September 11, 2005


by | Uncategorized

It has been around ten days since I made an entry on my blog. I have felt the need to be quiet and to reflect on my past dreams since 1989.My prayers have been going out for all the people affected by Hurricane Katrina especially those in New Orleans.
My youngest daughter Tara is now here in Belize. She arrived safe and sound and seems happy to be here finally as she had been so busy organizing everything to move and is still going through an adjustment period. I give Praise and Thanks to all who helped her in the last three weeks as she prepared to leave Canada. Tara said she really likes the house, and is deciding which room she is going to choose. We are all looking forward to moving in by the end of September. We have given our notice to the landlord. The dogs amazingly took well to the Tara, which surprised us all because they usually bark like crazy at new people. Jabali lies down and has her tummy rubbed, and is quite happy. Rusty just looks on and just takes everything in stride.
Tara has only been here one day but I had to go to Belize City and so I talked both Marlene and her to come along. Belize City is not the best place to be on your second day in this country because it is a hot bustling, seaport type city. The reason for the trip was that I had my first group exhibition in Belize. One of the major galleries was celebrating their tenth anniversary and had an invitational call. I submitted a four part series that was accepted and here I am at the opening. The opening was in conjunction with the tenth anniversary of Stone Tree record company, whose focus is mainly indigenous music. The opening also included the launch of the first Central American art magazine “Artmedia ~ Art en Mesoamerica”. This magazine promotes artist and galleries from the central and South America region. The Prime Minister of Belize and his wife arrived without ceremony or security, where he walked through the crowds meeting and greeting people. Marlene, Tara and I met the Prime Minister where he welcomed us as new residents of Belize. The opening was very crowded with great live music and singers from Roundtree recording artists. At midnight we left for our lodgings, which was a little guesthouse on the waterfront. In the morning, after visiting a few stores, we left for Cayo.
Since Tara’s been here we have been taking her around the area to see local places. We went to Spanish lookout, which is one of the Mennonite communities in Belize. Driving through is like going through Mid West America, with rolling green hills, large cement or wooden framed homes, with all kinds of beautiful flowers sitting in their front gardens. Walkways / driveways with stately Royal palms blowing in the slight wind. In the distant fields, cows slowing chewing their cuds on this lazy summer day as Smokey white clouds drift through azul blue skies. We stopped at a couple local hardware stores, looking for a lawn mower. Marlene is tired of using a weed chopper to do the lawn and since we’re moving into our new home soon we think it’s time to get a lawn mower.
Tara is amazed that the stores have up to date computer systems but I let her know it’s only in this Mennonite/Canadian community that this system exist. We than head to the main grocery store where all the modern Mennonites are out shopping. We pick up a few, North American items that our local shopping area does not have or if they do have are at a much higher price. Spanish Lookout is an area of around a thousand or more acres that was given to Mennonites from Calgary and other parts of Canada that needed space to expand their communities. This community gets a lot of privileges from the Belizean government because they have religious refugee status. The Mennonites pay no taxes; hence they can bring in many things and sell for less that the rest of the country. The Mennonite speaks a German dialect and marries within Mennonite communities. If they marry outside of their community they are ex-communicated. Most of the Mennonite that I have run into is pleasant human being. Spanish lookout is the area where major commercial oil was discovered in Belize recently. On our way home Marlene and I took Tara to visit my jazz hangout and to meet the owners, who welcomed Tara warmly to Belize.
We went up to the house to check on our wonderful fruit trees. Just as we were leaving the workers came and asked us about the tiles for the bathroom. So all together, we worked out the patterns for each bathroom. Just as we were leaving one of the workers found a snake around 18 inches long, curled up in a corner of my bedroom. He could not tell me if it was poisonous or not. He held the snake by the head and tail away from him, just incase it was poisonous. It was mainly yellow with other striking colours within. He than placed it in a water bottle to take it to one of the local hotel to show the guests that evening.
The week of Tara being here has passed by very quickly and she has adjusted quite well to the heat and changes, and living in one room with Marlene and I. Today we told her that our holiday would be up on Monday and we would be back to five a.m. weeding and work on the land. The tenth is the for-runner of Belizean Independence, so it is a national holiday. Everything is shut down except for the market, which is open until mid-day. Marlene and I got up early, went to the market where we shopped for white and pink heart guava, red and green skin avocados, Pitahaya, honeydew, bananas, papaya, governors plum, sugar cane, and lots of fresh vegetables like bean sprouts, asparagus, and tomatoes. We were back home by seven am and had breakfast.
After breakfast we went to talk to our builder where he calculated our moving date. With that information in hand we contacted the movers and set the date, at which time the movers (a friend) invited us to the dance/party he was having that night to celebrate the national holiday. He convinced us that we should be present. Marlene, Tara and I drove up to the land to check on things. We decided to drive further down the road so Tara could see more of the countryside around us. We drove up the long drive to a lychee farm where we were hoping to buy a few trees, but sadly found out that they wouldn’t be ready for another year. We continued through the mountains, where we ended up at the Garcia sister. These are five sisters who started carving on black slate rock when they were young. Their father thought they were wasting their time and should focus on fieldwork since this could sustain them. The sisters put out their carvings along the roadside for tourist en route to Caracol ruins. They soon were making money from their artwork, and today they are mentioned in guidebooks as the five Garcia sisters. The sisters have created a museum, gift shop and lodge through their carvings and Mayan culture.
After reaching home we decided to go to the party and celebrations. I made an early super of Salsa made from fresh plump tomatoes, onions, cilantro, plenty heaps of garlic with a dash or two of limejuice. Corn on the cob that we had got that morning from the market and a Winsom Belize Salad of spinach leaves, leaf lettuce, cucumber, green onions, lots of garlic, avocados, and to jazz it up the nutty flavour of lots of bean sprouts. With that I made a fresh shake of papaya, banana and coconut ice cream. After dinner we all had a siesta so we could head out at 9pm for the festivities. At around nine p.m. Marlene and Tara woke me up to get ready for the party/dance. I had changed my mind about going because I was very happy in my bed. They made me get up and have a quick refreshing shower. We all got dolled up, went on our merry way into town where everyone and their cats and dog were primping along the main streets. We met up with our friend Bea where we sat at a street side bar watching the crowds go by as they celebrated their national holiday and we drank beers. We decided to call it a night because we were highly entertained already, we stopped by the party to say we weren’t coming and came home to our beds.
I woke up this morning, realizing it was the anniversary of 9/11, and gave thanks to the Great Spirit for allowing me to see yet another day. I said prayers for my family, friends, children and the people of the world. . We downed our daily morning shot of Jackass bitters rum. The Bitters help to kill bacteria, keep mosquitoes away and keep us strong and healthy. I offered to make breakfast for the gang. Marlene just wanted a bowl of cereal as she was going out to the garden to cut the lawn. I made breakfast of fresh salsa, scrambled eggs, sourdough toast, and green tea for Tara and I. After breakfast Marlene was in for a while so we discussed our plans for creating our dream, goals, and the guidelines for visiting earthly gods and goddesses. I am now sitting here catching up on my blog as dinner of steamed red snapper, curry vegetable rice, roasted breadfruit, tossed greenbeans with rosemary and fried plantainis are being cooked.
Much Love, Prayers and Lessons.



Maroon Canadian artist based in Ontario, Canada " Keeping it in the Light "

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