September Celebrations

September is party time in Belize.  Several important historical events are celebrated in this month, and the country takes the opportunity to celebrate everything else they can think of too – there are festivals for everything, from major countrywide events like Independence to small local parades in every provincial town.  Plus cultural events, regattas, fireworks, beauty pageants.  And a children’s talent show. Continue reading

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The Dark Side of Belize – Part 1

Like many places in the world, Belize is a developing country; and like most developing countries, the development isn’t even or consistent, there are some areas in the country which are more developed than others – the concrete condos and seaside cabanas of San Pedro or Placencia are a completely different world from the thatched wooden huts of the Mayan villages.  Even in one town there are enough variations in living standards to make you think you’re in a different country – the private security-patrolled, air-conditioned houses of the leafy northern suburbs of Belize City are a universe away from the wooden-walled, tin-roofed shacks and open sewers of the Southside.  Some parts of Belize City aren’t so much ‘developing’ as just plain poor.  And poverty (as well as being bad enough in and of itself) also breeds other problems, like alcoholism, drug addiction, and crime. Continue reading

First Week in Belize

I’ve just finished my first week at work, and my first full week in the country.  And on the basis of that week, things are looking good for seeing the country.  And things are going to be ‘interesting’ at work.  Good for seeing the country, because the job I’m going to be doing will take me to different BCVI clinics all over Belize, so I’ll have the chance to see the place from Punta Gorda in the south to Orange Walk in the north.  I’ll also have to do some of those journeys in the company vehicle, an enormous SUV-type behemoth of a car with left-hand-drive (AND I’ll be driving on the right-hand-side of the road AND I’ll have to go around roundabouts the wrong way!).  So that’ll be interesting. Continue reading

Arrival in Belize

I arrive in Belize and immediately notice two things: 1 – Belize has the smallest international airport I’ve ever seen (the only international flights it handles are from the US and Mexico, and the last flight arrives at about 4pm, after which the airport closes. Heathrow or JFK it ain’t!), and 2 – it’s raining.  Really raining.  In fact, rain is a word that doesn’t do justice to the downpour that’s gushing out of the sky. Continue reading