The Schaub Family in Belize
Date: 17 July 2002

Hello, Friends and Family,

It's been a while since we've connected with some of you, and we wanted to touch base again. We are happy to report that the Filion-Schaub family are doing well in our new home away from home in the wonderful little country of Belize. After travelling throughout the country (which is only about 250 miles long and 60 miles wide) we have begun to settle in the northern district of Corozal. We hope to build within the next few months in a tiny little village called Copper Bank, population 250, where the cars are few and the people are friendly and kind. Nestled on a saltwater lagoon that connects to the Caribbean Sea, this little village is quiet and relatively undisturbed.

We will be renting a small house in the meantime in the town of Corozal a few miles (and a hand-pulled ferry ride) away. The house we are moving into is on the bay and everything is within walking distance. The house is still being renovated, so we will continue to live in our bus parked at a charming little spot in Copper Bank known as 'The Last Resort', run by Donna and Enrique Flores. The children are thrilled to be swimming everyday in the lagoon with a slew of new friends. Although it is hot here (about 89F/30C) there is usually a strong breeze from the sea not too far away. That helps keep the mosquitos down which can be quite vicious this time of year -- especially since most everything here is surrounded by jungle. But like most people here, we've gotten used to it and are managing.

It has been a challenge to keep my internet connection going down here as it is frequently difficult to find a phone and even harder to find one that can support a dial-up modem. But as we get settled, I hope to re-install our satellite connection (which cannot be mobile) and re-connect to the 'real world'. We do have a cell phone (011-501-603-9720) but it does not always work. Next step is a hand-held radio transceiver that should work even from remote areas. Learning all the ins and outs is taking time, but we are getting there -- and we are having fun along the way.

Certainly it has been a big adjustment to have moved from our wonderful home in Quebec to a motor home in the 3rd world, but we are learning to be more conscious of our use of electricity and water, and our pleasures are the little things now. The children are adjusting better than Lila and I, and it is good to see them happy without the TV, McDonalds, and so many other trappings they had become accustomed to. Both Cheyenne and Lakota are swimming and riding their bikes everyday, and the local children come by daily to play.

I am off now to Houston to retrieve our 4x4 which has been in storage there since April because I was unable to bring it into Mexico towed behind our bus -- there needed to be another driver, and I was making the trip overland alone. So now I will attempt to bring it in again and make the 3-4 day drive to Belize (again). I must admit I am not looking forward to it after my last experience of running into a 'bandito' road-block a couple hundred miles outside of Veracruz. It was at about 3am when I encountered a string of logs across the highway on a remote stretch of road. The bus crashed through it, and thankfully, I was able to keep on going. This time I will confine my driving schedule to the daylight hours (as so many of you have recommended) and do not expect to repeat the experience.

I hope to be back in Copper Bank by Monday or sooner. I am going to do a bit of shopping in Houston for a few things we can't get here, and then it is round two through Mexico. Wish me luck!!

That's all for now. All the best from our family to yours,

Eric Schaub, and family (Lyne Filion, Cheyenne and Lakota)


Next Newsletter - 2 Sep 2002, Settling in Belize

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Solar Panels Are Crankin'
The solar panels run everything but the fridge and air conditioner.

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The Last Resort
The restaurant at The Last Resort in Copper Bank

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Camping in Copper Bank
Parked under the palms at The Last Resort

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Our 'Porch'
When the mosquitos are low, we can sit out here.

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Fishing Boats
These boats go out to sea for 2 weeks before returning with fish, lobsters, and conch.

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Swimming with Friends
The lagoon at Copper Bank is popular for swimming.