And the Journey Continues…

January 28, 2013 I flew back into Belize, exactly 4 months after leaving.  The past 4 months have been quite a roller coaster of activities and emotions but my desire didnt’ stray too far from Paradise.

So my first day back was  almost a non-event.  Back in Toronto yesterday morning the weather was horrendous – we had a snow storm which covered the roads completely so we couldn’t see where the road started and the shoulders ended.  As a result, 3 lanes became 2 and it was interesting to note that everybody drove as if we only had a 2 lane highway.  The snow was coming down so heavily that I visualized warp 9 as if I were on the deck of the Starship Enterprise.  What should have taken about 60 minutes to drive took over 90 minutes to drive – top speed on a series 400 highway was 80 km per hour and that wasn’t often, so no warp speed, it was all visual.  So we make it to the airport and boarded our flight.  We learned later that about 150 flights had been cancelled out of Toronto to various destinations, starting about 2 hours after our flight took off.  We were late taking off as well.  Another first for me was the de-icing process.  The whole process took approximately 45 minutes, which also set us late to leave for Belize.  But I was glad for the de-icing because we had a couple of inches of snow on the wings and on the top of the plane.


So after the flight took off the rest of the trip was uneventful – thank goodness.

Then we arrive here and believe it or not I was recognized by a friend from Punta Gorda.  What a surprise – I guess this is what happens in a small community.  And I feel like I am back home.  Oh, not for the people because anybody who read my previous entries, will know that I do miss my family.  But I love this place.   And I am back, with hubby in tow for a month, and we are going to do a lot of investigating to learn what we need to do to make this permanent.

And I’m not missing the snow either, or the slippery driving or the cold.

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Moving - in progress...


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2012 in review

I want to thank all of you who took the time to read and comment on my blog.  As you know I have been back in Canada for a family emergency that continues even still.  My heart and my life are still in Belize and I am planning for the day that my husband and I are able to return.

I also want to wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope that it brings for you what you work and wish for.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Blogging Hiatus

As the main subject of this blog was about my experiences while in Belize, I will need to suspend publishing any articles for a while.  I have had to return to Canada for a family medical issue.

When I return to Belize I will pick it up again.

In case you were wondering…

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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in Moving - in progress...


The Royal Rat

I taste tested something new this week – The Royal Rat.   It was done in a hot peppery gravy and was tender enough that it could be cut with a fork.  The first bite, taken kind of absent-mindedly, reminded me of beef.  It wasn’t until I cut the next piece off, when I was looking at the texture, that I realized I had forgotten I ordered Gibnut and that I was not eating beef.  The meat looks like well-done organ meat, with a tight, fine-looking grain and I was surprised at how much it reminded me of the taste of beef.  Now here is something that doesn’t taste like chicken, lol.

I have seen pictures where they batter and deep fry the feet and I don’t think I could eat that.  I have also seen pictures where they serve the animal whole on your plate and I don’t think I could eat that either.  With the animal cut up into smaller pieces I can honestly say I enjoyed eating this new meat.  I may even buy some and work with it myself.  Maybe make a stew or something…

Now, I am sure you must be asking – What is Gibnut?  And why is it called The Royal Rat?

Gibnut, as it is known in Belize, is officially called Paca, and is considered to be a rodent.  They grow to between 13 – 26 lbs and live in burrows underground.  They are good swimmers, they like to live in forested areas, and they prefer to be close to rivers.  Gibnut likes to eat cassava, yam, sugar cane, corn and other foods which are staples for the local villagers.  They have 2 litters a year and in some areas their populations are growing.  The Mountain Paca apparently has declining numbers but the Lowland Paca is not suffering the same fate.  Due to this it is possible that the Gibnut could be raised commercially, although it is said that the farmed Gibnut doesn’t taste as good as the wild Gibnut.

The name Royal Rat was given to the Gibnut, not as a slur against the Queen, but because she was served Gibnut during one of her visits to Belize.

Lowland Paca



Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Cooking in Belize


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Enter Technology

It’s been two weeks since I wrote my last blog entry, since I last gave an update on my life here in Belize.  I can honestly say that my days have pretty much blended one into another and before you know it it’s been 2 weeks.

I did receive a nice package in the mail from darling hubby.  He put a package in the mail, priority through Canada Post and 3 days later I was able to pick it up at the local Punta Gorda post office.  Not bad service for a 3rd world country.  Or as I like to call it – 2nd world country since some of the communications infrastructure here are on par with those in parts of North America.  We can get high-speed internet service, although it is a bit expensive.  The cell phone network is pretty decent too – I can call the entire country on the local dime.  My cell phone also has a 10 gb data package – not too shabby for  a non-first world country.  Anyway, that is just a bit of an aside.

So now a week later and I got to enjoy some of the results of that visit to the post office.  I was sent a Blackberry PlayBook and as my darling hubby bought one for himself we are able to have video chats with each other, away from the computer.  Darling hubby packed up his PlayBook and set up 2 video calls with family members.  The first was with my step-daughter and her daughter JuJuBean.  The second was with my daughter and her daughter, Baby Doll.  It was wonderful.  This is one of the downsides to moving to a different country.  If I had my druthers, I’d ruther my family came with me.  Thank goodness for technology, though, as it makes the distance apart seem not quite so far.  Thanks dear!

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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Technology


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Help send a young lady through high scho

Help send a young lady through high school. Make a donation – every little bit helps. Thank you –

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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Moving - in progress...


Knowledge is Key – Part 2

Last week I had a young lady visit me at my home.  Her name was Jennifer and she came by to see if I wanted to order a chicken dinner as part of a church fundraiser to help the poor.  So, being the soft-hearted person that I am, I bought two dinners.    The fundraiser was to take place at the church on Saturday, August 18 starting at 10.  Well, I couldn’t go because of have a prior meeting engagement and I told this to Jennifer.  She told me she would bring the chicken to me on Saturday.  We also got talking a bit about her and her dreams.  She told me that she finished 2nd in her grade at her school – she just finished what we in Canada call grade 8.  And since she did so well, she pretty much had the choice of where she could go to high school.  But she told me that because of financial issues with the family she might not be able to go.  Her parents could come up with the tuition but not money for textbooks, uniform, writing materials.  So I told her I would put on my thinking cap and see how I could help her out.

I gave her the money, put my name on the ticket, and waited until Saturday.  True enough, on Saturday my chicken was brought to me but since I was tied up on the call I couldn’t talk with her.   She returned on Sunday and we talked a bit more.  She wants to become either a nurse or a teacher – both noble professions and definitely necessary here in Belize.  She wants to go to high school in Belmopan and she will move in with her sister.  This way she can get the help with homework that she thinks she might need.

To help her and other girls like her in Punta Gorda I have created a fundraising initiative with all the proceeds being put towards providing funding for Jennifer and other girls like her who can use our help.  Please visit to make your contribution.   I have set the initiative for only 30 days as school will be starting soon.  When the campaign is finished I will post the results.  Hopefully I will be able to get some pictures too.  If you are unable to help financially, please help by forwarding the link to the website – tell others, and let’s make this a successful campaign!

Thank you

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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Moving - in progress...

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