Thursday, November 13, 2014

Life in the tropics

In so many ways, Belize is paradise.  Right now, it's sunny, but relatively cool.  At night we sometimes have to add a light blanket to ward off the cold.  During the day it usually hovers around 80 F.  We could actually use some rain, but we're not complaining.  The big down side here is the humidity.  We have a couple of issues that are causing us concern.

We're fighting an almost impossible battle with fleas.  We had a few tiny showers and now sunshine and high humidity make dogs a petrie dish for fleas.  Everyone we talk to is dealing with the same battle and no one, including the vets, has an answer.  We've tried everything from Frontline to Revolution and several in between, with negligible results.  I've ordered Stronghold from the UK, which is Revolution over there.  It's been two months since I ordered and the shipping is delayed so still not here.  SCREAM!  I'm spraying the dogs with Adams, giving them flea baths and we're spraying the yard.  All we can do is repeat every few days and hope we finally give them some relief.  Poor Bailey, of course, is the worst.  I was brushing him to try to pull out some of the undercoat, when a huge patch of hair started pulling lose from his back.  It turned out to be a flea nest.  He's literally covered with fleas.  It's a wonder he hasn't gone crazy, poor old dear.  Being an 11 year old Akita in Belize, isn't easy.  

An additional frustrating problem for us right now is repairs on everything.  A few days ago we had one of those days you hope doesn't come along very often.  The transmission went out in the truck, the cross or u-joint went out in the Trooper, our big weedeater had an issue and the word is that my computer is trash.  I handled this depressing news by getting most of my hair cut off and Art and I went to lunch to talk about how to handle all of this.  All we can do is to trudge ahead and hope for the best.  The good thing is that, here in Belize, car repairs are handled quickly and MUCH cheaper than in the U.S.  Perfecto only charged $40bz to change the u-joint and then we need all new bushings in the back.  Each shop here specializes in certain repairs so the truck is in a different shop.  I know the news won't be as generous there.  We keep the old Trooper as backup, but hard when they die at the same time.  Anyway, we're handling things and not letting them get us down.  I find that using my KIndle for email is really SLOW, but I'm grateful that I have it.  To replace the clutches in the transmission and repairing a motor in the 4x4 cost $2k bz.  Ouch!  We can blame these car problems, mostly on the horrible roads.  There is a small light in the rough road tunnel, in that the government finally sent a grader and roller to smooth out some of the holes in Paslow Falls Rd.,  We're still waiting for the truckloads of gravel that were promised, but we imagine it will be several years before they appear.  Promises here are liket the wind, made and blown away.  

My computer is another problem.  The screen died and I was told that it can't be replaced as it's imbedded in the whole machine.  They heated the chip (?) and it worked for a couple of days and then quit again.  This time I was told it's a lost cause.  The humidity did it again.  Well darn.  This is my third computer in 5 years.  A Dell (never again), an ASUS, and now an HP.  I got to thinking about the humidity issue and decided I had nothing to lose, so set the laptop upside down on the railing, in the sun.  When I picked it up a few hours later, it was almost hot enough to burn my hands.  Voile!  It worked.  I've had to do it a couple of times with mixed results.  I also put it under a bed pillow at night to keep it from absorbing more moisture.  We don't really have windows, just screens, so we have no control over the humidity.  This isn't a problem for us, just for electronics.  Time will tell how much continued success I'll have with my solution, but for today, it's working.  

I guess wherever you are there are good things and bad.  We would like to be able to sell and return to the US for medical reasons and to spend time with family, but that doesn't seem to be on our horizon.  We'll just sit on our veranda and watch the birds, listen to the howler monkeys and thank the Lord that we're both still able to function.  Blessings.