Bye Bye Belize

So, as most of my readers (if not all of them) will know by now, my time in Belize has come to an end. Finally. Continue reading

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The Lake of Many Colours and the Town of Many Shops – Part 2

After what seems like an entire day on the road (and it’s still only lunchtime), we arrive in Bacalar.  And I have to say, the lagoon is very pretty – it’s known as ‘the lake of seven colours’, and the vivid shades of blue and green remind me of the Belizean Barrier Reef.  We head straight to the balneario, a swimming spot with various amenities.  Having slept for most of the way (and slept through the shopping), and eaten three Orange Walk tacos and a Chetumal McFlurry, it’s time for a proper meal.  There’s no doubt that the food is delicious (I have an enormous plate of fresh shrimp ceviche with extra beans and avocado, washed down with an ice-cold beer); but the service could definitely do with some improvement – the amount of time it takes for the waiters (who are so plentiful that they almost outnumber the customers) to hand out menus and take orders is interminable.  Watching the bored-looking staff milling about chatting to each other, while customers frantically wave arms and menus in the air in a desperate attempt to get noticed, reminds me that this country was colonised by Spain, after all ;-). Continue reading

The Aggregations of the Crustaceans – Part 2

The weekend after San Pedro’s Lobsterfest, and I’m back in the cayes, feasting once again on the delicious spiny little critters – only this time, I’m in Caye Caulker.  And I’m not spending all my time quaffing rum punches and lounging about (not ALL my time, anyway) – I’m working.  Like our trip to the Ag Show back in May, the BCVI is on an awareness-raising mission / fund-raising drive – this time, to raise money for our Rehab department and their work.  As part of the BCVI’s mission to both eradicate blindness and to rehabilitate those who are already irrevocably blind, our Rehab officers know the 1,200 people in Belize who are on our blind register, and work with them, their families, schools, and employers, to help them lead as independent lives as possible.  This not only involves the BCVI paying for the staff and their time, but also for the materials and equipment they supply; plus, the BCVI doesn’t charge its clients for these services (many of whom probably wouldn’t be able to pay anyway).  So this vital service costs us a truckload of money to provide, but doesn’t generate any income (as a non-profit organisation, nothing we do [or sell] generates a huge amount of income).  Hence the importance of fund-raising. Continue reading

BCVI at the Agricultural Show

Every year, in April or May, Belize’s Ministry of Agriculture holds the National Agriculture and Trade Show in the capital Belmopan.  What started out decades ago as a small, simple show about farming has become one of the country’s biggest weekends, with thousands of people visiting to eat, drink, and socialise.  Despite being here for long enough to go to two of these shows, I never have, that is until the third one came round this year – the idea of going all the way from Belize City to Belmopan by bus with several thousand other people, spending the day wandering round a few food and drink stalls, and then returning by bus with the same several thousand (now inebriated) people (and all their shopping), and all at the hottest time of the year, never filled me with what you might call an overwhelming sense of desire. Continue reading

BCVI Fundraising

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, as part of the BCVI’s work in caring for the eye health of Belizeans, their rehab department runs a summer camp for blind and visually impaired children (and their guardians) from all over the country, for two weeks every July.  There, they learn (and practice) everything from Braille to typing, as well as going on various excursions, from the museum to the zoo. Continue reading