On The Road Again
Date: 25 June 2003
Greetings, family and friends! It's been quite a while since our last 'periodical.' There are so many stories to tell from the last few months -- more than I dare share here! ;-) We are approaching one year since we arrived in Belize. The last few months have been rather challenging, and we have more than once thrown up our hands and vowed to get the heck out of here and never return. But it has always passed. We forget sometimes that we are living in a third world country. We are just beginning the process of obtaining residency in Belize, and everything the government does here is very slow. For those of you who may remember, our mechanic wrecked our car about a year ago, and after months of being stuck in Belize Customs, it is finally out and getting repaired. I am still writing the whole story -- I'll include it in a future email.
Its seems that Belize just has a way of making the simple complex. Rules are arbitrary and enforcement random. My ambitions of making a little income installing internet satellite systems down here were dashed as I learned about Belizean politics the hard way. After spending a good bit of time researching the legal and financial requirements for such a venture, I found myself surprised with the amount of bureaucratic politics related to doing anything that might compete with national monopolies. The story is too long to tell here, but click here for all the gory details.
When we haven't been dealing with Belize Customs and Immigration or fixing our car(s), we have been enjoying a simpler way of life -- and, man, are we ready for civilization. ;-) Actually, every time I look out the window and watch the sea and hear the waves crashing beneath a sky full of stars, I remind myself that this is very special and that for however long it lasts I appreciate it.
We were graced with a few family visitors a while back. We visited the pyramids at Lamanai a couple times which is one of the best Mayan sites in the country. The road to Lamanai stretches through a Mennonite settlement along the New River. Horse-drawn carriages, bonnets, and overalls are their trademarks. The road ends in the jungle where Lamanai pyramids peek over the jungle canopy. The children love to climb to the top of each one. Howler monkeys roar in the treetops.
It's been rather domestic for the last few months, and I haven't really had anything new or inspiring to share. It all seems quite normal now, and fewer things stand out. It seems we've got regular problems again that we have had to deal with. Cheyenne has had some cavities to fill, and we made a few trips to Chetumal, Mexico to see a pediatric dentist. Mexico is just 5 miles north from here, and even in that short distance it is like going into another world. Chetumal has 100,000 people compared with Corozal's 8,000 -- Belize has only 200,000 people altogether.
We are now officially on the road travelling this summer through Mexico to Wisconsin for a family reunion and then on to Quebec with a few stops along the way. We've packed up the bus and have made arrangements for someone to rent our place while we are gone. Perhaps we might see you along the way -- let us know. We plan to drive back in September and will likely travel along the East coast.
Have a great summer, and we'll be in touch -- don't know when but hope it's soon. ;-)
Eric, Lila, Cheyenne and Lakota