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Valid: Sunday-Monday, Aug. 12-20, 2012

An active tropical wave, the remnants of tropical depression seven, is moving into the central Caribbean this evening. This tropical wave is tracking westward at 20 mph. At this rate this system will reach the shores of Belize late Wednesday night. Showers and thunderstorms will begin affecting areas of coastal Belize as early as Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The airflow over the NW Caribbean will remain moist and unstable on Thursday through Sunday, supporting more outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms over most districts.

Rainfall rates will be in the range of 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch on Sunday, Monday and most of Tuesday. Daily rainfall rates will be on the increase, especially over central and northern areas from Tuesday night through Thursday, ranging from 1.00-2.00 inches. Over other areas daily rainfall rates will be in the range of 0.50-1.00 inch during this period. Rainfall rates for Friday through Sunday will range from 0.25-0.75 of-an-inch concentrated mostly over central and northern coastal areas.

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The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Opposites - Part II
The house she lived in was always empty, with only a clucking, scratching chicken or two wandering from one door through the other. There was only one bedroom; it was large, housing one bed, a hammock, and lots of boxes where clothes were packed away like drawers. Her clothes outnumbered her mother's by far, and they fit in the large box labeled Sharp. Mama's clothes were in two smaller boxes, the Rainbow and the Carnation boxes. Papa's were in one big Nido box, bigger than Mama's, but smaller than the Sharp. There was one bureau, but it held their underwear, napkins and some good clothes.

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 San Pedro Sun

Guest Editorial: What if there was no Costa Maya Festival?
Last week I had several friends and family members come over from the mainland to visit, enjoy and spend their money in San Pedro Town for the 20th annual Costa Maya Festival. Most of them spent three nights at a hotel, dined and consumed drinks at several establishments and had a fantastic time at the festival. At some point, I had to tell some other friends that I was not into the business of booking hotels, because it was so difficult and frustrating to locate rooms by Thursday. Most, if not all of the golf carts were rented out - we could not get one by Friday morning. People came in by the hundreds through the local water taxis and airlines during the course of the week. Some businesses even went ahead and organized their own functions, taking advantage of the crowd that was attracted to the island for the Costa Maya Festival, some even taking advantage of the name of the festival without stepping up to be a sponsor. It felt very good to know that everyone was making money; the hotels, the restaurants, the food stands, the bars, the water taxis and the airlines. Everyone was happy that Costa Maya provided some cash for them in the slow season. And that was exactly what the Costa Maya Festival was envisioned to do for the island when it started 20 years ago as the Sea and Air Festival. But there is a flip side of that coin that vexes the heck out of me.

Belize's Path to Medical Tourism
There's been considerable buzz about whether Belize is ready to dip a toe into the field of medical tourism. Tourism is the major source of revenue for this small country. Medical tourism could provide a significant boost in revenue for the country. But medical tourism is rife with potential pitfalls. Recently the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (Beltraide) initiated the first step in this process. They held their first public workshop on August 3rd. It was held at the George Price Center, in Belmopan. The IADB hired a medical tourism expert to lay the groundwork to develop Belize's sustainable medical tourism plan. Their Costa Rican consultant, Mr. Massimo Manzi, moderated the recent workshop. He presented an overview of the study he's leading. Mr. Manzi is the Executive Director of ProMed (the Council for the International Promotion of Costa Rican Medicine). He developed Costa Rica's highly successful medical tourism model. He now offers his expertise to other countries to assist in developing their medical tourism models. Mr. Nicholas Ruiz, the Executive Director of Beltraide, opened the meeting. He talked about the attractive opportunities in medical tourism. He repeatedly noted that Beltraide is committed to developing a sustainable medical tourism approach that will benefit Belize, and Belizeans. "The over-riding idea is that we want Belizeans to participate in this industry."

Wolfe's Woofers: Poor Little Maria Has No Shoes
"Do you leave your TV on all of the time?" I asked Drummer Dan. "Yeah. It seems to discourage burglars." We were unloading his drum set from the back of the golf cart after playing at the Road Kill Bar on Monday. Dan's TV was blaring out an infomercial pleading for donations to adopt a child from a Third World Country for only $24 a month. "I wonder if that organization is legitimate or whether it's just a ripoff," I said. "I don't care either way," Dan said. "I wouldn't give that guy a dime." "Why is that?" "I went to one of his fundraising lectures years ago back in California. He started talking about the poor children in Central America so I decided that when they passed the collection basket I would donate five dollars. He kept speaking and he talked so well that pretty soon I upped it to twenty."

Misc Belizean Sources

Soul Project Cultural Center Coming Soon
The Soul Project, Cayo's new Cultural center, is almost finished. Can't wait for the grand opening. "Abdela Bedran and I are building this cultural space, modeled after a project he saw in New Orleans, these are the pictures of the work in progress, this will be a art gallery with a stage for open mic. We will have beer and wine, and Running W beef grill, special cuts aged steak ect. Real tacos Mejicanos, this will sustain the culture"

The government owned Toyota Prado assigned to Minister of National Security John Saldivar was broken into on Saturday night as it was parked near the Ex-Servicemen League Office on Newtown Barracks. The vandals made off with a bag belonging the Minister's wife. Among the stolen items are passports belonging to the Minister's wife and son. The damage to the broken window is estimated at $400. Police are investigating.


Chaa Creek's Awesome Eco-Kids Summer Camp Experience
It's probably one of the coolest and best summer camp experiences in the country and the setting could not be more perfect - Chaa Creek's pristine 365-acre private nature reserve that is home to an extraordinary range of wildlife, birds and flora. The Eco Kids Summer Camp is a once in a lifetime experience that has lucky Belizean children enjoying summer activities and in the process going home with a deeper understanding and respect for the natural world and their place in it. Ambergris Today was invited to cover a couple days of Eco Camp and I arrived mid-week through the eco camp activities; the kids had already been to the Maya Ruins and visited the Belize Zoo. That day the campers were learning about land conservation which had the group visiting the 33-acre Maya Organic Farm within the Chaa Creek compound.

International Sources

VP departs on trip to Central America, Caribbean allies
Vice President Wu Den-yih departed Monday on a 12-day visit to two allies in Central America and the Caribbean, and is scheduled to transit in the United States on his first official overseas trip since being sworn into office in May. Before boarding at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Wu said that he will represent President Ma Ying-jeou at the Aug. 16 swearing-in ceremony of Dominican Republic President-elect Danilo Medina. In addition to attending the ceremony, Wu is scheduled to meet with outgoing President Leonel Fernandez Reyna and other officials. He will also visit vocational collaboration projects that Taiwan has been working on in the Caribbean country. Following his trip to the Dominican Republic, Wu will visit Belize in Central America. Wu will be the first high-level official to visit the Taiwanese ally since Ma visited in May 2009. His itinerary in Belize includes a visit to Central Farm, where Taiwanese agricultural technicians are helping to improve local farming techniques.