If you know of someone who wants to come to Belize, please warn them to not visit during April or May unless they love being really hot and sticky. During this April and May the temperature reached over 100 most days and the humidity couldn't have been far behind. Even the locals talked of little else as we watched the ground dry and crack and all the underbrush in the jungle dried up and disappeared and most trees lost their leaves. I know I've written this before, but the hotter it gets the more the folks take advantage of the dry to burn their fields and anything else that gets in their way. For the most part the fires burn along the ground, eating up the leaves and dead brush, but when a dying tree catches fire or a cohune, the flames can soar 30 or 40 feet, burning overhead lines and jumping fire trails.
After suffering with the heat for weeks, we were pleased to head for Oregon and Washington for a couple of weeks. We were sure that by the time we returned it would have rained here in Belize. Silly us. The weather in the Northwest was wonderful, heading into the high 70's and low 80's every day. Folks there commented on how hot it was, but we basked in the drier and, to us, cooler air. We returned on the 21st of May to find it even drier and still hot.
We've been on the fringes of a controversy here between a neighbor who apparently bought the leases on all the property across our road to the north of us. She hired a bulldozer to clear the road right- of-way and pushed the debris, thankfully, to her side. This whole thing has angered the previous leaseholders, who choose to fight with death threats and setting fire to the lots. We keep our property clean and hope safe, but is still worrisome. One day I headed to town to run a short errand. When I went down the hill, all was well, but when I came back up the hill 45 minutes later, the debris piles were in flames and they had jumped the road and were burning our neighbors property below us. The fire on our side was just burning the leaf cover, but was still a worry. I phoned all the neighbors, who didn't seem to be too worried, but we monitored it until it died back. While we were in the US, another fire started, this time opposite our gate and the little house. When a cohune ignited, sending flames shooting in the air, Rene and family were here to monitor it. There is one fire truck in San Ignacio, which did come up one time and arrived in just 15 minutes, but with all the fires, we can't count on them. Also, they've been known to show up to a fire without water.
Now that we're back, things seems to be settling down. It's been extremely hot and humid, but this morning we had a very short rain with the hopes of more. The weather here is very unpredictable. Watching the satellite photos, the storms can come from the SE, as well as the Pacific side. They swirl and change directions so fast. The best we can do is make do with today and hope that tomorrow will be a little cooler. As soon as the rains start again, things will burst into life and we won't be able to keep up with the growth.