Monday, July 30, 2012

Jobs for Belize

When we moved to Belize we were told that, as retired folks, we can't work or volunteer our services, but were to just live and of course, bring down US dollars.  By US standards we're quite poor, but to Belizeans I know it appears we may not be rich, but we have more than most of them.  We see that most of our neighbors don't have work, or if they do, it's only day work, usually building a little house or working with a machette.  There is almost no industry here outside tourism.  We hear about funds being donated to Belize by various countries, for varying reasons, but note that there's usually no noticeable sign of where the money went because it usually ends up being siphoned off into political pockets.   How foolish is it to send money to a backwards country like Belize without demanding accounting and proof that it's being spent generally as specified?  Twice in my working life I was responsible for US government grant reporting and would expect at least that same level of responsibility to accompany third world grants.  

 There are a few wealthy, generous, thinking folks in the world, such as Bill and Melinda Gates, who give so much to the poor of the world.  My view tho' is that giving computers to people with nothing is worse than nothing.  I see parents and children struggling here to pay for schooling beyond the primary grades.  Some who pay for and complete "college", which is the US equivalent of high school, go on to Galen University or the University of Belize.  They sacrifice so much, but just like in the US, there aren't many jobs waiting for any of them when they finish.  The computers and cell phones give them a hint of what is out in the world, but has very little to do to with helping them survive right here.  

What they really need (and I think this probably applies to the rest of the world too) are jobs.  Belize needs industry.  They've lived with promises, but the machette is still their best survival tool.  They're definitely not lazy, just have little hope of a better tomorrow.  In so many ways they're barely into the 20th century.  I pray that the outside world will help Belize to develop and help her to survive as a beacon of hard work in an environmentally sane direction.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wall of rain

We were just changing into our work shoes when I went out on the front veranda.  It has been somewhat overcast, but some sun and comfortably warm all morning.  There's a phenomenon here that I had never heard in Oregon.  Off to the east it sounded as tho' a freight train was heading for us.  No wind, just sound.  I'm getting somewhat used to it, but it's still interesting.  It was a wall of rain coming thru the bush right at us.  When it arrived we were hit with an instant downpour and wind.  I looked out at the open area across the drive and could see occasional hail bouncing.  This took about 5 minutes and now it's stopped.  We can hear thunder off in the distance, but only getting the rain dripping from the trees.  We'll wait for a bit to head back outside where I want to chop at a haleconia that is taking over the front and under the house.  Art's doing what he can to try to help and it's wonderful to be able to do things together.   

Friday, July 6, 2012

slow motion

It's frustrating that, when there's illness in the home that things seem to move in slow motion.  I don't get nearly as much done and time and dates seem to lose their importance.  I just try to keep things going by doing the basics.  It's actually good to have tasks to occupy my mind and hands.  Art's vertigo keeps him from being able to do much that's physical.  He is able to take Bailey for his short walks, which is wonderful for all of us.  I've pretty much given up on any gardening, except for a few new hibiscus and bougainvillea.  I'm additionally frustrated right now as the heavy rains that come periodically have beaten off the new little blooms on my hibiscus.  It's probably better for the plant, but I'm so anxious to see the blooms.  I've planted two Sunsets, which are a large singe bloom of bright red with splashes of bright yellow.  I did get to see one before it fell.  Actually, the blooms only last a day anyway.  I also planted a double yellow and a double orange. 

We just had a wonderful gift of a visit by one of my nephews from Oregon.  He went to Cancun for an intensive week of studying Spanish and then took the ADO (Mexican bus) down to Belize City and then the local bus to San Ignacio.  He was only here for a few days, but we had such a lovely time.  His wife and younger daughter went to Colorado to help his brother move and their older daughter was on a school trip to Spain (isn't that cool?).  We visited some of the ruins and he took a cave trip to Jaguar Paw.  Time passed way to quickly, but the family hugs did more good than any medicine.  It was hard to drop him off at the local bus depot (what a hilarious term for a muddy parking lot).  As I told him, my family worry gene kicks in and I'm not totally comfortable until I know that everyone is safely in place.  He emailed that he arrived back in Mexico safely, so I relaxed again.  

I hope that some day our daughter and son & families can come down, but the economy has made it very difficult for all of us.  Our two family guest rooms sit vacant, waiting to welcome them whenever they can come.  

I'll try to be more diligent about posting.  I enjoy this connection with family & friends.         Blessings,    Gale