Tom and I have been amazed at the number of people who have contacted us because they read this blog. Apparently it pops up fairly close to the top on a number of search engines when people are looking for information about Belize. Besides being amazed at the number of people reading the blog, we’ve been amazed at how much we like the people who have contacted us.
The first unknown blog reader we met was our neighbor Mark from Minnesota who owns a property about two and a half miles down the road. We met the last time he was in Belize, and we’ve kept in close contact him via email (when we’ve had email, of course) and we’re now eagerly anticipating his next visit to Belize with his daughter and one of her friends. He has a caretaker for his property here so he doesn’t need much, but we’ve tried to fill in a few gaps for him by doing things like acting as the go between for him and the caretaker since the caretaker does not have a computer. Both Mark and the caretaker are glad that the caretaker now knows when Mark is planning to arrive in Belize, rather than just having him show up at random times during the year. Our neighbors are also glad we met Mark, since we borrowed his TV to show Christmas specials at our house over the holidays, and all of the neighbors enjoyed lining their chairs up like a movie theater in the finished room in the second cabin, eating popcorn and cake, and watching American Christmas specials.
We also met a couple named Shane and Monique who found our blog shortly after their last trip to Belize last spring. Like Tom and me, they’re planning a move here, so they put us on their itinerary for their trip here in the end of December. Via email before they arrived, we told them to stop by some day when they got here, and sure enough they did. The four of us immediately hit it off, we jabbered away the morning, and arranged for dinner here the next night. As we did with Marjie and Chuck, we ate dinner, and talked and talked and talked. We all thought it was about 9:00 and started talking about wrapping up the evening since Shane and Monique had to drive back to Santa Elena, and when we looked at our watches we found that it was after 11:00! It’s funny to us that Tom and I are having our brains picked and are considered authorities about moving to Belize, and even we were shocked at how much we have to say about what we did, both the good things and the bad over the past couple of years regarding our move. Shane and Monique left Cayo and spent a few days near Placencia, just to see how they liked the rest of the country, but came “home” to Cayo for the last couple of days of their trip. They stopped by to say goodbye on their way to the airport – just a little bit of a detour! – and we can’t wait to see them again when they’re here planning the next phase of their move after selling a bunch of their stuff in the US.
Probably the funniest encounter we had with a blog reader was with Blayne, who had contacted us months and months ago because he already had land not too far from here, and, like us, was moving family, pets, and stuff down here with an RV driven through Mexico. He ended up flying to Belize ahead of the RV, and contacted us when he got to San Ignacio. We went back and forth with email quite a bit over the next week or so, but never managed to get together. We told him exactly what we told Shane and Monique, to just stop by, but we told him that we wouldn’t be around the Thursday before Christmas because we had to go to Belmopan to get our passports stamped. That Thursday, we went to Belmopan as planned, parked in the Post Office parking lot, and were walking towards the Immigration building. We heard someone calling our names from the BTL parking lot, and looked around but didn’t see anybody remotely familiar. Then this gringo called our names again, so we ‘fessed up and went over to see who he was. It was Blayne, who recognized us from the picture on our blog, and who had been waiting to see if we walked past since we told him of our plans that day. He was in Belmopan on business with one of his new neighbors, so he was just hanging out in the parking lot and waiting for us to walk by. Like the other blog readers we’ve met, we were amazed at all we have in common – ranging from things like all being IT professionals in our past lives to all being owned by Jack Russells – and plan to get together soon. Blayne said his mother, who was driving the RV through Mexico, really wanted to meet us, so we told him to contact us when she gets to Belize so we can all get together and compare notes.