We rented a golf cart...

Without a doubt, we knew that living in certain foreign lands would be different from the opulence and abundance we all so well know in the US, Europe and many other modern day worlds. 

After all, we sit here with our personal devices, our routers and modems quietly humming in the background providing us with what truly is a miracle, wireless Internet.

Removed from the reality of the life that many live in underdeveloped countries, while we lived in our taken-for-granted existence, makes it easy for us to come to Belize, a country of considerable poverty.  We cringe for the sparse existence of many of the locals.

We may ask, "Why are we here?"  We had envisioned a cozy beachside community of one resort after another filled with happy vacationers, basking in the familiar amenities and the warm sunny days.  Its far from that.

Its rained each of the past three days, wildly overnight last night with clouds still looming today.  The humidity is constantly high and many properties have no air conditioning such as ours, as the cost is prohibitive and the service unreliable.

The water from the government owned system only flows occasionally, leaving us pouring water into the toilet to get it to flush, saving buckets of boiled water to do dishes, wash our hands and faces.

The people:  lots of seemingly happy expats escaping the demands of what may have been an intolerable life in their home country or simply choosing the adventure of a new life, such as us.  The locals, a mix of many ethnicities, each have their own purported perhaps stereotyped demeanor that others easily assume from what they hear or perceive from a random encounter. 

In any case they all seem friendly, if not a façade for their desire to sell their wares for desperately needed and deserved income to feed their families.  Its heartbreaking. 

No, we don't fit in.  We never will.  We're on the move.  A mere few months doesn't give one time to embrace their lifestyle, their customs, their limitations.
For a second, we wanted to leave entirely to go on in our journey to a more familiar existence, aboard a ship or to yet another country to fill the time until April 9th when we have six cruises booked almost back to back, a luxurious and easy existence we've come to love.

The cost to rent a car is over $800 a week and gas is close to $6 a gallon, hardly a feasible expenditure with our budget.  We knew this going in, planning we'd rent a vehicle a few days a week so we could experience the area, grocery shop and go out to dinner.  We had thought this little beach house was more accessible to the main town of Placencia.  Not the case.  Its eight miles.  Not exactly a short walk as we'd hoped.

Yesterday, the owner on her way to town kindly offered to drop us off downtown Placencia at Captain Jax's Resort so we could rent a golf cart.  Deciding to take it for a week, knowing we'd have to take a rickety bus back when we returned it, in order to get back to the little house, seemed to make more sense that taking it for a few days.  Maybe we'll do it every other week, staying put in between.  It cost $350 US for the week.  I cringed a little, handing over my credit card to be charged in Belizean dollars, a two to one conversion, thus $700.

We rode up and down the peninsula, surprised when it came to the end, all the while expected "the resort feel."  It never came.  The little town was not unlike a poor town one might find off the beaten path in Mexico, one old colorfully painted building after another, often dilapidated, a few charming properties interspersed.  A handful of restaurants, a few vegetable stands and two grocery stores, line the main road. 
Delighted to finally have a means of getting around, we explored the area, ending up at the local grocery store, Tom pushing the cart, me scurrying around trying the find the items I had entered into my grocery store app on my phone.
Would they have Italian sausage as good as the breakfast sausage we'd found last Tuesday and since devoured?  Would they have free range eggs? 

Would we be able to find the ingredients to make our favorite comfort foods, so much desired right now, gluten free cheese crust pizza with sausage, onions, mushrooms, green olives using a bottle of low carb pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese? 

We found everything except the mushrooms, not fresh or canned, the parchment paper or no-stick foil that keeps the crust from sticking to the pan.  I'll use my treasured bottle of coconut oil to grease the foil using the large rectangle pan I found tucked away in the broiler drawer of the tiny oven. 

We froze the meat in the tiny freezer, unsure that the temperature was cold enough in the little fridge.  We had to make a decision, make more ice or freeze meat.  We froze the meat. 

Our goal today is to drive the golf cart about two miles to Robert's Grove, a resort hotel that has three restaurants and a health club.  Having contacted them months ago, their return email indicated I could sign up to use their exercise room for $39 a month.  We'll check our their menus and I'll work out while Tom waits for me. 

If only it would stop raining so hard so we could leave.  Its raining sideways, monsoon type rain, too much to ride in the golf cart.  Hopefully, by tonight, the rain will subside and we can go out on a "date" for dinner.  Tom has already lost the weight he gained on the two cruises and we're looking forward to a hearty meal, prepared by someone else!


Anonymous said...

where are all the pictures? Would love to see some of those colorful yet dilapitated houses. Would love to see the locals and the small markets and your little cottage! Please post some pics!

Jessica said...

We will post photos. I am posting photos of the little house today. When we got here it was so messy with all of our bags. When we went to town we forgot to bring the camera. I thought Tom had it, he thought I did. But we're going back downtown soon (long 8 mile drive in a golf cart) and will take photos for sure posting them right away. Thanks for writing. It means so much to us, especially so far away from home.

Warmest regards,

Jess & Tom

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