Spring in Belize
A princess arrives
Buena Vista neighborhood
The neighborhood we live in is called the Buena Vista neighborhood and has a concrete marker on the hillside that says so. The sub-text says"80 families." It's a nice mix of businesses and homes probably a quarter-mile walk from downtown. We live on Awe Street (pronounced ah-way). Across the street from us is the landlord's house where his mother lives and a little attached store-in-a-shed where she sells kerosene, soft drinks and corn tortillas. Not too many tortillas because she has just one tortilla press, so if you don't get there by noon, they're gone. One day, though, she was so proud of us for making white rice and stew beans, not from a can, that she sold us her household supply. Don't know what those boys ate for dinner. (It's important to know in Belize whether you want beans and rice, which is cooked altogether, or rice and beans, which are separate. Separate is less likely to be dry and tasteless.)
Next to the landlord's house and across Carmelita Street is an auto junkyard and repair business. Probably the 20 or so junkers and one large rusting tractor are there for the parts. Except maybe the tractor. On the other side is long, low wooden building that houses some kind of Pentecostal church. They have services all week-end and nearly every evening with lots of enthusiastic singing and preaching that has a nice rhythm to it even if you can't understand the words. You could have worse background noise for sitting on the verandah sipping rum and coke.
Our house has an interesting history. It is quite new, a one-story concrete structure of about 900 sq.ft. and has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, the rest of the house in one large kitchen, dining, living room combination with a cathedral ceiling. The size and the multiple baths are quite unusual for Belize. The landlord, whose name I believe is Roylando, is about 25. He apparently won the house in a raffle. That is, he won the privilege of having the house built wherever he had or could get property. So, he rents it out and mama watches over things while he goes about his business.
Our side of the street is pretty much just houses except Eduardo's Beer Parlour down the way. I haven't been there. Next to us is a tiny two-story rental, maybe 100 sq ft per floor. A young woman and two small children live on each floor, both have a regular gentleman caller, probably the father of the most-recent child. We share a yard that has grass and weeds that are mown down regularly (by Roylando's mama) and we share a clothesline. There are a few palm trees and plants and bushes of various kinds. Not very many flowers blooming now because it's the dry season as I said and no one around here is watering plants except the rich.
The little house apparently has no inside water, although there may be a toilet, I can't tell. But for each floor there is an outside faucet where they appear to get all the water for bathing, cooking etc. The wooden window sash is hinged from the bottom and folds out to make a sort of shelf. That's where you put the washpan when you're washing dishes or babies or whatever. This morning I watched the fattest baby get his morning bath. He cringed like mad every time his mother poured that cold water over his head but never made a peep. That's better than I do.
More about the neighborhood next. I hope you are all well.
Oh, I learned why I can't send mail. Onemain (that swearword,
swearword megalith that bought Teleport) does not allow you to
send mail through their servers unless you are on connected via
a onemain access number. And of course, they have no access numbers
in Belize. So. I'll figure this out yet.