A New Year

Now that the holidays are over and we are all moved into our new home, it’s time to start enjoying everything. Such as getting the quads out for a run, inviting friends over for a BBQ or just walking around the property. On a  recent walk we found these beautiful Haliconias or Lobster Claws. It’s great to be able to just find treasures like this right in your own back yard.

Lobster Claw and some other leaves

I had mentioned before that we had ordered another Caja China cooking box. Our idea was to cook a whole pig and invite all of the workers and their families over for a BBQ so that their families could see what they had been working on for the last nine months. It turns out that our neighbor across the way raises and sells pigs, so this was perfect. We told him we would need a 50 lb. pig once it was cleaned, he said no problem that he had one that was about that size. He called us when it was ready, so we loaded up the big ice chest in the truck and headed over to pick up the piggy. We showed up and there was this perfectly dressed pig just waiting to be turned into something delicious. The only problem was that he weighed in at 110 lbs. and that was way too big to fit into our cooker. I guess he usually sells the pigs live so his estimate was way off, but not a problem he would have another one for us in a few days. We ended up buying just the two hindquarters, which weighed in at 40 lbs. This actually worked out perfectly because it would give us a chance to test out the new cooker, plus invite a bunch of friends over who have been wanting to check out what we have been working on for the past nine months.

Hope there’s not a Jaguar lurking in the dark.

Getting that delicious Mojo sauce all up in that pig leg.

Delicious pork legs.

This was great, our first jungle party with a pig in a box (well, part of him anyway). Now we have cooked a lot of pigs in a box like this, but not with the local charcoal which burns very different than a bag of manufactured charcoal. There was a big learning curve trying to keep the temp where I wanted it, plus when and how much charcoal to add. Once it was all said and done, it turned out perfect and everyone had their fill of some delicious pork tacos.

Tacos in the jungle.
Our first jungle party.

Everything for this meal came from within walking distance to us. The pig was raised just down the road, tortillas came from this little lady in the village, Ruben brought sour oranges for the Mojo injection sauce plus tomatoes, peppers, and cabbage, fresh picked from his farm. Everything for a great meal and all without going to a store. It was a very successful test run so now we are ready for the for the real thing in a couple of weeks. And yes, the next smaller pig is already in the deep freezer just waiting for the next party. The smaller pig weighed in at 80 lbs, still a little big, but we’ll make it work.

Who wouldn’t want her to make your tortillas?

The other day Remo’s Roadhouse hosted a chili cook-off for CAWS, the Cayo Animal Welfare Society so of course, we had to go check it out. There were some very good chilies there as well as auctions and of course puppies that were up for adoption. It was hard to not take one of the puppies home, but at this point, we are not quite ready to have a dog. It was a great time had by all, tasting chili, drinking cold beer and supporting the animals. Sound familiar? Anyway, next year we think we might both enter and we’ll see how that goes and by then we might even be ready for a dog.

Heavy competition at the chili cook-off.

Now that we are settling in, it is time to get started on some of the landscaping. We have had Ruben clearing up a bunch of the underbrush and cleaning up some of the big palm trees around the house to give it a more open and well-groomed look.

new clearing
Now you can see all the animals a little better.

Between people giving us plants, finding plants around the property and going to the nursery, we have gathered a bunch of very nice ones that will look great once they get established. Some of the elephant ear plants will get leaves that are 4’ long while some of the other variety elephant ears will get smaller ones only around 2’ long, but that is still a big leaf.

ele ear
These leaves will get to be 4′ long.

We got a bunch of plants (not sure of the names) to go around the house that get purple flowers year round and can be trimmed into a hedge. They are only one day flowers on them and then they fall off, but they are always in bloom, so there is a lot of color.

purple flower
These will be a hedge just below the porch.

We also got a bunch of purple shamrocks that have purple leaves and get small white flowers, those will work well as a ground cover around the other plants. Plus we got some pheasant tail, red dracaenas and Brazilian torch that get a lot of big red flowers which will all add a bunch of great colors once they get going. Combine that with all the philodendrons, bird of paradise, lobster claw, and orchids we are finding around the property we should have the place looking good in no time.

Purple shamrocks? Makes me rethink all that green on St. Patty’s day.

Speaking of looking good, the other day there was blue sky and then out of nowhere, this beautiful rainbow appears right over our driveway. All the plants, animals, insects and Mother Nature in general never cease to amaze us.

All we needed now was for a unicorn to fly over.

Music is a big part of the culture down here and is heard almost everywhere you go. A lot of times the drum is the heart and soul of the music with multiple drums and drummers giving it a very unique beat. When this happens you can feel it inside your bones and you can’t help but want to get up and move around.

Kids cranking up the beat on Burns Avenue.

There was even this guy pounding out some good beats on his homemade turtle shell drum set. It was amazing how many different tones he was getting from those shells.

Turtle shell drummer. Sorry for the bad picture.

There are also some great guitar players down here, but there are a few that are starting to look a little worn out. If anyone knows any guitar players, please send them down, we’ve got a place for them.

I think they have seen better days.

That’s about what’s happening around here this week, we hope some of you are starting to think about planning a trip down here sometime to see all that Belize has to offer. So come on down, we’ll leave a light on for you.

4 thoughts on “A New Year”

  1. OMG. Gotta love all the flowers, plants etc. your place in Cholla was nice, this place is truly beautiful. Enjoy 🌴🎍🍀🎋

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