We’ve now been in Belize for 5 weeks and have faced our “cold feet” dilemma. My gosh, what have we done? We’re still camping in our guest rooms. Hauling water from the Rotoplast, no electricity, except the 2 hrs a nite we allow ourselves with the generator and IT’S HOT! We’ve been here before when it’s hot,, but we’ve been where we had ceiling fans to make it bearable. That’s another thing we don’t have – ceiling fans! I can’t believe that we’re actually hoping it will rain. It’s difficult to phone home to Oregon and hear that it’s 80 during the day and 40 at night. Here we’re lucky if it’s below 80 at night. Our poor non-complaining Bailey, just looks at us with a soulful look to say, WHAT IN THE HECK WERE YOU THINKING, BRINGING ME HERE! He ‘s actually wooled up again for winter just a couple of weeks ago, but now his system has realize that it’s not going to snow here and he’s dropping hair like crazy. Of course the biggest complaint is that we seem to be blowing thru money like drunken sailors (sorry if that offends anyone).
Art and I have had a couple of worry sessions together, asking ourselves if this was really such a good idea. We’re realizing that we’re not Wonder Man/Woman and that there are a lot of things that we don’t know how to do. Did we bite off more than we can chew? We really don’t know diddly squat about how to install our solar. We relied on Backwoods Solar to advise us on what to buy and now we’re staring at all this good stuff and don’t have clue what to do with it. Why can’t I be “Bewitched” , twitch my nose and have everything just pop into shape?
We now have a cistern that was filling when it rained and a pump, but how to install it? We are really dumb when it comes to all this off-grid stuff, but we want to learn. It’s just hard to slowly learn while you’re doing without.
A nasty dilemma has been the road up to our place. It’s a 60 foot wide “government” road, which we’ve been told we can’t touch, but it’s nothing more than a dirt track which gets very slippery when wet, not allowing anyone up who doesn’t have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. This has been a huge matter of frustration for us.
A really tough one is when we phone home. I know, we wanted to spend some time just worrying about our own problems, but can’t turn off our love and concern for our kids and grandchildren. We hear the “we miss you’s” and the ups and downs of their lives and feel that we should be there for them. What really tugged at me was talking to our grandsons and then to our daughter, Kris. We chatted for a bit and then she wanted to go check on our grandsons because Tyler was crying. He’s a big boy and doesn’t cry anymore, but we’ve always been around for them and now we’re not. I hate that part of this. On the other hand, we are relaxing and enjoying being “retired.”
We really miss our wonderful friends and family. Our neighborhood potlucks are fantastic- great food and delightful people.
Ok, we’ve hashed over the negatives and realize that they are real, but we looked at all this before we made this move. Granted, reality is a lot more difficult than theory, but most of the building/adjusting stuff will get resolved and a real life will set in.
We’ve found a terrific friend who has a large solar system and has agreed to help us install ours. We also have great young men who have worked on building our place ,who can do the hard stuff like putting the solar panels up on the guest house roof. We know that our system is fairly small, but we’ll use it first and improve it later.
Our wonderful builder, Amelio, has been studying about our cistern pump and can install that, help with our minimal plumbing and do much of the wiring. See, some of this stuff will fall into place. We took the plunge and had an internet dish installed on our bare shell of a house. That has been one of the greatest bits of comfort to me. We can keep in contact with the other world called the US.
We found a fellow to put in a driveway, of sorts, and a parking area so we won’t get stuck in our own yard, and when he gets time (so Belizean)he’ll bring up a grader to fine-tune our area and bring up a load of gravel for the government road (to heck with “don’t touch it”) so that we may find the way up to our place less unfriendly and intimidating.
We’ve made friends here in Belize over the last few years as we made trips down to explore and make improvements to our place. We were just invited to a brunch with a lovely group, some we knew already and many we had never met. It dampens somewhat, the pain of missing our old friends.
When we step back and look at what we’re creating here and how we want to spend the next few years, we realize that we made a good decision. I’m sitting at our makeshift table, it’s hot here, and I can hear the thunder from the clouds working their way around us, but I feel that rain will come soon. Rather than worry about putting in wood for the winter, or getting the snow blower serviced, here we’ll worry about wet and dry.
OK, we’re putting our second thoughts away for another time and plunging forward, like we had good sense. We know that some will try to scam us, because we must be “rich Americans” LOL, if they only knew, and we’ll have a few “downs”, but over all, it feels exciting and right for now.
Love to you all, Gale