Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Flyer for Rotary Toy Project Posted by Picasa

Gamma left without any damage - Hurricane Season over tomorrow!

Another Hurricane/Tropical Thunderstorm that gave Belize a glance, but didn't stop to do any damage. Tomorrow, hurricane season is officially over, let's hope the predictions are correct and the threat is over for this year.

The weather is gorgeous at the moment, warm days and cool nights! Did catch a cold though last week, and I am just coming out of it. Now Robbie has it and I am cooking tea with honey for her.

At Rotary, we are busy with our Christmas for Children in Cayo Toy Project, we will start collecting money and toys this Saturday, and the distribution is planned for Thursday, Dec. 22. in Santa Familia and adjoining villages. John A. will do the Santa Claus and we have the participation of the Rotaractors (18 - 30 years old) and Interactors (14 to 18 years old) as well, so we all look forward to this event. This is a project to make sure at least in some villages children whose parents don't have the money for toys at Christmas have at least a little teddy bear or a doll or a fire truck to play with. The Rotary Club in Belize City has a similar project, they are collecting toys and funds for children, whose parents are in prison, to make sure the families can have at least one full day filled with the Christmas Spirit. There is still so much more to do ... Well, we do what we can.

I have to go back to work now. It is picking up again!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tropical Thunderstorm Gamma November 2005 Posted by Picasa

Tropical Storm Gamma on the Doorstep

And we thought it was over ... another Tropical Storm is rushing towards us, currently threatening Guatemala and Honduras. No wonder we are getting all this rain! At the moment, it is Gunaja in Honduras, who is mostly endangered (99%), followed by us here in Belize with 25% and Cozumel in Mexico with 24% over the next few days (until Monday). Go to http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/ to track Gamma. It is NOT a hurricane, so it is not as strong/fast as the previous storms that came our way. We here in San Ignacio and surroundings are usually not as affected as the coastal regions. All we mostly get are heavy rains. If you want to reach me and can't - please don't worry. Most probably it is just the satellite that breaks down for a while due to the storm system. Phones may also not work, for the same reason. We will keep you up to date!

Induction Interactors November 2005 Posted by Picasa

Rainy Days in Santa Familia

Muddy times ... it has been raining so much lately that all the roads are simply mud slides. Good thing I got myself some new tires in Spanish Lookout, the really big ones with a deep tread ("Reifenprofil"). Now I feel a bit safer on these roads because before that I was sliding around like on soap. We only had a few dry days during the last weeks, otherwise its cloudy and rainy, sometimes even stormy. But its still rather warm, and I can still go barefoot. And its actually fun to go out barefoot now, when the mud squeezes through your toes :-)

David, our farm hand, is a bit unhappy, because there is not so much to do and he hates to sit around AND most important, he can't drive his new toy, a riding lawn mower ("Sitzrasenmäher"), which Robbie bought a couple of weeks ago. He, who has never driven any car-like machine (besides Robbies car in the backyard one time), sits on it like a prince, cutting sharp curves and singing his heart out, while cutting the grass in the area in front of the creek. It is so much fun too watch him! And he never wants to come off it again :-)

He and his brother even built a small palapa made from sticks and palm leaves, like a little garage, so the new toy doesn't get wet!

Work is slow at the moment, which is fine with me because I needed some rest anyhow and time to do other things - such as writing the blog, for example, and to catch up with friends. Helene, Joes sister, arrived here last Sunday, together with Max and Elly, and we have a lot of plans, such as going swimming and doing some excursions. Now, if only the rain would stop!!

I have also started to cook more again because I have more time. Today its pork roast with dumplings and cabbage - Bavarian style! (Schweinebraten mit Knödeln und Kraut!). We invited our neighbours John and Lennard, to come over for Dinner and a Movie tonight. They don't go out much, we don't either, so this will be a nice get together for all of us.

We had some nice Rotary events, such as the induction of the new Interactor Club, which includes young people from 14 to 18. After that, up to about 30 years of age, they are called Rotaractors, and after that, Rotarians. It is a school-based Interactor Club, headed by Chris Aird, the principal of the Sacred Heart School in San Ignacio. The kids are great! We had 26 of them at the induction ("Einweihung") party on Thursday, and seeing all these smart kids who are willing to give up their time to help their community in the Spirit of Rotary gave me a feeling of hope for this small country which faces so many problems. They are all full of energy, have a lot of ideas and plans and are willing to pull their sleeves up to get going! Wonderful!

Robbie is very busy with the water board ("Wasserkommittee") of the village, they need to increase the rates (currently 7.50 for people without a toilet, and 8.50 per month for people with a toilet), to be able to do some maintenance and to replace broken or old parts and pipes. There will be a general meeting on Sunday and I bet it will be a pretty hot discussion. The other option is to put in water meters ("Wasserzähler"), but I would think that this will be far more expensive than just raising the rates to 10/12.00 dollars.

There is also a lot going on football (soccer) wise, the big Christmas Cup is in full swing, the trophies (some of them up to 6 feet high) have already been delivered and the kids in the villages all around are doing their very best to win them! Robbie has lined up some help for our "Dragon Ladies", they needed a coach, and she provided him with a lot of information for coaching, off the Internet. We even bought an e-book which we printed for him. As they are playing National next year, we want to have our girls up and running and in good shape!

I will go back into the hammock now (NO rain at the moment, YAY!) to read for a while. I still have about 50 crime and court novels from Marian to go through!