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The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Acknowledging Fears:
Do you know the fear that comes when you’re anticipating change? It starts with an ache, somewhere in the chest, or perhaps it’s the stirring of butterflies in the stomach. Or you find yourself fighting to catch your breath so often that you start hyperventilating. Often times I wish things would happen with a bang, rather than the slow build, build, build…till its happened and I completely miss it.

The March 24th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Convicted Guatemalan Man Vanishes:
    While San Ignacio police remained tight lipped, as has now become the rule rather than the exception, reliable reports reaching us indicate that a gun charged convicted Guatemalan man disappeared from the cell block in the middle of the evening hours on Monday, March 18, 2013. The embarrassing incident is being kept hush hush as no one is saying anything not even if any of the cameras in the area of the cell block captured the escape as it unfolded. Reports are that Walter Leonel Boteo Ralda, 22, Guatemalan male of a Belize Central Prison address in Hattieville where he is spending a five year sentence on a firearm possession charge, was brought from prison on the Monday morning run although he was not slated to appear in court, on other charges, until the following day, Tuesday, March 19, 2013.
  • Three Small Weed Trees In Blackman Eddy Village:
    San Ignacio police returned to their base station with three five inch marijuana plants, the product of an early Saturday morning anti-drug operations in Blackman Eddy Village on the George Price Highway. Police reports that during the early morning hours on Saturday, March 16, whilst on an anti-drug operation, they visited the Blackman Eddy Village home of Henry Gordon. Present at the time were Gordon and his common-law-wife. A detailed search of the house produced nothing of an incriminating nature. The search continued outside the house where, in the yard near an outhouse the police is said to have found a plastic vase filled with earth in the middle of which stood a 5 inch suspected marijuana plant.
  • Hon. Rene Montero Working For Cayo Central:
    Keeping true to his promise to address the needs of his constituency, Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Rene Montero has undertaken the refurbishment of the basketball court in Santa Elena. Minister Montero informed that this latest project will entail a total transformation of this important sporting facility in Santa Elena. "The works," explained Minister "encompasses the replacement of the perimeter fence, the filling of the grounds around the court, behind and between the bleachers, the bathrooms and the vending house as well as the construction of a cement walkway linking the court to the nearby Carmen Street”
  • Medical Training For San Ignacio Hospital Staff:
    A group of forty members of staff of the San Ignacio Community Hospital today participated in a basic life support training seminar conducted by members of the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT). Dr. Misael Ramirez, medical chief of staff at the San Ignacio Community Hospital, informed that the one day basic life support training involved the participation of several departments of the hospital including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab technicians, drivers, dentists and dental assistants. The overall goal of the training said Dr, Ramirez, is to ensure that each member of staff can identify and assist the general public with basic life support techniques which may prove invaluable in times of emergency.
  • Bullet Tree Family Fun Day:
    The Bullet Tree Neighbourhood Committee will be having it first family fun day on March 23th 2013 at bullett tree football field. PC. Jason Jones informs that the “main purpose of this funfilled day is for the bullett tree committee to raise much needed funds and also to bring the residents of the village together and enjoy a day full of fun for the entire family”. There will be lots to eat and drink. Come and bring the whole family and support the Bullet Tree Neighborhood watch committee.
  • Thank You, Pallotine Sisters:
    With very grateful hearts and nostalgic memories, we have begun the celebrations marking the one hundred years of service by the Pallotine Sisters to the people and country of Belize. It was on June 2, 1921 that the first four Pallotines arrived in San Ignacio, known then as El Cayo. These four German nationals were Sisters Dominica, Radigundis, Sebastiana and Veronica. They had left their families, homes and country to serve us, mainly as teachers in our primary schools of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. Over the years, these four pioneers were joined and succeeded by others, including our own Belizean Pallotines. Hundreds of us – our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our aunts and uncles, our cousins and friends, our own parents and grandparents – were touched by the positive influence of these committed followers of Vincent Pallotti. And they knew so much!
  • Launch of BRDP II Project, “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites”:
    The Belize Tourism Board, along with the National Institute of Culture and History, are proud to announce the launch of a European Union s upported Action entitled, “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites.” The launch took place at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20th, 2013, at the House of Culture in Belize City. The BTB received a grant from the European Union in November 2012, for BZ$2.75m for a project with a total estimated cost of $4 million BZD. The project, scheduled to be implemented over 24 months, seeks to improve economic opportunities in rural communities and contribute to the reduction of poverty by enhancing the overall tourism experience through improvements to tourism infrastructure and the services offered. The tourism experience will be enhanced at the archaeological sites of Xunantunich, Barton Creek, Actun Tunichil Muknal, Caves Branch, Altun Ha, Lamanai, Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun, and Blue Creek.
  • Rotary Convention Held In San Ignacio:
    Recently 245 Rotarians, from as far away as Canada, the U.S.A. and Panama and as close as Belize converged on San Ignacio to celebrate the 18th Rotary International Conference of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. This prestigious four day event which takes place every third year in Belize, was the foremost Rotary event of the year. This yearly Rotary International Conference has always been held in a major city of the host country i.e., in Guatemala it is always held in Guatemala City, in Honduras it alternates between Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, and in Belize—Belize City. However, this year’s District Governor, Andre Lopez, chose to break tradition and hold the Conference in his home town of San Ignacio.
  • Grandparents 'May Relay Autism Risk To Grandchildren':
    The risk of developing autism may be passed on through - and not just to - future generations, researchers say. The international study suggests older fathers are more likely to have grandchildren with autism than their younger counterparts. The mechanism is unclear but it is thought they may transmit "silent mutations" to their grandchildren. But experts have urged caution, stressing autism is the result of many different factors. The study, looking at almost 6,000 people with the condition, is published in the journal Jama Psychiatry. According to the National Autistic Society, more than one in every 100 people in the UK have the condition. Previous studies suggested older fathers may be at greater risk of having children with autism than younger dads.
  • International Red Carpet Affair Caribbean Style:
    This year's International Red Carpet Affair Caribbean Style will be an exciting one, and most anticipated event for year. It's set to one of the best!!! there is a star lineup with some of the most influential individual from Belize that has done some outstanding jobs through-out the years both in US and back home. They have served on committee's and have been supporting several organization in Belize and the United States. The event will be held at the Hollywood Park Casino on April 20th 2013. It's the 3rd annual and is sure to be on of the best event for 2013. The night will start off with a Waltz and Return of the Mac contest followed by the Life time Achievement Award presentation. Those receiving awards that night will be Prof. Drummonds, Mr. Jose Moreno, Mr. Ray Gongora, Mrs. Martha Martinez, Mr.Ellis Cayatano, Mr Fred Dixxon, Mr.Harry Shaw Sr., Pelle Ellis, Guwie Posse and Daddy Tracey.
  • Guatemala Ex-ruler Rios Montt On Trial For Genocide:
    The trial of the former military ruler of Guatemala, Efrain Rios Montt, for genocide and crimes against humanity has begun in Guatemala City. During Mr Rios Montt's 17-month rule in the 1980s, more than 1,700 indigenous people are thought to have been killed. The UN says it is the first time a former head of state has faced a national court for such crimes - rights activists say the trial is "historic". The former general denies the charges. The trial is expected to last months. Shortly before the start of the trial, the defence team of 86-year old was replaced. His new lawyers filed motions which could have delayed the proceedings, but were rejected by the court. Gen Rios Montt faces charges of crimes against humanity in connection with the killing of 1,771 indigenous Mayans during his rule in 1982-1983.
  • World Rotaract Week 2013:
    Rotaract – AWay of Life! From March 11-17, 2013, Rotaract Clubs around the world celebrated World Rotaract Week 2013 in commemoration of the first Rotaract Club that was chartered on March 13, 1968. The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio planned a week’s worth of activities in lieu of this grand event. These included the launching of the Club’s official logo, presentations on recent projects from the Rotary &Rotaract Clubs of San Ignacio, a quiz night for club members and community service projects. The Rotary and Rotaract Clubs of San Ignacio embarked on a joint Gift (Food) Baskets Project that was carried out on Saturday, March 16, 2013 in Benque. In collaboration with the Help Age Center and Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo, the Rotary and Rotaract Clubs of San Ignacio partnered together, and went from home to home distributing the 20 food baskets to the elderly, single mothers and other deserving families. Part 2 of this project will take place in Santa Elena Town.
  • Pope Francis In Plea For Poor As Inauguration Mass Held:
    Pope Francis has inaugurated his papacy at a Mass in Rome, calling on global leaders and all the people of the world to defend the poor and the weak. Up to 200,000 people attended the Mass in St Peter's Square. His homily focused on protection - of the environment, children, the elderly and those in need, who he said were "often the last we think about". Francis was elected by a conclave of cardinals last week to take over from Benedict XVI. Benedict became the first pontiff in 600 years to abdicate last month. Citing his age, 85, he said he could no longer continue in the post.
  • The ICJ Referendum Appears To Be Dead In The Water:
    In remarks delivered Wednesday evening at the George Washington University’s Ambassador Series forum in Washington, DC, Belizean Ambassador to the U.S. and O.A.S., Nestor Mendez, made clear that the Belizean government is “frustrated” and “upset” with recent actions by the Guatemalan government. His comments and answers to questions from the audience indicate the whole ICJ referendum process is now in serious jeopardy. Furthermore, Belize clearly feels while it has acted in good faith, the Guatemalans have let them down and even disrespected them during this last week in particular. I’ve known Ambassador Mendez for several years now and the always unflappable diplomat showed clear signs of frustration and even said at one point, “I’m sorry if I seem upset but it’s not the first time our neighbors have bowed out. It’s not helpful.” This was a special night for the Ambassador as he returned to his alma mater to deliver an address at one of the George Washington University’s most distinguished forums.
  • What Will Happen If Belizeans Vote Against Going To The ICJ:
    By: Wellington C. Ramos If the people of Belize vote “NO” to take the Guatemalan dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), then the agreement signed between Guatemala and Belize will be fulfilled. This will also happen if the people of Guatemala were to vote “NO” in their Referendum which is scheduled to take place simultaneously in both countries on October 6, 2013. I have read carefully the Anglo-Guatemalan Treaty signed between Great Britain and Guatemala in 1859 and based on that I am fully confident that the court will rule in favor of Belize. In this treaty Guatemala accepted and acknowledged the boundaries of Belize which exist up to this day. If the Government of Guatemala did not like anything that was contained in that document then they should not have signed it.
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The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: I’m Clingy. Help!
Oy. This young lady finds herself very attached, turns clingy and then, there goes the relationship. What would the good doctor recommend?

Sharks and Rays – Worth more alive than dead

Wolfe’s Woofer: Ambition
A teacher asks her young students what they want to be when they grow up. Davin's answer is fabulous, but the next student's response tops it.

Misc Belizean Sources

Suffering from heavy burn season smoke
We have heavy smoke from dry season fires for a few days now. A friend turned me on to a NASA link for global view of fires. Thought some of you might find it interesting. ps: Hope we get the cooler weather and rains predicted for mid week in the coming week. I could use a good rinse!

MCHS Via Crucis
Mount Carmel High School had their Stations of the Cross parade in Benque. One week until Easter.

Miss Tourism Belize Finals
The Miss Toursim Belize finals are next Saturday on the top floor of the JNC mall. Miss Nancy Vellos is representing San Ignacio. "So tickets are going folks, so make sure you get yours asap, and great seating. We do have VIP, Reserve and regular seating, they are all great seats, only VIP comes closer to the runway,cocktails and photo shoot with the delegates, published in the Locations Magazine, Maya Heartland. Call 6284498 or 6041067 for delivery in San Ignacio and Santa Elena area!!"

Bullet Tree Falls Family Day
Bullet Tree Falls had their Family Day Saturday. There were fun and games for everyone. "The Bullet Tree Falls Neighborhood Watch Committee today sponsored a family fun day. It featured sporting activities, including football and volleball at the football field in the village."

East Cayo Qualification Tournament Pictures
The BNYCF had another chess qualification tournament, this time at the George Price Centre in Belmopan. Keep those kids thinking! They are all winners! "Tournament wasa great success thanks to all the volunteers help, and parents who cheered up for the kids and helped with puzzles!"

Belize K-9 Team Protects Xunantunich
Not only is Xunantunich getting a new visitor's center, but now they have a K-9 team there as part of their 'Paws on the Ground' initiative. A big thanks to the BTIA and BTB for building Xico his luxury kennel. The Belize K-9 team has been keeping Belize safe - taking a bite out of crime - for almost a year now. Thanks, guys! "As of March 20, 2013 we now have 'Paws on the Ground' at the Xunantunich Archaeology Site. With financial assistance from the Belize Tourism Board and the Belize Tourism Industry Association, a new kennel was constructed and a K-9 team has been deployed to assist with the security of the site. Meet 'Xico' and his partner Pvt. Erwin Escobar. Go ahead and run bandito, you'll just go to jail with bite marks!"

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Cinnamon Biscuit Roll
Thishere wuz a favert uf mine t'bake wen I wuz a yung teenage gurl. I would bake up a numbr uf these cinnamon biscuit rolls fer air lunches fer skool t'nex day. Mah siblings luved it becawz that meent thar would be a change frum t'usual bologna sandwiches. I remembr packin' mah lunch kit full uf rolls and the I would trade at skool with goodies frum mah friens lunches. And I wuz picky, I didn##Q##t trade off a roll jes fer innythang! N' t'end I ended up with a purty good varietee uf items! I##Q##m nairy shure why mah Mom allowd me t'pack jes these rolls fer a lunch..altho I reckon she enjoyed t'steries uf mah trades wen I *** trayler frum skool. And mind y'all I wasn##Q##t allowd t'bake these rolls jes anytime I lackd. Maybe it wuz on thems days wen thar wasn##Q##t much else t'pack. I##Q##m shure I used more sugar and cinnamon noe thun I would have bee allowd t'back the.


“Easy” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
After all of the excitement on Saturday for the final pour – the roof – for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize Rose and I decided we would have an easy Sunday. We had a leisurely breakfast whilst we discussed the type of cabinets we are going to have for each of the bathrooms and the powder room. And the shelving in the hall closet and the utility (laundry) room. Nothing taxing at all. Having settled on what we would like we decided that we would go to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize later but first would spend a little time lounging on the beach in front of the condo we are renting. I took my Kindle and Rose took her iPod. Perfect! After around two hours of really taking it easy we went in to have showers (it was really hot yesterday with very little by way of breeze) got dressed and drove up to Tres Cocos where, without any of the guys there, we were able to measure the exact spaces where the cabinets will go so that we could ‘sense check’ the decisions we had taken earlier in the day.

Hole in the jungle floor, Belize
Belize offers picture perfect scenery such as the photo above which is a hole in the jungle floor.

Not everyone is good at everything
Last Tuesday was a good reminder for me that not everyone is good at everything and if you want to get good at something it can sometimes take a lot of practice. Evelyn made chest compressions look so easy, but for those us who were practicing we soon got a taste of just how exerting they can be. I have to say I am happy that there were 26 people getting trained in the room that were better at doing chest compressions than I am. I am also happy that due to the increasing numbers of staff being sent for first aid training there is a good chance I will be near one of them in the event of an emergency. First Aid tip from Evelyn - Make sure we put ourselves first in first aid as we cannot be of help to someone in need if we do not act properly and with confidence, this includes tiring yourself out before help arrives on the scene. A big thanks to Fido’s Restaurant and Bar for hosting the Belize Red Cross and the following participating businesses: The Phoenix, Victoria House, South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch, Red Ginger Restaurant, Blue Tang Inn, Banana Beach Resort, Coco Loco’s Beach Bar, Elvi’s Kitchen, Pedro’s Hotel, Cowboy’s Pool bar, and Grand Caribe all received certified first aid training.

More Pictures From 2013 Band Fest In Belmopan And The Winners
Yesterday was a very busy day in Belmopan. It felt like the whole country came out to support the youth of Belize in the 2013 Band Fest. And it wasn’t easy. Yesterday may have been one of the hottest days of my life. Soaring to 100 degrees, these kids all deserve an extra medal for soldiering in the parade and then on the field in hot marching band uniforms. Seriously seriously impressive. I didn’t make it long. Some parade VIPs. Rene Villanueva of LoveFM on the far left, Miss Debbie from Chicago, the Mayor of Belmopan and in red, Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State and head of the Jesse White Tumblers. Here were the winners in the end. The category of Drum Corp 1. Holy Redeemer from Belize City 2. Dangriga 3. Belmopan Youth Wind Instrument Band. 1. Corozal Community College 2. Benque Viejo Marching Band 3. Succotz Festival Band Best Uniforms: Belmopan Youth and Most Popular by Phone Voting: Corozal Community College

The Ulimate Water Adventures in Belize
The barrier reef lies close to shore of Belize, creating a veritable playground for water sports. Sail, kayak or jet ski. Windsurf, kite surf or para-sail. A day’s sailing and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters is (we think) a near-perfect way to spend your day. Here are some suggestions of things to do, right off your beach… If you are based on the northern cayes, enjoy a half day of snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, swimming amongst beautiful shoals of tropical fish, turtles, eagle rays, stingrays, moray eels and grouper. Follow this up with a dip at Shark Ray Alley, a site where local fishermen used to clean their catch, which attracted more carnivorous species such as big southern stingrays and nurse sharks. Also look out for yellowtail snapper, parrotfish, sergeant majors and french angelfish in amongst the coral. When you’ve swallowed about as much salt water as you can take, kick back on a gentle boat ride to Caye Caulker and relax in one of the sleepy waterfront restaurants or explore the local art shops.

International Sources

Soca Warriors held 0-0 by Belize
Trinidad and Tobago came away with a scoreless draw with hosts Belize in an encounter that saw both teams create but fail to put away their scoring chances at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night. The friendly international, which was used as a CONCACAF Gold Cup tune up for the two teams, would have left both sides cautiously optimistic after avoiding defeat, but saw the visitors unable to beat the Central Americans at that venue for a second time, as the teams also battled to a 0-0 draw under then coach Russell Latapy in 2010. Four of T&T's 2006 World Cup players started together for the first time in over three years, with Kenwyne Jones and Cornell Glen used up front and Christopher Birchall and captain Densill Theobald in the midfield. Keon Daniel also made a return to the starting line up and connected well with Joevin Jones on the left for T&T and caused their opponents some problems, particularly in the opening half.

Belize Visa and Residency Information
As with many other countries, Belize requires visitors to have sufficient funds to support themselves, a return ticket, and a passport. Passports must be valid up until time of departure. You can stay in Belize for up to one month without a visa. If you want to stay longer, however, you need to go to the Immigration Department in Belize City or Belmopan, or to the Senior Immigration Officer in an outlying district for a visa extension.

TWO WEEKS AGO WE WERE STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BELIZEAN JUNGLE. OUT THE WINDOW TODAY? KIND OF DEPRESSING ISN’T IT? We had the most amazing vacation and I completely fell in love with the Caribbean and Central America. Like, head over heels in love. My only complaint was that we just didn’t have enough time! Today I’m sharing a Belizean seafood recipe for #WeekdaySupper. What is #WeekdaySupper you ask? You’ve seen me participating in #SundaySupper for months now, but the Sunday team is also taking turns hosting a recipe each day. We’ll share a recipe each weekday to get your family around the table every day!