Thursday, June 30, 2005

New door of Robbie's Art Studio! Posted by Picasa

The duck pond/pool and Machine Translation versus Translation Software

Tom, Helen's son, came over with a friend today to start building the duck pond. But I like to call it duck "pool", because it is SO fancy! The swimming ring around the tree with a deeper hole at one end, and a house on the "island" just for the duckies - amazing! Robbie will take pictures soon, so we can show you! They also finished the new doors for Robbie's art studio, they just need to be repainted. The old doors were, by the way, used for the duck house! That duck house is really neat, it even has a little nesting box attached to it, in which we have one of the mama ducks sitting happily now (undisturbed by the geese, who used to pull her (!) off the former goose nest by the neck).

Yvonne, our friend from Belize City, just told me that I spelled the name of the bridge "Hawksworth" wrong, it should be "Hawkesworth" . I think it is the only suspension bridge in Central America, or at least the oldest (built 1941). Anyone know more about it? Write a comment, please, I will be happy to include new information. Today, the bridge is famous, because the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, the renowned annual multiday canoe race, starts right under this bridge.

More work today, and nice conversations with agency staff all over the world. That's a really nice thing about this job: all the contacts you have with people on almost every continent. Still working on the large software manual job, it is pretty interesting to do and I even learn more about the translation program I am using. No, this is not about machine translation, which produces mostly funny and usually wrong translations (see Google Translator) and produces sentences like this:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Im anfangengott stellte die Himmel und die Masse her (compare to: Am Anfang schuf Gott Himmel und Erde)


Sein oder nicht sein, das ist hier die Frage
Its or its, that is not here the question (compare to: To be or not to be, that is the question.).


the early bird catches the worm
der frühe Vogel verfängt sich die Endlosschraube (compare to: der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm)

Well, this is exactly why machine translation is not the answer and REAL people are needed to do the job. Thanks, Google, for creating jobs for us :-).

Translation software, however, remembers the sentences you already translated and offers them to you if you have a similar translation in your new document. That's really very useful, although the programs are rather expensive. I just learned today how to verify ("überprüfen") original settings ("Einstellungen") with new settings, so nothing gets lost. Very good function of my favorite translation program Trados.

Ok, I better get back to my fun work then:-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Mole Cricket ... Ughhh ... Posted by Picasa

Finally, Mango jam ... and Sharane cooks again

Very relaxing day, I even found time to read a book during my work breaks. I started to read one of the books we got from Marion, a very stirring novel from Faye Kellerman, "The Forgotten", and it was hard to get back to the software manual I am working on.
Annette came in the morning to clean the house and to help with the mangos, which need to be washed, peeled and cored.
Wish you could all try it - I am really happy with the outcome ("Ergebnis")!

Robbie brought home Sharane after having been to town, and we all had a quiet afternoon, reading, working, playing and then Sharane started cooking one of her delicious meals, this time its marinated and roasted ribs ("marinierte und gebratene Ripperl":-), with veggies, together with a potato dish and a baked potato for Robbie.

We waited with dinner until Robbie came home from football practice with the girls around 8 pm. Robbie also brought sugar from Humes store, so I could start making JAM! So that's what I did during and after dinner: cooked some wonderful Mango jam with Lime juice and sugar, and it tastes just GREAT! The gals said I could sell it maybe, but I rather make lots of small glasses and give it away to friends. It is kind of messy work and I enjoy it once in a while, but a business ... NAY... I had to hurry - timewise - because usually the water gets turned off between 9 and 10 pm and I wanted to make sure I have time to clean up all the sticky stuff and the pans and bowls. They usually turn the water back on again at 5:30 in the morning, but I try never to let any food stuff lay around in the kitchen, so we don't get cockroaches and other nasty bugs and critters ("Kriechtiere", "Viecher") into the house. Seems to work fine! The only thing we always have, in almost every room, are mole crickets ("Maulwurfsgrillen") and I need to try to get rid of them somehow. They usually damage plants and grass, so I am not quite sure why they come into the house... Maybe they breed ("vermehren") here! Really nasty critters ...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hawkesworth Bridge - San Ignacio/Santa Elena Posted by Picasa

Spaghetti No. 1

Doesn't everybody know that craving for something every now and then ... Mine is usually for Spaghetti, with a tangy spicy ("würzige") tomato sauce and lots of parmesan cheese. Well, most people have a chocolate craving and guess what: spaghetti are just as bad. That's some physical thing: pasta are carbohydrates ("Kohlenhydrate"), which in the body turn to : sugar. There you go, a bar of chocolate or a bowl of spaghetti - the satisfaction effect is about the same :-). So that's what I had today! GREAT stuff!

Robbie has her art lessons with Boyd Shaffer today, that old artist in Santa Elena (twin town to San Ignacio, across the Hawskworth Bridge), a very nice guy. I used to go, too, until I got too busy, so now Robbie is going together with our friend Janet. Janet is painting at the moment and Robbie is making large and heavy sculptures of Scarlet Macaws. They look great and now need to be painted. I would like to put them on display somewhere, because I think they are truly beautiful. Well, I guess I will have to discuss that with the artist.

I have a lot of work to do, started a huge project, and I need to concentrate a lot. It's a software manual ("Handbuch") and will keep me busy for the next 2 weeks. Deadline ("Abgabetermin") is July 13. So I better get going.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Chicken and Dumplings - YUM! Posted by Hello

Chicken Soup and Dumplings

If there hadn't been any work today, one could have called it a really lazy day, quiet and peaceful: Robbie reading a book, dogs hanging around, snoring, chicks squawking in the coop, frogs croaking, Mozart playing on the CD player, really nice and relaxed. Finished 3 jobs today, all not very big, but they were fun to do.

One of my translator friends, Kathy, pointed out two errors in my posts, which I just corrected:
"kneed" was changed to "knead" ("kneten") and there is no "blue cabbage" ("Blaukraut"), there is only "red cabbage". Thanks, Kathy!

Took one of our roosters out of the freezer and cooked him for 4 hours until the meat fell off the bones and then I tried to make "dumplings" for the famous American recipe: Chicken and Dumplings. Well, dumplings for me are "Knödel", something like "Semmelknödel/bread dumplings" oder "Kartoffelknödel/potato dumplings". In the US, when you make chicken and dumplings, those thingies are far from the "Knödel" I know. They are more or less some kind of pasta dough, flat little squares, which are supposed to swell due to the baking powder in them, but alas, they didn't. They were just flat little squares floating in a wonderful chicken soup. I have to try that again ...

No Mango jam yet - forgot to buy sugar. Maybe tomorrow!

Before I start another job that's waiting to be done, I am going to play a game tonight. It's called Oasis and it is some kind of strategy game and just what I need to relax.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Small Mangos Posted by Hello

Mangoes ... mangoes ... mangoes

Yeah, that's our most plentiful farm produce at the moment: Mangoes ... (or Mangos)

Robbie brings in at least 20 every day (besides the two eggs, which are laid daily, but must be pulled out from under the turkey BOY, who is trying to sit on them. He is, by the way, also sitting on a couple of turkey eggs plus some duck eggs, which we just pushed underneath him) and now I need to try to figure out what to do with them. They are rather small, maybe as big as a goose egg, but extremely juicy and tasty. It is just such a sensual delicious food, especially when you eat it the Belizean way: you hang over the sink ("Spülbecken") and just bite into it, and soon the lower half of your face is covered with Mango flesh and juice, dribbling down your chin. Of course, I tried it the pretty way, too, peeled the skin off, cut the flesh into pieces, ate those pieces with a fork or a spoon. But let me tell you: it's just half the fun:-) I found a great Mango recipe site on the Internet and I think I'll try the simple Mango jam or maybe some Mango chutney and what I really liked: Frozen Mango Yoghurt or how about this one: Mango a la Devo:

Category Desserts
Servings 4

3 medium ripe mangos

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract
Directions Bring water, sugar and flavorings to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add peeled and sliced mangos. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Cool. Serve plain, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Sounds good, doesn't it? I will need to work on those mangoes in the kitchen soon - one can't keep them for a long time. And they are all fresh and ... Ready to Go ... First I will get myself some for the "sink experience" though :-) I really want to make the best of this season, it is always over way too soon. In January, when all the jars with jam and chutney are usually gone, we all can't wait until the next Mango season arrives!

Robbie is at a general village meeting this afternoon, she is taking our neighbour Emilia in the car because she still has problems with her foot. And then she is going to bring her over and we will watch a movie together with her. And eat Emilia's chocolate cake which she gave us yesterday. Wonderful stuff!

OH, one other ripe farm produce we have at the moment: Avocados! But the tree is so young and the avocados are so tiny that they are almost not worth mentioning. They are as big as a thumb. When they first started to fall into my truck bed (the tree is right next to it) I was wondering what it was ...

I think I go have a mango now:-)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Robbie goes to town and Sharane cooks

Robbie had her day in town today, with lots of errands to run and to get her tire fixed (the slow leak turns out to have been caused by two nails in the tire), after staying home last night when I went to the ceremony. We always try to have one person in the house at night at least, and when we both want to go out, we ask David to stay at the house or have our neighbour Emilia watch it. I worked all morning and then Robbie brought Sharane with her from town, who watched a great movie with us (Fighting Temptations) with cool gospel music and a nice story.

Then Sharane cooked our dinner, cube steak with vegetables, mashed potatoes, and salad. A nice and relaxing day with good conversations and me working all the time (deadlines ("Termine") hovering ("schweben") over me...). Sharane can't make the second movie, she is too tired, so Robbie takes her home around 8 pm. Robbie and I watch "Spiderman II"afterwards, but we are both disappointed, the first one was a lot better. And the DVDs they sell here often have a really bad quality ... I would have fallen asleep, if there hadn't been a lot of work to do - really really boring.

Oh, I almost forgot! Together with the Rotarian of the Year Award came a great book: A Century of Service - the Story of Rotary International!! (deutscher Link: hier klicken). Nice reading and pretty interesting. Good for people who don't really know what Rotary is all about.

Have to finish one job today - the client is waiting!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Rotarian of the Year and my favorite drink

7pm: Rotary Handing Over Ceremony (at the end of the Rotary year, there is an official ceremony to "hand over" from the old board to the new board of directors. The new Rotary year starts July 1). I really didn't want to go out tonight, a lot of work waiting and the roads were really bad from all the rain. Feels like driving on soap ... the worst thing being thick layers of mud being caked to the tires, so there is zero profile on them. BUT, I did, I even went to town a little earlier to put some gas(oline) in the car and have it checked as usual. At the Texaco station below the Cahal Pech hill, there is my special gas station attendant ("Tankwart"), who not only puts gas in my truck, but also checks the oil, the transmission fluid, the brake fluid, puts air in the tires, water in the window washer container, and washes the windows. I have that done almost every week: it is such an old truck and it rusts and leaks everywhere, so I just feel safer. And he gets a dollar or two from me, which is almost as much as he makes per hour (3 Dollars ...), so he is always very happy to see me. I sure am very happy because I wouldn't exactly know where to look for all that stuff anyhow... And I always feel safe when I drive away. There was still some time before the meeting, so I drove over to Santa Elena, to see if our "Dragon Ladies" ("Drachendamen" hihihi), OUR Santa Familia girls football team had arrived and if everything was ok. No, nothing was ok. David was upset because no lights were on at the field (and it was already getting dark) and the other team hadn't arrived yet (already 30 minutes late). So I tried to calm him down, but had to leave to get to the party at the San Ignacio Hotel. It was just about 7 when I got there. But, alas ("oje"), noone else was there! OOOPS, I thought, did I get the time right? And the venue ("Treffpunkt, Veranstaltungsort")? I was pretty relieved when I saw Andre walking in, then Rod, then John A. and then Jack. But still, until everybody came, it was almost 8pm. John A., who had brought his wife Donna, introduced me to a drink I hadn't had before: Coconut Rum with Sprite. What an odd combination. And what a WONDERFUL taste! That stuff is GOOD! Around 8.15, Abdala, as the MOC (Master of Ceremonies/"Zeremonienmeister"), greeted everyone and opened the buffet, which was wonderful Beef Teryaki ("mariniertes und gegrilltes Rindfleisch in Streifen"), Shrimp Creole, Mango Chutney, mashed potatoes and a heavenly Cheesecake with Mint Chocolate. And of course two more of those coconut rum/sprite thingies besides some ice water and coffee. After the buffet, the ceremony went smooth, was funny in places, the old board was bid farewell with a present (first issue stamps of Rotary Honduras/Briefmarken Erstausgabe) and then I thought I could relax. Far from it. Andre, as the past president, started talking again and suddenly my name came up - as Rotarian of the Year! I was so surprised, completely stunned ("überwältigt"), and then there were all these people (about 60) standing and clapping and hugging me on my way to the podium, and I had tears in my eyes - and all I could say was: "you people are crazy. This is so crazy." It was really a great moment and I was truly happy. Couldn't get that grin off my face for the rest of the evening, which was filled with congratulations and a really nice party atmosphere. Went home about 10 pm to tell Robbie the news, who grinned and said: 'twas about time they appreciated your work:-).
Still had to work, though, but I am finally closing up my laptop now.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Palapa (left) Posted by Hello

Cement arrived! Yay!

Finally, the cement arrived! It was delivered in the early morning and deposited under the palapa, so the rain couldn't get to it. Can't work with it yet, because it has been raining so much that the ground is all soggy ("aufgeweicht"), so David is weeding ("Unkraut jäten") the big field now instead. He planted something called "Sikal" besides the corn and vegetables we asked him to. They are huge plants and we assume it is some kind of squash ("Speisekürbis"??), everybody knows it here, but noone knows the English word for it. It is not a pumpkin ("Kürbis"), they assure ("versichern") us. I also already know how to cook it when its ripe: with onions and black pepper and then you eat it with flour tortilla. This is how our neighbour and helper Annette cooks it for her family. And if her son helps with the weeding, could she have one? Thats the kind of bartering ("Tauschhandel") I like!!
Other than that my days are filled with work and Robbie's with meetings (with the water board, the football coaches ("Sporttrainer")) or she goes to the field to watch the football trainings. By the way, for my American friends: here in Belize they play "Futbol", which is soccer in the US. Not American football. Just looked the word "soccer" up in Wikipedia: Etymology ("Wortforschung"): by shortening & alteration from association football. Would have never thought of that ... Ok learned something new :-) Now back to work, my friends!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

No cement, nice visitors and last Rotary Board Meeting

No, of course the cement wasn't delivered today either. Robbie went to the shop to ask for it and they said "tomorrow". Well, we'll see :-) After all, we are in Belize, and time sure has a different quality here ...

Besides masses of work and a blaring headache ("brüllende Kopfschmerzen"), there were also some nice events today. We had some visitors: Sharane came over with Marion, the elderly lady we met last week for lunch. She brought about 40 paperbacks ("Taschenbücher") for us to read, mostly thrillers and crime novels. First she said to pick some, but then she left them all here. We just have to give them back when we are finished. As reading is our favorite pastime ("Zeitvertreib"), it won't take us so long. Although, Robbie likes other reading material more: bird and other nature books, Fantasy and Science Fiction, from great authors like Marion Zimmer Bradley (The Mists of Avalon/Die Nebel von Avalon) or Robert Jordan. I like it, too, but if I have a choice, I would rather pick a good courtroom ("Gerichtsaal") story. Marion and Sharane didn't stay long, but Marion also wanted to see Robbie's great music collection and we listened to some CD's. They will surely be back soon for a longer visit and a chat.

At night, I went to my last Board Meeting ("Vorstandssitzung") for this Rotary year (a Rotary year starts July 1 and ends June 30) as a secretary. It was an interesting job for the last 2 years, but also lots of extra work and some responsibilities, which I will gladly hand over to my successor ("Nachfolger"), Chris Aird, the principal ("Schuldirektor") of one of the local colleges on Friday, when we have the official Handing Over Ceremony at the San Ignacio Hotel. Although I sometimes complained about the time and some stress situations: I think I will miss it all, the meetings, the people on the Board, the decision-making, also the voice one has regarding what is happening. So, starting in July I will only need to attend the regular weekly breakfast meetings, but I will be a part of Johnny R.'s Club Service Team, where we do Public Relations, the website, the weekly newspaper, organize events and stuff like that. I did ask for as little involvement as possible: I want to help, but I need a little break ("Pause").

It is getting late now, so I will write more tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Cement or Concrete - and when

Not much happened today: our days are filled with work and the usual farm stuff, such as hungry geese and chickens, fence-jumping guinea hens (Perlhühner?), fighting duck boys (it's all about the GIRLS:-) and so forth.

We are building a new duck pond (the one David's been digging out), it is going to be a kind of ring with a deeper pool at the end. In the middle of the ring is a tree and we will put stones around this tree, so they can sit on those stones when they are tired from swimming around in circles :-) We left the branches from the tree as well, because we want it to stay alive and will just put cement on top and around it, which will create natural steps and boulders ("Geröllblöcke"). There will be pictures soon.

Well, in the course of this project I learned something new: the difference between cement (Zement) and concrete (Beton)! Here in the country, people build what they call cement houses. Sounds ok, BUT, cement is just the stuff you buy in bags and the mix which you actually build the house from is concrete (cement plus water plus sand). Well, I didn't know that either! So, we live in a cement house, too. That's what they say:-) Glad it is not falling apart. Well, it is a bit ... we have deep cracks in all rooms, most probably because the house isn't sitting on a very sturdy foundation ("Grundmauer oder Fundament"). People also have no cellars here which might give it a bit of support. And when the dry season came, and the soil ("Erde") cracked open and moved, the house just moved with it and dropped here a bit and there a bit! We are hoping that it moves back again now that we have a nice rainy season, but I think that is wishing for too much ...
We ordered the cement to fill the trench ("Graben") for the ducks on Monday. The people in the shop in the village said they would bring it RIGHT NOW. Well, today is Wednesday, and we haven't seen any cement bags yet ...

Still have a lot of work to do ... better get back to it. More tomorrow!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Robbie's Art Studio (unpainted) Posted by Hello

Work Work Work

Today was just stuffed with work, almost no fun. Luckily, it was raining outside, so I didn't feel the urge ("Drang") to go swimming or to hang out in the hammock ("Hängematte"). Lots of jobs pouring in, which is - of course - good.
Robbie was busy all morning, cleaning out the little house we are still renting in town, because the floor is done now in the "art studio": the former garage which we converted to a cozy little extra room. We are now ready to move stuff in, after David repainted the lower walls. Helen and her daughter Beth helped Robbie pack boxes and get everything cleaned out. It will surely be another 2 or 3 days work, but we have 4 more weeks to go to get everything moved, so we should be fine. Robbie needs to have the doors replaced in the new studio, because the original ("ursprüngliche") carpenter used wet wood, like almost everybody here and they are so warped ("verzerrt") that they cannot be closed properly. The new carpenter will come by the end of the week, hopefully.

Hanna came this afternoon to say goodbye before she leaves for Germany for 4 weeks and to check her e-mails. She brought a friend from Ontario (a little village between San Ignacio and Belmopan), Kerry, a young American, who is as "thin as a rake" ("Strich in der Landschaft??"). She is married to a Belizean and has been living here for many years.

Anything else today? Oh, yes, Robbie bought 3 new DVDs in town, so maybe we watch one of them tonight. Having no TV has its advantages ("Vorteile"), definitely. A movie night is something really special now. We do have a small TV in the other room, which is connected to an outside antenna, but we only get 3 channels, 2 of them Guatemalan and therefore in Spanish, and the other one, Channel 5, is a Belizean channel and in English, but comes in so bad that I rather read their news lines on the Internet a few hours later. See the link on the right side "Belizean News". Pretty interesting.
At the moment the country is preparing for the election of new area representatives. I am not sure how to compare this to German politics, maybe it is something like a "Bezirksabgeordneter". They are responsible for a certain part of the district ... So here in our district Cayo, we have an area representative for Cayo North, Cayo South, Cayo Northeast, etc. Maybe some of my translator friends have an idea, what the correct translation would be? The guys that are running in our village are Alwin Penner from Spanish Lookout (modern Mennonite Community) and Ralph Hung (a Taiwanese, married to a Belizean lady). We don't know if we can vote yet, because we are not naturalized (eingebürgert), but some people say we can participate in village elections ("Dorfwahlen"). Well, we will see. Both are good guys and try to help our little community a lot. With pipes ("Rohre") for the water system, or bulbs ("Glühbirnen") for the football field, for example.
Back to my jobs now before it gets to late ... I DO want to watch a movie tonight. With popcorn and all :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Busy Sunday

Oh no, I overslept this morning! I had promised to take our friend and neighbour Sharane and a bunch of her plants and flowers to her son's place behind the village (of Santa Familia) with my truck. At 7:00 am! Well, at 7:15 I said "Ouch (bumped my toe on the sofa)!" And ran outside, without even putting a sprinkle of water into my face. Helping to heave ("wuchten") the stuff into the truck sure woke me up, and the ride into the country side (just a couple of minutes, but along a wildly romantic scenic route) really put a smile on my face. In the meantime, Robbie had made coffee and so we had a couple of relaxing hours with Sharane afterwards, some good conversations, about life in general and some personal achievements in particular. I had to go back to work again soon, of course, because Sunday is a normal work day for me, usually one of my favorite ones, because it is rather quiet, with not very many phone calls, and less e-mails than usual.
One of our ducks has laid 20 eggs in the meantime, but she is not sitting on them yet. She just turns them every now and then, wraps them in saw dust, looks at them and runs back out. We are waiting for her to do it anytime now.
All the baby geese are as big as their parents now and we can hardly tell them apart. Now, if we only knew which ones are girls and which ones are boys - then we could sell them any day now. Any ideas out there? One we want to keep, though, for Christmas. German Christmas Goose with red cabbage and dumplings (Weihnachtsgans mit Blaukraut und Knödeln). We just have to look - again - for someone who can make the bird pot-ready. I sure can't do it ...
Maybe Teresa, Joe's girlfriend, can help us again! Teresa is from Honduras and just cool, she speaks hardly any English (mostly Spanish), but we are still able to communicate with her. With our hands and feet and a good dictionary we can figure almost anything out. She even described to me how to make Cashews after they fall off the tree!

You can eat the pretty red-yellow fruit that grows AFTER the nut is fully grown, then you put the nuts in the sun until they are not green any more, then you roast them in the oven to get rid of the poisonous oil, and after that you can peel them and roast them with a bit of salt and oil. I am in the drying phase now and will put them in the oven soon. Looking forward to nibble on some "home-made" cashews soon. They sure are one of my favorite nuts!
Sharane cooked some nice vegetable/meat dish today for us to fill the tortillas, which I was to make. So I tried to make them myself today, following the recipe of Annette. Well ... the dough ("Teig") was fine, but I really had huge problems to make them nice and round!! They had all sorts of funny shapes: hearts, squares ... just no pretty circles. Robbie and Sharane tried their luck as well, but I guess we "Gringas" have to practice a lot more!
Work kept me busy all day long, but there were all these nice interludes ("Pausen") with chats and cooking and eating and now we are all enjoying some easy listening with Suede, a US musician, who has a beautiful voice, good lyrics and music. Nice evening ...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Rainy days

Lazy farm day today. Got up late, woken by a yapping toy poodle, who just showed her happiness to see her "mommy" again: Robbie had just gotten back from feeding the fowl ("Geflügel") in the coop ("Hühnerhof"). Started working early, took only little breaks, mostly to read a book, currently Sydney Sheldon's "Rage of Angels" (Zorn der Engel) or the ATA magazine from the American Translators Association, which had an interesting article about how to cope with working from a virtual office instead of a real office with colleagues. Quite some helpful tips about time management, organizing and stuff like that. It has been raining on and off today, from little sprinkles to downpours, finally it stopped, the sun came out and I could hang up some laundry. While out there, we saw a snake today - luckily a harmless one, a rather pretty Speckled Racer!
Robbie just took a stick and tossed it out of the barbecue grill where it was hiding. It eats frogs and rodents ("Nagetiere") and is completely nonvenomous ("ungiftig"), so we didn't kill it.
The lunch yesterday at Sanny's Restaurant was great, we met an old lady, Marion A., who is 73 years old and full of energy and life. Very refreshing! She brought a homemade bread (buttermilk with some seeds), which was still warm. We ate it while we were waiting for the real food. The restaurant is a lot different from other Belizean restaurants, it has table cloths and real chairs (not plastic chairs), you sit outside and they have curtains at the open spaces which sway in the wind. Very pretty.
Back to work now, still 2 jobs waiting today ...

Friday, June 17, 2005

Whistling Ducks Farm BLOG START

Hello my dear friends and family,

I just found out that there is an easy way to keep everyone informed on what is happening here in our little paradise: I will write a blog! (Wikipedia encyclopedia english: "A weblog (usually shortened to blog, but occasionally spelled web log) is a web-based publication consisting primarily of periodic articles (normally in reverse chronological order". Wikipedia Enzyklopädie Deutsch: "Ein Weblog, meist Blog genannt, ist eine Webseite, die periodisch neue Einträge enthält. Neue Einträge stehen an oberster Stelle, ältere folgen in umgekehrt chronologischer Reihenfolge."

The question was, do I write it in English or German or both? I thought about it a long time and then decided to do it in English, as all (or most of) my German friends know English, but none of my English speaking friends know German. I will keep it easy, though, and I will, if necessary, translate into German.

So, let's start this little diary with today's events (I will later add pictures, too, as soon as I figured out how to do this ...)

David started at 8am and will beginn digging the new trench ("Graben") for the duck pond in a little while. The old plastic pond we had there is leaking and all the ducks and geese are upset, because there is nothing for them to swim in. Then he is going to pick some weeds in the big field, where he planted squash, watermelon, cantaloupes, corn (for chicken food!), broccoli and onions. Our little vegetable boxes next to the house carry tomato seeds, cucumbers, spring onions and flowers!

Robbie and I are invited for lunch today. Sharane, our neighbour, wants to introduce us to an elderly lady named Marian (??), who does a lot of herbal remedies and horoscopes. We will go to Sannys Restaurant and Grill in San Ignacio and I really look forward to it. Haven't been there in AGES! Haven't been anywhere in ages, actually, farm life is just too beautiful (and I mean it!), and to drive to town on these roads is really no fun at the moment. Very muddy, due to finally masses of rain. Who would have thought I enjoy the rain so much ... but it is so much easier, not to have to water the flowers and veggies etc.

But it is still very warm, around 80F/27C.

Hey, yesterday I learned how to make Flour Tortillas! Our dear help and neighbour, Annette, showed us how to do it! One pound of flour, a little bit of lard ("Schweinefett"), a pinch of salt, a little bit of baking powder ("Backpulver") and some water. Then you knead ("kneten") it, make little balls, let them sit for 5 minutes, and then flatten them out and put them on a special tortilla bake thingy called "Comal" . You put some lard on it and the tortillas are done in a minute, fresh and tasty! The tricky thing about it is to get the dough onto the comal, without messing it all up. But I am learning!

Ok, I have to go back to do some work, three jobs waiting!