Autumn in Belize
Date: 28 October 2002

Hello, Friends and Family. It's been about a month since our last communique. Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isidore grazed the northern Yucatan on its journey to New Orleans last month. Belize only got a piece of it, but it rained for about 3 days. Since this is hurricane season, we have been watching other storms developing, but none have come near us yet. It looks like we may make it this year -- hurricanes have hit Belize the last two years in a row. Our house is hardly hurricane proof. The louvered windows do not close all the way, and rain water blows in from under, around and through our front door -- pretty exciting when the wind is blowing, too. We can watch storms coming in from across the bay hours before they arrive on shore so we have a bit of warning. All-in-all though, we have been having good weather, and since the Fall Equinox, our temperatures have dropped to 88F(31C) during the day and 75F(24C) at night. We are still looking forward to even cooler weather in the weeks ahead.

As far as the car goes, it is still in a state of disrepair. I haven't seen or heard from Victor since the day he wrecked the car. I still haven't decided whether I'll file a civil suit against him which will likely put him in jail for a few months. I just want to get the car fixed. I have managed to locate a front windshield, front fender, and driver's door. We still need the left passenger door, left back window and rear windshield. The vehicle runs fine, so once I get these repairs done, I can drive the car to Chetumal, Mexico to perhaps find the rest of the parts. We have used the bus to run a few errands and visit friends in the mean time. For the most part, we have been able to do everything we need to do on foot or bicycle.

We decided to treat ourselves and spent a weekend in San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye. The 'Thunderbolt' speed boat leaves the Corozal Pier for San Pedro everyday at 3pm. The pier is just a couple blocks away on our street so we simply packed a few knapsacks and walked over. The boat ride is about 1.5 hours of pounding the surf. Fortunately, the boat is covered, and the seats are comfortable. In San Pedro, there are few cars, and folks travel mainly by golf cart, by bicycle, or on foot. We rented a golf cart and did a little touring before finally settling on Ramon's, a beautiful little resort with thatched roof cabanas nestled in a jungle of palm trees. Ah, hot water at last! (We still don't have hot water at home yet.) There is an incredible pool there that winds through trees and sitting areas. The resort is on the beach, and there is a huge pier for diving excursions. San Pedro is Belize's primary tourist destination because of its proximity to the reefs. Belize has the second largest coral reef in the world. We took the children snorkeling on a previous trip to Caye Caulker, so we didn't do any diving this time. The children primarily lived in the pool for the weekend, and we took it easy. Lila and I spent a little time checking out beachfront properties. We are still in the information-gathering stage. There are a lot of opportunities, and prices range from $50,000US for a half-acre beachfront lot to $350,000US for a luxury beachfront condo. We're still looking...

Cheyenne turned seven on September 27th, and she had a birthday party with a few of her new friends. We did face-painting and took turns hitting a pinata. A good time was had by all. Cheyenne has since attended her friend Antonio's birthday party. She tells us that he is just a friend though, not a boyfriend, just a friend. ;-)

The circus came to town shortly thereafter, and we took the children along with a couple other friends down the road to the civic center where the tent was setup. 'Pepito' was the star of the show performing in most every event -- from taming tigers to the flying trapeze. There were elephants, tigers, dancing horses, midgets, trapeze artists, and contortionists -- just what you'd expect from a small travelling Mexican circus.

Instead of Columbus Day, which is Canadian Thanksgiving, Belize celebrates Harvest Day. Cheyenne's school had a special program at the church where all the children brought baskets of fruit, veggies, and flowers. Each class recited poems and prayers dressed in their Sunday's finest.

Since then, unfortunately, we have all managed to catch some sort of flu. I seem to be taking the longest to recover, but it's passing. We are getting ready for Halloween -- yes, Belizeans celebrate Halloween here. It should be interesting.

All our best to you and your family from ours,

Eric, Lila, Cheyenne and Lakota

Next Newsletter - 3 December 2002, Hurricane Season Is Over

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Storm's Coming
It was a clear blue sky a moment ago.

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Rough Seas
A small thunderstorm rolls in.

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Thatched Roofs at Ramon's
Beachfront cabaƱas at Ramon's Resort in San Pedro

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Beachfront on San Pedro
The beachfront on San Pedro is peppered with piers.

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Ramon's Pier
Diving is the primary reason tourists visit San Pedro.

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Cheyenne's Birthday
Cheyenne and Antonio

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Circus in Corozal

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Harvest Festival
Cheyenne's class waits their turn to bring baskets of fruits and flowers to the church.