Can you hear me now? Yes you can!

After nearly two months of driving up the hill to get cell service we now have it available at our house. We are down in a small valley with a hill between us and the cell tower, which blocked us from all service. A couple of the service providers even told us that we needed to construct an eighty foot antenna for us to get any kind of service. After talking to our workers, they said that when they were putting the roof on our place they could sometimes send text messages from from the roof top. This meant that they were getting some type of weak signal, so we looked into a signal booster to see if that might help. After exhausting all sources in Belize we decided to order one on Amazon, which was going to work out because we had some friends coming down from the states and they said that they could bring it. Well it got held up in Customs because it was an “Antenna” and they were sure we were going to use it for something we were not suppose to. Anyway, after a couple of trips to Belize City, letters from the cell service company saying it will not interfere with their signal, a special permit from the Public Utilities Commission, and a good size duty fee at Customs, we now have a signal booster that gives us 4-5 bars of 4G. Oh Happy Days! Granted right now the antenna is on a 20’ piece of pvc that is strapped to a tree, but this is all temporary till we can make a more permanent mount. The other day we purchased a MiFi wireless router for the internet. It seems to work great so now we have cell service and wifi where there was nothing prior. Life is good!

The antenna tree. They grow all over the world.

I had said in an earlier post about the big carved toucan that we had bought and that the wood carver was making another one for us. Since we were driving by his shop the other day we thought we would stop in and see how the new bird is coming along. To our surprise he already has most of it carved, he just needs to do the detail work and give him some paint to bring him to life. We will adopt him in a couple of weeks once he is ready to come to his new home.

Soon to be our new addition to the family.

A good portion of our lumber for the house showed up the other day, a lot earlier than we wanted it, but we will make it work. Since it was recently cut, it is all stacked in single layers with space between each row to allow it to dry better. The lumber company recommended that we put a coating of “stuff” on the ends to prevent it from splitting as it dries. We had never heard of this, but I guess this is common to use on fresh cut wood. So now off to find this “stuff”, you would think in a country that has so much wood, this “stuff” would be available everywhere. Not so, but we did find some “stuff” that would work so we spent a couple of hours coating up the ends of all the lumber, hopefully this will stop it from drying too quick and splitting all the beams. And if some do split, I guess we will just call it character.

Yes, we’ve got wood.

And then there’s the garage. The plaster is going on, the roof beams are being welded and the two garage doors are being built. We found a guy in Orangewalk (which is about a 5 hour drive from us) that will build us a steel roll up door with chain mechanism, a heavy duty man door and come all this way to install it for a very, very reasonable price. By next weekend the roof should be on and most of the plastering will be done and then they will start on the main house while the electrician gets going on all the wiring.

Soon we can start clearing out the container.

The creature feature of the week is the Green Parrot. Every morning at the crack of dawn hundreds and hundreds of parrots migrate over our house to the feeding grounds and in the evening they return back to roost. This morning they decided to make the big tree over our house their stop over point. A bunch would land in the tree and squawk very loud, I guess calling their buddies in. Then a flock would fly over and a few would take off, but not all of them, then more would land and squawk and wait for other to fly over. This went on for a good half hour or so. I guess parrots are a lot like people, there are certain ones you would rather fly with and others… not so much.

I think parrots can talk. Why won’t they just say hi?

We have also recently had a bunch of toucans in the area, but they have not landed around our place, probably because all the construction going on. We even tried putting out some Fruit Loops cereal to attract them, but nothing. We thought for sure that would work, because when we put Trix cereal out we had all kinds of rabbits show up.

The top one is an insect and the bottom one is a leaf. The insects are very unique here.

We have also got some Moringa trees started and they are growing fast. If you have never heard about this super plant then click on the link below to see what this plant is all about.

Moringa trees

I realize that these posts used to be stories of all the fun places we were going and things we were doing and now it is all about construction, finding a new store or finally getting a cell signal. I guess the difference between vacation and actually living here is achieving all these small hurdles you used to take for granted. Most of our weekdays are spent working, running around getting supplies and setting up deliveries. And when the weekend comes around we are doing stuff around the yard and the house all day and then we head to town for dinner and a few beers. We are hoping that by the end of the year the whole project will be done and we can relax and get back to enjoying all that Belize has to offer. In the meantime, we are still enjoying seeing all the construction taking place, putting in new plants and picturing what it will look like once it is all done.  And once it is all done, we will have the satisfaction of saying “Look what we built where there used to be just raw jungle.” As we get older we seem to settle into the same old routine, so get out of that routine and challenge yourselves…it feels good!

4 thoughts on “Can you hear me now? Yes you can!”

  1. The place looks great and we REALLY enjoyed the jungle. Rhonda and I want to thank you for showing us around as we had a great time. Looking forward to see the completed project on our next trip. There is SO much to see and explore in that part of the world. It was an 8 hour bus trip from Belize City to Tulum but it was a very nice bus and a great scenic ride. I won’t advertise the place we stayed, as soon you may have availability at the Wicked Toucan Inn!!!

    1. We are glad you guys had a great time. Next time we will have to get out to the rivers and caves and maybe even the beaches. Hopefully we will be done with this by the end of the year and then we should have a place for you to stay.

  2. We’ve enjoyed your construction posts. I especially like the Fruit Loops and Trix ideas. Just be careful about putting out Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms. You could have an invasion of tigers and leprechauns. Keep enjoying your awesome adventure!

  3. Glad to see you’re adjusting well. What an amazing adventure . I love reading your blog. Keep sending great stories. Your friends from Cholla, John & linda

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