Wow! Five years already.

This June it’s been five years since we hopped that plane and headed off for our new adventures in Belize. The casita was just finished, and we now had a small place in the jungle to call home.  The main house was just getting started and would not be finished and ready to move into until the first of the year. I’ve got to admit, it was a little challenging living in such a small place with all the rain and construction workers here every day, but it was all part of our new adventure.

This was our home for a good six months.

When we started there was no road into the property, no water, no electricity, and no internet, but here it is five years later and we are doing well. I know some of you had your doubts about how long we would last down here, but we’re still here learning and experiencing new things almost daily and that’s what it’s all about.

Now this is the guest house.

It’s mango season! You don’t realize how much you really love mangos until they’re not available. If you can find any out of season, they are very expensive. Mango season in Belize usually runs from about May to September. We are lucky enough to have friends who have big mango trees on their property with excess mangos. Amanda brought over a bag of about 50 mangos from a friend of ours the other day, and they said there’s more when we are ready for them. Besides eating them fresh, we are also dehydrating them and cleaning some to freeze. That way when there are no mangos available, Kelley can pull some from the freezer and make a mango cobbler or something else delicious.

Delicious mangos!

We actually have a bunch of mango trees that we planted around here, but they have yet to produce. I know someday, we will be the ones giving away mangos to all our friends, but in the meantime, we will gladly take whatever our friends are sharing.

This mango tree was about 2′ tall when we planted it.

Finally found some time to cure another ham. We told our butcher that we wanted a 15 lb. or so pork shoulder. We didn’t look at it, just put it in the freezer until it was time to cure. Turns out it wasn’t the piece of meat I was expecting, but it still turned out great. We brined it for about a week, then smoked it with some apple wood and it turned out very moist and flavorful. Kelley thought it was probably one of the best ones we’ve done so far. So, we decided to share it and have a few friends over one afternoon for some cold ham sandwiches and a game of darts.

A lot of fat in the ham, but I think that’s what made it so juicy.

From what we have read, Belize has four types of Trogons. Kelley has gotten pictures of three of them right from our front porch. We have seen so many different birds around the yard, and that’s only when we are out and about. I can’t imagine how many we’ve missed by not being outside actually looking for them. This area where we live really is a birder’s paradise.

Black-headed Trogon.
Gartered Trogon.
Slaty-tailed Trogon.

We love seeing the coatimundis around here, but they are really starting to get on our nerves. Almost daily they have been taking a pineapple off our plants and eating it. We know we need to share the fruits with the animals, but at this point, they are taking more than their fair share.

Very frustrating!

So far here’s what I’ve done to try to detour them. I built wire cages for the pineapples, but they were just pulling the cages over and taking the pineapples. Then I looked up how to keep critters away from your garden, and spraying vinegar around was supposed to work because critters don’t like the smell. That didn’t work, so someone suggested placing mothballs around the plants and that might help keep them away because of the smell. Nope, still not working. So now we have resorted to putting up an electric fence to see if that will stop them.

Now we just wait to see who will get zapped first, Kelley or me.

We really love seeing the coatimundis and other critters around the yard. But when it takes a year or so to grow a single pineapple and they are taking them almost daily, it gets a little frustrating. I know it probably would have been cheaper to just go buy a bunch of pineapples instead of an electric fence, but that’s not the point.

I’m coming for your pineapples!

Some friends from Cholla (where we used to live in Mexico) showed up the other day. Ron and Teresa and a few of their friends were down here for a first-time visit to Belize. The first week of their trip they hopped a catamaran in Placencia and cruised around doing a little island hopping. After that, they headed to our neck of the woods to check out the jungle. While up here they had a chance to explore Mayan ruins, waterfalls, caves, and much more. After a few days in the jungle, it was off to San Pedro for some more beach time. It looked like they were having a great time all around the country and hopefully, they will all be back again sometime.

Chill’n on the back porch with some friends.

The dry season usually ends in May and this year is no exception. For the past couple of weeks, we have been getting some rain every few days or so. Not a ton of rain, but just enough that you can see all the plants have a lot of new growth on them. There are tons of new leaves on all our fruit trees and the grass around the yard is filling in nicely.

The grass around the yard is starting to fill in.

Yes, we are now in the rainy season, but don’t let that stop you from thinking about coming down. There are plenty of beautiful sunny days during this season. The rain will usually just last for a little while unless there is a big storm present. Besides, this is the time of year when everything is at its greenest. Hope to see you down here soon.



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