December 31, 2012


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Waiting, Part VI
The rain hit the zinc roof in a soft rhythmic pattern, the drips from the corrugated metal pouring first into empty buckets always lined up to catch the sweet sky water. As the rain fell continuously, the buckets grew quiet, and the once-hollow sound became quiet splashes. The cool air that had once blown headily through the open windows had ceased, and in the calm that followed, falling water made the only sound. Celestino felt the cold in his bones, the damp air around spreading deep into the joints that became stiff as the years of hard work finally caught up with him. His mattress was comfortable most of the time, but when the cold and damp hit, no matter how many sheets and how soft his bed, the pain seeped in and settled for a long time.

Misc Belizean Sources

Creole Proverbs & Cayo boat

Izzie's Surgery Video
Feelgood news of the day. The video about Izzie the spider monkey, and the surgery she had to have to save her arm, is done. The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic is making a big difference, one animal at a time. Thanks to all involved, and to Daniel Velazquez for another amazing video. "Izzie the baby spider monkey's surgery day video is ready! Check it out and share? Thanks to the countless helping hands to make it happen! Disclaimer: contains graphic bone surgery images."


One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor
There were one or two aspects of yesterday’s work on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize that I didn’t cover because I thought I had written enough/included enough photos without making the edition overly long. So I decided that I would include them today. I had been wondering what would happen to rainwater when the water tank is full. Rose and I studied the plans but could see no sign of an overflow pipe and became mildly perplexed. Our anxiousness was cured yesterday when we wandered around the south side of the build. There projecting from the wall were two overflow pipes.

A Tale of Five Cities: Tulum Bike Ride
On our second and last full day in Tulum, we decided to rent cruiser bikes in town and ride to the beach. At first we thought we might be disappointed as the rental place requires that you leave a photo ID with them, and all I had was my passport, which I would not leave anywhere. I had not bothered to bring my North Carolina driver's license along on the trip as I had no plans to drive. Fortunately, Barry had his, and although he was reluctant to leave it, he ended up doing so so that our day's plans wouldn't be dashed. Yay Barry! Once suited up with our new steeds, we rode on the back roads over to the bike path that runs over to the beach. It is flat and nicely paved so a nice easy ride. Before we knew it, we were at the intersection with the beach road and hung a right to continue alongside the beach and the resorts along the coastline. We passed the excellent restaurant where we'd eaten lunch the day before, Puro Corazon, and were soon rewarded with some stunning views. Here is where we stopped to take photos. And here's why we stopped. Can you blame us?

International Sources

Zapatista March: The Deafening Silence of Resurgence
Only the resonating echo of rain pattering down on the cobblestone streets of Chiapas' colonial cities sounded as tourists from around the globe awaiting the end of the world in the center of the Mayan Civilization were surprised by the silent marches of more than 40,000 masked Mayan Zapatistas who descended on their apocalyptic misinterpretations of the Mayan 13 Ba´ktun. A faint sound of a baby's cry would occasionally emerge from a bundle beneath a plastic tarp on the back of a masked Zapatista in the endless lines of Mayan rebels who quietly held formation in the rain. They marched four file booted and bare-footed into the same cities they surprised on a cold new year's eve night 19 years ago, shouting their first YA BASTA! Yesterday's weapon, differing from the 1994 armed indigenous uprising, was the Zapatista silence, their moral authority, the echo of a unified and deafening silence that shouted YA BASTA! once again. A silence that in their massive presence in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Las Margaritas and Palenque shouted without a word that the a new Mayan era has begun and the Zapatistas are present.

Local company has online gaming contract
Neil Rideout of New Waterford, owner of Saratoga Oceanic Development Group Inc., said his company has been awarded a contract worth almost $1 million to build an online gaming system for Lions Gaming Inc., a Belize-based company. “We are looking at creating ten programmer jobs in New Waterford to start. We just don’t have any place in the community here to house them right now,” he said. “We might have to relocate those off-island in the beginning, then relocate the jobs back here after we build up enough resources to house these jobs.” “We would need high-tech facilities to house these programmers.” Rideout said this project will be in full production in three weeks and completed in 90 days. “We feel confident we are going to be able to do this in 90 days because we are architecting it, making sure it is robust, stable, has a nice shell around it and that Lions Gaming will be first and foremost in online gaming in Belize.”

Newfoundland Firm Gets Contract for Belize Online Gambling
Cape Breton is in Newfoundland and Labrador Canada and jobs are as scarce as hen’s teeth. The only daily newspaper in Cape Breton recently reported that a local company Saratoga Oceanic Development Group New Waterford will be creating jobs. The owner of the firm Neil Rideout said that the firm has been awarded a contract worth almost $1 million to build an online gaming system for Lions Gaming Inc., a Belize based company. The project is expected to generate ten programming jobs immediately even though Rideout says, “We are looking at creating ten programmer jobs in New Waterford to start. We just don’t have any place in the community here to house them right now,” “We might have to relocate those off-island in the beginning, then relocate the jobs back here after we build up enough resources to house these jobs.” Rideout continued to explain, “We would need high-tech facilities to house these programmers.”

Belize is known for its beauty as well as the ancient cave systems that collapsed thousands of years ago leaving an intricate maze of deep abysses for you to explore. Though not for the novice cave-divers, The Great Blue Hole, part of the Lighthouse Reef System, offers unrivaled technical diving that will weave you through stalactites and stalagmites, as well as siphon you down mind-blowing vertical drops. This geographical wonder spans more than 300 ft across and is more than 412 feet deep, making a cave-diving experience of this magnitude not for the faint of heart. Jutting overhangs provide an exciting thrill as the cave opens up into a cavernous bowl. For novice or moderately experienced divers, the Silver Caves offer a unique and whimsical experience through a series of small caves. Will journeying through the deep you'll see an array of fish and crustaceans, including crabs, lobsters, Barracuda, and chubs. Sitting at only 20 to 130 feet in depth, the cave walls allow for novice divers to enjoy the rainbow of water-life while floating in this underwater paradise. As is the case with any outdoor adventure, be sure to prepare yourself. Research all dives extensively, know the suggested skill level, and take a guide if you don't feel completely competent.

Best Family Vacation Destinations for 2013
Belize: This often overlooked Central American gem is really heating up. With direct flights from many metro cities, Belize is a very accessible seaside destination. The perfect mix of family friendly and a great value for your dollar – makes this destination one to watch. On top of easy accessibility, the country is safe and inexpensive. Once in Belize, the breadth of activities and attractions to experience is endless. Spend half of your vacation on beautiful beaches, fishing and relaxing.

Become infatuated with Belize
Unspoiled, Belize beckons you to bask in its serenity and natural wonder. This mystical paradise filled with treasured delight promises to inspire each visitor who roams its rainforest canopies, explores its temples or strolls its sandy beaches. The culture of Belize is just as captivating as the country’s natural hideaways. Epic experiences entice and encourage travelers to explore, unwind and repeat.

Money Magazine: Best Bets for Overseas Living in 2013
Best Place to Pursue A Self-Sufficient Retirement: Belize Warm and welcoming, yet independent and private. Those four perhaps seemingly contradictory adjectives best describe both Belizeans and their country. Belize is also one of the safest countries in the world, despite what you may read about it. Outside Belize City, crime is nearly non-existent. Expats and retirees in this country like to joke that: The good news from Belize is no news from Belize. This is a sleepy Caribbean nation with just 330,000 people and three highways. Yet, Belize offers a whole lot of what many retirees and investors are looking for—a chance to start over on sandy, sunny shores. Ideal places for the beach life include Placencia, on the southern mainland coast, and Corozal, on the northern mainland coast. Inland, Belize’s Cayo District offers Mayan ruins, caves, rivers, waterfalls, and rain forest. In this frontier, self-sufficient communities are emerging and attracting like-minded folks interested in being “independent together.” Belize is a small country with a small population. You’ll enjoy it here if you like wide-open spaces and small town living where everyone knows everyone. You won’t like it here if you crave regular doses of culture or first world-style amenities and services. With the exception of Ambergris Caye, where the country’s biggest expat community is centered and services cater to foreign retirees, life in Belize is best described as back-to-basics.