Monday, October 17, 2011

Feels Like Autumn

Girl from a magazine

We're about midway through October, and it definitely has cooled down. Temps range from 75 at night to 88 during the day, and it feels milder. I'm writing this at about 8:15 a.m. The sun is shining brightly, thermometer says it's 82 degrees, but it's quite pleasant with the cool breeze. A couple of times on my morning walks with Miss Patsy I have had to wear a light jacket! I fear we may have to close windows at night soon if it gets much cooler.

However, I don't believe we'll see leaves changing color and dropping off the trees. I'm told that there is one tree, called the Flamboyant tree (and it IS, believe me. Sorry, we don't have a picture.), that loses its leaves for a couple of months in January. I'll try to post a picture next April when they bloom. Other vines, shrubs and trees are still blooming, and the view is lush green. 

A young Steve Burnham
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, it is STILL rainy season. We joke that it's like Camelot here. It mainly rains at night - hard blustery rains - with an occasional daytime shower. It's not unusual for Dangriga to get 25 inches of rain in October, maybe 150 inches for the year!

Only a couple of things happening with my work. The POWA women will begin having workshops for girls - Adolescent Empowerment Workshops. This weekend they'll hold the first one. Nine women were divided up into three groups: one group will teach 10-14-year-olds, another the 15-16s and another the 17-18s. This first series of six sessions will focus on self-esteem, with each group adding another element of life skills into the mix - goal-setting, relationship skills, communication skills. I have been working with each of the three groups as they set up and create their lesson plans. Not only are they putting together the activities, they are also recruiting the girls! Each age group will ideally have 15 girls. This is truly trial by fire for the POWA women, but they are working hard to make it successful.

All of this work is on weekends, and then I don't do much at all during the week. We both went to a meeting of VOICE, a Senior Advocacy group, on Wednesday. Steve is now on the regional NAC - National AIDS Council. Not sure what they do, but they meet once a month, and there about 11 people representing various groups. It's a good way for Steve to make contacts around town.

I've been taking drawing lessons from another PCV, trying to find some new things to occupy my time. I'm just at the beginning stages - you know, drawing a coffee mug, drilling on certain techniques. However, I've had several friends ask me to post a few things, so here goes.

Another pretty girl from a magazine.
Can't get the eyes right!

And from Stevie. He had fun writing about the

Local Geography

Belize has a wide variety of geographic areas. We live in the southern part where the valley meets the sea. The Hummingbird Highway runs west northwest from here through the valley to somewhat of a gap in the Mayan Mountains and on to Belmopan. When people tell where they live along the highway they say they are from “the valley” at mile whatever. The valley and the flat land south of here between the mountains and the sea has citrus groves and banana plantations. I think the valley must get more rain than we do, since we see dark clouds and rain there at times that we are not getting rain. The weather seems to move east to west, and our breeze is usually from the sea.

We have friends who live in the rain forests of the Mayan Mountains, and they have to think about the rivers and flooding whenever they try to make travel plans. Our town seems to soak up the rainwater quickly so that flooding here does not really hinder transportation. The dirt roads have puddles for a day or so. We have to ride slowly on our bicycles when the roads are wet since bicycles here do not have fenders, and we get little dots of muddy water up the back of our clothes.

Our house is in a great neighborhood. We are between Stann Creek (“the river”) to the north and Havana Creek to the south. Havana Creek is much like a storm drain and usually has an isthmus of sand where it would meet the sea. During the heaviest rains they dug up a trench to drain the creek into the sea. We are also between the sea and “the main”. (The busiest street changes name several times, and people often do not know what the name of the street is).

Havana Creek. You can just barely see people walking
across the isthmus in the distance.
The highest point in town that I have been to is the third level of the town hall. From there one has a nice view of Princess Royal Park, the fire station, the market, and Y-not Island with the great thatch. 

Princess Royal Park

Fire Station

Market and Why Not Island recreation area

1 comment:

Rebecca Clay Haynes said...

Lovely! Interesting about the weather -- hard to imagine Belize being chilly. Rainy, yes, but not jacket weather. In the meantime, keep up the drawing, Cathy Use the extra time to become an artist! RCH