For those of you who haven’t heard by now, this weekend was the Cacao Festival, one of the largest events held during the year by the Toledo District Belize Tourism Industry Association (Toledo BTIA). Much of the most recent edition of the Toledo Howler, the local tourism paper, was dedicated to all things cacao in honour of this event.
For me, the highlight of my week was getting my office ready, to be able to announce my presence to the world. The thatch got put on the front of my office, I got my office furniture purchased, made flyers, purchased my signs and got the office ready to open.
During the Saturday street festival I made my way through the streets, to the businesses, using the occasion to meet people and introduce myself as the owner of a “new office”, Re/MAX Belize Property Center South. I also helped a bit with making the thatch roof. I learned how easy it is to split cohune leaves in order to prepare them for thatching. I worked, briefly, with a machete to try to split one of the thicker cohune leaves. That thing was pretty unwieldy for me to use.
For the Cacao Festival, Friday night was the Wine and Chocolate event held at Coral House Inn. This was an evening event with food, drinks and desserts focused on chocolate. Belikin, a local Belizean brewery, made a chocolate stout just for the Cacao Festival and it was introduced at the Wine and Chocolate night. I had some, and I thought you could smell the chocolate and taste it – although it wasn’t a strong smell or flavour. By the time I had finished my 4 oz. the flavour and smell of chocolate had disappeared. A few of the chocolate growers in the area were present giving out samples. One of the samples I tried was bacon chocolate – chocolate with bacon pieces in it. Can’t say that I would choose this again. It was okay as a one time sampler but, for me, not a winner. I visited with a few people, listened to some jazz music, enjoyed the scenery, got wet in the rain, and made my way home early. There were fireworks held a bit after I left but I did get to see them from the street near my apartment – above the trees of course.
Saturday was the day I distributed flyers for the office. During the evening though I did take in some of the cultural events at the temporary stage. Live bands were brought in, some local dance groups performed their particular style of dance and then it poured (rainy season started a bit early). I wasn’t feeling well most of the day so I went to bed pretty early. At 11:00 p.m. I was awakened by a loud boom – and I knew there was supposed to be a 2nd night of fireworks so I got up, and went out on the balcony to watch the fireworks. The display was only a few hundred feet away so I had a really good view as they rose into the sky. As I was standing there I got a bit misty eyed because I would rather be watching fireworks with my husband beside me. Next year…..