Another week in the jungle

So far the rain has not been anything like we were expecting, and this has made it great for building. The garage which wasn’t supposed to be built until the house was done is now the main focus here. This is actually working out great because it keeps the workers going while we are waiting on all the lumber to be cut and dried. And once the roof is on the garage all the lumber can be stored there out of the sun and the rain. The garage so far is built like nothing I’ve seen before. There are ten footers on the garage that are 2’ x 2’ by 3’ deep where the columns will go. Then there is a foot and a half deep trench between each one with rebar columns that connect them all together.



Once that is poured then there are two blocks high built all around that divide it into six sections. Then it is back-filled with some special mix of rocks and sand and compacted down. The reinforced rebar web of 12” squares is set where they will eventually pour 5” of cement. Antonio says that is how they do it here in Belize, and who am I to argue. Anyway it will be a 25’ x 35’ enclosure with 10’ walls and a galvanized beamed steel roof, with some of the biggest hurricane ties available to hold it all together. There will also be a nice six foot concrete ramp leading up to it.



Other construction news happening here is that all of our lumber is cut for the main house. We got a chance to go to the mill the other day and see it, and it looks great! All they have to do now is dress it (sand it all down nice and pretty) and let it dry. We are hoping that in about a month once the garage is done they will get started on the house. I know that once the garage gets close to being finished some of the crew will get a head start with some of the small stuff on the house.


After the rains and with all the big trucks coming in, the driveway was getting to be a muddy mess so we had to order another load of the white rocks to help it out. It looks pretty stark white right now, but the good thing about the rocks is that grass will eventually grow up through it making it a solid grass road to drive on. The first load of rocks we put around the house already has a bunch of grass coming up through it.


Another little construction thing is the cell phone charging station that they built. There are only two outlets so all through the day everyone takes turns charging up their cell phones. It is very practical and even has a rain cover. I hope they leave it once they are done.


A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned how we missed out on two wood carved toucans. Well Eduardo the artist knew that we really wanted them so he carved out another one in hopes that we would drive by and see it. Well we did and we now own a beautiful toucan and have one more on order. He went on to tell us how this one is much better than the other ones and we will be much more happy with this one. I guess the other ones were carved out of cedar which is a softer wood and only painted on one side, where as this one is a solid piece of mahogany and painted on both sides. The other one he will be making for us will be the same size except facing the opposite direction. Once the house is done they will greet you as you walk up the stairs, but for now they will be tucked away in the container.


We have taken the quad out a couple of times, but we just don’t have time with work and trying to line up deliveries and picking up supplies. Although we do have time to cook some pretty good meals, after all we do have to eat. Kelley is getting real good on her single burner induction cooker and I am doing pretty good on a very small grill. Last weekend we had some friends over and thought we would try making Kelley’s beans and some baby back ribs with some grilled corn. Considering the very limited amount of cooking instruments and ingredients, they turned out very delicious. Before you know it we will be the King and Queen of cooking in the jungle without a kitchen. Sounds like a TV show.



The creature feature of the week is a little white frog that was on a plant in front of the house. We’re not sure what kind he was as we couldn’t find any info on a small white frog. It has been a few days so far since I’ve touched him and nothing has fallen off or turned green so it must have been a good friendly little frog. As for Kelley, she thought he might be a prince and was going to give him a kiss. After talking it over for awhile we thought, how big could this prince actually be and do we really need a tiny prince sucking down more of our beers. So we just left him there to do his thing.


Up in the hills where we are it is considerably cooler than down in San Ignacio. So far the weather has been great! Mid 80’s during the day and with some humidity, but nothing outrageous. The evenings are wonderful when the temp drops to the mid 70’s and in the mornings wake up to the high 60’s. We sleep with the windows open, a sheet over us and a ceiling fan going and we are very comfortable. The past few nights the temp has dropped to the low 60’s making us turn off the fan and pull the blanket up. Who would have thought it would be this cool in July in the Belizean jungle, I guess enjoy it while we can. So far we have not installed an AC unit, just using fans and that work great. There will be AC units installed in the future, but as for now everything is good. I’m still not sure we can bring ourselves to install a heater, but we will see.

And we will end this with a sunset picture from Belize. Not as striking as some of the ones we have seen in Mexico overlooking the Baja peninsula where we lived, but still beautiful.


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