Two Men in a Boat

Let’s start this off with a confession.  The confession of a grumpy old man born before the Internet and mobile phones and the Web and the explosion of communications technology that we have today, the confession of an Englishman whose idea of meaningful communication is sitting silently with his family round the dinner table once a year: I don’t like Facebook that much.  There, I’ve said it.  Yes, I know everyone from your new-born baby to your 90-year-old Nan to the Queen to Jesus is on it; and yes, because everyone’s on it, it has become a very convenient way of keeping in touch with people.  It’s just taken me a long time to finally appreciate that.  Even now I don’t love it, and I certainly don’t spend as much time on it as many people I know do, but its uses are finally becoming more apparent to me. Continue reading

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Garifuna Settlement Day

For a small country with a population of just over 300,000, Belize has a remarkable diversity of ethnic groups.  There’s the Creoles, descendants of African slaves and British colonists, with their distinctive patois of English.  Mestizos are people of mixed Amerindian and Spanish descent, who are found all over Central America and make up the country’s largest ethnic group.  The Mayans are the original inhabitants of the region, having been here before the arrival of the Spanish, building their now-deserted temples over two thousand years ago.  And in the south of Belize there are the Garifuna. Continue reading