Call Me “Mommy”

29 11 2012

Here in Belize I’ve been addressed as “Miss”  and what I thought was “Ma’am” (but is being texted to me by students as “Mom”).  Then the other day, Phil at the filling station addressed me 3 times in one short conversation as “Mommy”.  I’ve since heard another grown man call another older lady “Mommy” a couple of times in a short conversation.  Feels weird  but OK – go ahead and call me “Mommy”!

(Since posting this, I found out that they spell what they are calling me “Mami”)

Happy Thanksgiving!

22 11 2012

Well, even though there are supposed to be wild turkeys here, this is the closest thing I’ve seen to one here: 

It is a plain chachalaca.  We had a couple of them in our backyard yesterday.  It is a new bird to me…quite the noisemaker.

I did see frozen turkey at the store, but it would have been too big for our freezer and too big for us to eat, so since school is in session today, we’ve opted for roasting a chicken and making stuffing on the side this coming Sunday.

May every day be thanksgiving as we count our blessings and remember what the Lord has done in our lives.

Psalm 111

Praise the Lord.

I will extol the Lord with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.

He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Guanacaste National Park

20 11 2012

At the intersection of the Western and Hummingbird Highways in Belmopan is Guanacaste National Park.  We’ve been told it is a good place to see howler monkeys, but we still haven’t seen one yet.  We have heard them.  Here is a video taken outside my husband’s classroom – listen for the low roars of the howler monkeys…. 

We did see Jesus lizards (I wrote about them in a previous post) in the park.  Here is an Eumaeus butterfly we saw there.  You can also see the suspension bridge to YWAM’s Discipleship Training School from the park.  I think this is a Guanacaste tree

 (usually younger trees have lots of good sized thorns on the trunks at the bottom).  Here is a hive

 (I’m not sure for what, but most of the bees in this area are Africanized and aggressive – glad we didn’t see any!) Here is an interesting blog entry about insects in Belize. This is a picture of my husband trying to outrun a jaguar on the trail. j.

This scene is near the confluence of the Belize River and Roaring Creek.  The pink flowering tree is a Bukut tree.  When these are done flowering, they form large heavy seed pods.   DO NOT parks your car under one of these during pod season!!

If you hear a large splash, supposedly it is green iguanas dropping into the river from overhanging tree branches.  I still want to see a green iguana (my husband has seen one traipsing across the school playground) – they turn orange during mating season. Colorful and cool!

Belizean Food

10 11 2012

We eat a lot of barbecued chicken here!  We slice into it and marinate it all day in lime juice and Mojo Criollo with salt and pepper, then we grill it.  Belizean potato salad is easily made by boiling, peeling and cubing potatoes, then mixing with a small can of peas and carrots and Heinz salad cream from the UK.  We buy the beans at Brown’s Corner, since they require a lot of energy to cook for over a day and we don’t have an outdoor hearth or crock pot here. We eat lots of rice (it’s fluffy here – not sticky). If you go into a restaurant here and order rice and beans, it is different from beans and rice.  Rice and beans are mixed together in what looks like dirty rice.  Beans and rice a kept separate from each other on your plate. I tried making stew chicken which uses the spice recado, but I used too much. Recado rojo or achiote paste is a popular blend of spices from Mexico. Originally a Mayan blend, it is now strongly associated with the Mexican cuisine of Yucatan and Belizean cuisine. The spice mixture usually includes annatto, Mexican oregano, cumin, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, allspice, garlic, and salt. The annatto seeds dye the mixture red, and this gives the meat or vegetables it seasons a distinctive red hue.  I’ve learned to fry plantains.  I think I prefer them in shortening, although other people use coconut oil (up north you can buy locally squeezed coconut oil in reused Guiness stout bottles). You can also buy plantain chips (not as sweet). Fruit available at the open markets here include melons, pineapple, guava, papaya, dragon fruit, & limes (no lemons and the oranges are green). There are a few more exotic fruits I have not yet tried. Vegetables and herbs include cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, onions, green onions, radishes, peppers, & cilantro.  There are also flower buds and roots sold for use in soups, but we’re not big soup people. I’ve already talked in a previous post about the Cayo honey we enjoy. There are two Belizean companies that make habanero hot sauces we enjoy.  One is Marie Sharps – we like the 5 star heat “Beware” and another company is Hot Momma’s.  They make a sweet thick clear sauce with habanero flakes floating in it that we’ve even treated like jelly for toast or chip dip. You can get locally made tortilla chips and freshly made tortillas here (either handmade or machine made, but they are wonderful when fresh -not dry and crackly like the ones you find in US supermarkets)! There are several Chinese bakeries or Mennonite bakers for bread – they don’t use twisties, but tape, so to get into the plastic bag containing the bread, you kind of have to wreck it, rendering it impossible to close up well again. Since it is so humid here, bread left out molds very quickly, so we separate all the pieces of bread and freeze them in Ziploc bags and pull them out to quickly nuke for 5 or 10 seconds or toast as needed). We are very happy to find that the Mennonites in Spanish Lookout have figured out how to keep cows in this hot climate and they make a fantastic ice cream we confess we eat daily (hey!  We need the calcium!)

Stuff seen here I wish I had pictures of:

10 11 2012

Ford F150 pick up truck hauling a house (not a mobile home or double wide – but a house) down Western Highway.

Guy dressed as musketeer (cape and hat with feather in it) walking down street on a regular day.

“Holy Man” dressed in long tunic with forked beard and fez.

Mennonite babies with blue bonnets in horse drawn cart selling bunnies.

Mayan lady carrying large bag of rice on her head while walking down the street.

Topless sweating guy with machete with thumb out hitching a ride – good luck with THAT!