Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Finally closed - we think

We had a dog incident this morning. Our neighbor Lilly was walking her son to the bus stop and her dog, Dixie, who looks like a ACD/JRT cross but is who knows what, was walking with them. Tom and I were planning to leave early for San Ignacio to talk to Noah, so Selwyn came in a little early and left the gate open because he knew we were leaving. I let the dogs out to say hi to him as they always do, and it was just as Lilly, Vaughn, and Dixie went by...so our three said a quick hello to Selwyn and then lit off down the driveway to tear into poor Dixie, who didn't even know what hit her. I pulled Mel off her belly and Nock and Lou off her legs, and she took off for home. I put our evil pack in the camper and went to check on Dixie, who turned out not to have a drop of blood on her. Lilly was very philosophical and understanding about dogs being dogs - but our pack did a real good job of making it look like it was for real, even though it was apparently just a big dominance show since there was no blood drawn on anybody. We’re trying to be good neighbors, really.

We took Honduran Marta and Giovanni and Eduard to San Ignacio so they could get a bus to Belmopan to have a meeting about Marta’s nationality. We’re told this happens before elections; the candidates do what they can to get more people able to vote so they can vote for them, and some of the nationality/residency requirements are waived to get more voters. This is an election year in Belize, it’s a big deal, and everybody is talking about it and making plans based on what will happen after the election. We’ve heard stories of past elections, such as the story of electric going to one of the nearby towns. Before the last election, one of the candidates went to this town and said that if he was elected, he’d make sure electricity was run to the town. He even had the utility poles delivered. He won the election, and short time later a big truck came into the town, and picked up the poles and took them away. Elections are every five years or so, the town still doesn’t have electricity, and most people in that town and surrounding towns are planning to vote for the other party in 2007.

In San Ignacio, we talked to Noah, who told us that everything is a go for the property sale. Tom called his dad to arrange to have the purchase money wired from our bank to Century 21’s bank, so we’re now ready to really start working. It will take a couple more weeks for all appropriate paperwork to be filed in Belmopan so we’re on the records as Belize property owners, but the sale is closed for all intents and purposes. After all the waiting, the closing is done with no ceremony whatsoever, so it’s a little bit of a letdown and it’s a little difficult to believe it’s really finally happened, but now we can start getting the materials we need without worrying about having to pack them up and move them someplace else if this deal didn’t happen.

So, after leaving Noah’s office, we went to Spanish Lookout to get all the stuff we’ve been waiting to get. We only made a small dent in the very long list, but we did get a few key items. We bought a butane fridge and tank, which won’t fit in the camper, but we can put it in the second cabin and at least we won’t have to worry about our food spoiling. We also ordered a satellite for internet access. When Tom had talked to the satellite place before, they said they would probably need a couple of weeks lead time to get it up and running. However, when he went in ready to buy, the owner said that he could get some guys out to install it that afternoon. And he meant it; when we arrived home at about 6:30 pm, two guys were here, there was a dish on the roof of the first cabin, and they were working on aiming the dish. Unfortunately, even with the generator running, they power supply through the long extension cord wasn’t adequate to power the modem so they gave up and left around 9:00 pm, but they still said it may be working as early as Thursday.

After the dog incident in the morning, we took the dogs so Selwyn wouldn’t have to worry about them. That meant for most of the day, Tom went into the stores to select and buy what we needed, and I sat in the truck answering email off line to be sent the next time we’re online. Even in the jungle, we have to use our time efficiently!

On the way back, we decided to take the Georgeville Road rather than the San Antonio Road since it’s so much shorter when coming from Spanish Lookout. Just before sunset, as we were driving up one of the hills, a big dump truck going towards the Western Highway pulling a trailer with an excavator stopped us by flashing his lights. In Belize, it’s a good idea to heed these signs, since it’s possible that the road ahead is blocked for some reason, and it’s easier to find out sooner rather than later. In this case the road was open, but the signal to stop was from a man we’ve never met stopping us on the road to tell us we’ve been looking for him. And we have. He turned out to be the excavator associated with the Mennonite house builder we’ve been talking to, who had told him to stop at the property to give us an estimate on what we need done for putting another house on the property, and for removing the cage bases where the wire had been cut. We figure somebody must have told him to look for the horns on the front of our truck, but we were still surprised that he could spot us from a distance and even thought to flag us down to talk to us. He promised to stop by Thursday or Friday to see what we need done.

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