Happy New Year From Belize
Date: 13 January 2003

Merry Christmas to everyone! Happy Chanukah, Kwanza, and New Year, too!

It's been a bit cooler here these days, 27C/80F to 18C/64F with some rain from time to time. The Christmas spirit was alive in Belize. Twinkling lights and Christmas trees adorned the country as Belizeans celebrated with concerts and pageants. The markets were bustling with new foods in abundance. Children had 3 weeks off from school, and our little town of Corozal was host to daily and nightly parties. The Belizeans love to party, that's for sure.

Lila's mother and elder sister came to visit us for a month. Leaving the snow behind in Quebec, they were welcomed with sun and ocean breezes. They adjusted nicely to our quaint home and new way of life. We all decorated our little artificial tree and put up some Christmas lights around the house. I plucked a couple more ducks with Denise, Lila's sister, and we have been enjoying various dishes all month.

I donned a Santa Claus suit before school let out, and gave out presents at the preschool behind us. Every child got to sit on Santa's knee, receive a gift (from their parents), and get their picture taken. It was a lot of fun -- Belizeans, Indians, Garifuna, Mexique, Chinese, and Caucasians all together laughing and giggling.

Cheyenne's school had a Christmas pageant. She sang some carols and played the recorder. The school also held a Christmas Bazaar with lots of games and treats. Young boys tossed firecrackers and shot bottle rockets without any intervention from adults. Fireworks have become very popular around here lately.

We took everyone to San Pedro for a week in San Pedro for New Years. We took the Thunderbolt motorboat from Corozal to San Pedro. Weather was mixed but we ended up getting plenty of sun. There had been a bit of rain, and we rented a golf cart to drive around North Ambergris Caye. We crossed a little waterway via hand-pulled ferry to the north side. The road was like a motocross course. Huge potholes filled with mud and water. Lila's 78-year old mother was quite a trooper even though she was almost bounced out of her seat.

Upon returning from San Pedro, I was finally able to install and configure my internet satellite dish. I had attempted to do so last year with no luck -- the signal was too weak. But I noticed a neighbor had just installed a dish just like mine, and I went to find out the configuration settings. I returned home and set everything up the same way. After a few calls to my satellite ISP in Canada, I was up and running! No more $300 monthly internet bills over a slow dial-up connection. If you have NetMeeting or one of those Messenger programs running, let us know and we can talk online.

I occasionally dream of skiiing and snowy trails, and we will miss winter in Canada (a little). But mostly, we are missing you, our family and friends.

All our hearts to you and your family,

Eric, Lila, Cheyenne and Lakota

Next Newsletter - 3 March 2003, It's Spring in Belize

Read Past Newsletters

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Santa Claus Visits
Santa Claus gave out a few presents at the preschool.

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Christmas Pageant
Cheyenne and friends playing Chirstmas songs on the recorder.

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The Thunderbolt shuttles passengers between Corozal and San Pedro 4 times per day.

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Waiting for Ferry in San Pedro
Travelling by golf cart on a muddy day in northern Ambergris Key waiting for the hand-pulled ferry to San Pedro.

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Banana Beach
Getting some sun in San Pedro.

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Monkey Boy
Balancing over the sea on a palm tree.