Friday, July 15, 2011

Out and About - Picture Day

Well, I'm bored, but I don't feel like writing. That means you get PICTURES!  Sorry if the page loads slowly, and sorry that there aren't people you know in the pictures. I just rode around on my merry bike and snapped away so you could maybe have a flavor of Dangriga. You can click on the picture to get a bigger version.

Havana Creek. Our view from the bridge looking down the creek toward the sea. There's a little jetty at the end there where people are walking.

Bridge Repair. Actually it will be bridge tear down and build back. It's been cracked and dangerous for a couple of years. It's the same bridge from which the previous picture was snapped.

Replacement Bridge. This is the temporary bridge we are supposed to use until the other one is fixed. Obviously it's not meant for cars and trucks.

Drums of our Fathers. This is the roundabout you go around (about) as you enter town on the Hummingbird Highway. The "old-timers" call it the Y because the road splits off to the right and left. The drums represent the Garifuna culture. Sometimes food vendors set up in the circle.

The Bus Station. Very important part of Belizean life. Transportation on the bus boils down to about $1BZ for 10 miles. Which is very cheap. Schedules are relatively reliable. Of course, you never know if you'll have a seat. When I rode to Bella Vista for the health fair two weeks ago, I had a seat. BUT the driver stopped a lot to let more and more people on. Just when I thought no more could possibly fit, he's let on 10 more. At any given time, I had one or two kids on my lap (it seemed they might suffocate standing down there between everybody's legs). And for awhile, I had a chicken in my lap (in a box - a pullet, I guess, on its way to live in somebody's yard a few more weeks until they decide it will be good for dinner).

The Home Depot across the street from the Women's Department where I work.

My Office Building. The Women's Department is downstairs. The porch is home to two dogs, a woman with dementia, and, at lunchtime, at least three men - sometimes more - who eat and take a siesta for an hour and a half. Word has it that we are moving - but then who would feed the dogs?

My Desk. The clunker PCs you see on the left are boat anchors. I have an ethernet cable, a good fan, and indoor plumbing (and usually toilet paper, although I have taken to bringing my own every day).

Z-Best Concrete Block Company. This factory starts up at 5:00am every morning. We're far enough away that we don't hear the roar of the machine making the blocks. Except for the machine, everything else is manual. The completed block is carried out to dry and harden by two guys. All day long. Then moved from the drying area to another place where they are stacked. Nice homes are "cement" houses. The really poor people live in board houses (like where we lived in Camalote).

The Market. Up front you can see the vendors with clothes (never anything new, all used), plastic goods (like colanders, bowls and tubs, baskets, chairs and tables), sometimes tools and kitchen utensils. Mondays and Wednesdays are the days they get in the new old stuff. Toward the back are all the food vendors - a special seafood/fish area, and the rest fruits and vegetables. Tuesdays and Fridays are the best days for food.  By the way, there are plenty of grocery stores. Too many, really. Sometimes they are directly across the street from each other. Most are run by the Chinese. The ones run by Kriol Belizeans are often the old-fashioned kind, that is, not self-service. The buyer goes up to the counter, and asks for the goods and groceries needed.

The Post Office. Not much to say. Pretty much the same as the US, but not as busy. It's real convenient for us, just a block away. We have letter delivery, but not package. We get a notice about the package and there's a 75-cent fee to process the package.

St. Vincent's Street. Taken from in front of the Police Station, where four officers in a truck warned that I was going the wrong way on a one-way street. Three other people passed me going the wrong way (we were all on bikes) but they ignored them. The street is the main retail area of town.

Local Night Club. I think it's called Waruguma (wa ROO goo ma). Honduran drummers, punta dancing!

Our New House. Saved the best for last! This is where we'll be moving. It's upstairs cement. Just down the street from Miss Patsy's house, so we'll be able to see her often, probably every day. More about it later.


Okay, here are a couple days' notes from Steve. Later . . . .

I spent much of the weekend working on language skills. I downloaded a little piece of software called iFlash (for flash cards -- not for running naked through the neighborhood). There were no stacks of cards in their online library for learning Garifuna, so now I have uploaded my stack as the only one in the library. One of the other volunteers here in town has offered to help me with this project over the next two years. I have attached sound files, but my pronunciation is the pits. I am glad it is easy to upgrade the flashcard stack.

At the clinic we have designed and printed a new brochure for high blood pressure and a brochure on services offered by the clinic. (Cathy's note: Steve did the designing. He's using the "royal WE.")  We also have a first edition of a clinic newsletter about things the employees have been doing. Tomorrow I go to one of the satellite clinics to meet with the diabetes support group. Each time we try to get phone numbers of the people so that we can let them know about future programs. The last group wants to learn about cholesterol in foods and about various cooking oils in regard to health.


Anonymous said...

Well heck, I'm glad you weren't in the mood to type b/c I loved seeing the pictures. Makes it so much more real for me, as I try to figure out what it's REALLY like over there for you two. So thanks for uploading. Look forward to more info about your new home -- certainly looks nice by comparison. Hope it's nice&quiet for your downtime. And hope it has a large comfy guest room.... ;-) Toni

Charlie Huntley said...

I love your new house. All the Fotos very nice
What is the postage to you from NYC?
am curious about the PuntaDancing,too!
Keep the Fotos coming...

Ed said...

Photo's are great! The new house looks very nice. Anything we can send you from the states? Mail call is always good for morale.

Thanks again for taking the time to document everything.



Katie said...

Hey there, just wanted to say I'm enjoying hearing about your adventures in the blog, glad to see you guys are doing well. (: Hehe I liked your bus story! I'm all excited to try "raw milk" here in CA in a few days, that's pretty funny in the context of a live chicken being brought home in Belize - now THAT'S fresh! (: