t stop itching because it feels sooooo good to scratch it even though it is soooooo painful at the same time…like having incredible sex on a bed of nails…or something along those lines.

So, when can I look forward to visitors?


The Cahune Palm Tree

Brad and Nikasio chopping through the layers to get to the yummy heart of the tree. Once they cut it down (a quite difficult task) they had to chop many layers off, like getting to the middle of an artichoke.

Amy munchin' on the inner part of the cahune (ka-hoon). As we ate, the layers were becoming more palatable.

Bringing the heart of palm down to the kitchen.

Ophelia and her son getting ready to cut it up.

Chopping off the end.
Ophelia and her Mother-in-Law going to town on the palm. First cutting and then grating it. They used it in a stir fry the first day and then in a soup the next.