March was definitely Old Home Month here at Moonracer Farm. In addition to having Andy and Joan’s family here, we had a very nice but too short visit from other friends from New York, our former veterinarians Beth and Jeff. They had attended a veterinary conference in San Pedro the week before coming here, and had arranged to spend their last five days in Belize as a vacation here at the Farm. We kept them busy, and enjoyed doing more of the activities with them then we usually do with our guests.
The same week Beth and Jeff were here, we had other horse friends from New York here, Deb and Jim. Deb and Jim were in San Pedro diving the week before coming here, so they had hooked up with Beth and Jeff out there and agreed to all get on the same water taxi to Belize City so Tom could pick them all up at once. That happened, and they headed out the Western Highway to go to Cheers for lunch before going to the Zoo. I was here and had checked email right around noon, and had a note from Chrissy at Cheers that one of her horses had hurt her leg, and Chrissy wanted to know if I had any experience treating the type of injury shown in the photo attached to the email. I quickly emailed back that without seeing the horse I couldn’t really say, but that Chrissy should call Tom on the cell because he was on the way to her place with two vets in the car. At the time, I didn’t know that Tom had pulled in with Beth, Jeff, Deb, and Jim almost as soon as Chrissy sent the email. She told them she had just sent the email and why, and of course Beth and Jeff volunteered to look at the horse. They told Chrissy what to do and gave her a list of medications to get – and Chrissy treated all five of them to lunch at Cheers! Just another one of those times when everything seems to come together exactly like it’s supposed to with little or no planning!
They all made it to the Zoo – which they all liked even though all said they don’t normally like zoos – and made it back here in time for cocktails and dinner. The next day we packed a lunch, saddled up the horses, and took a ride to Sapodilla Falls. The ride was easy and relaxing since we’re all horse people, and the waterfall was beautiful, as always. None of them are used to the little Belize horses, but ours are all in good enough shape that even vets and horse people didn’t feel like the horses were stressed carrying them through the jungle, and by the end of the day they appreciated how catty and clever our little horses are on the rough jungle trails.
Jeff and Beth were off on a trip to ATM the next day, which they thoroughly enjoyed. We picked them up in San Ignacio that evening, and we all went to a lovely dinner with Ivor Burns, his wife Lou, and his daughter Annie. Dr. Burns is our veterinarian here, and he neutered the Ruckus Twins and also treated Nock through a bout of some liver malfunction a couple of years ago. When Beth and Jeff were arranging their trip here, they asked if we knew him because he and Beth had gone to vet school together in Canada. When we said we did, Beth and Jeff asked us to see if we could arrange some sort of get-together, and when we asked Dr. Burns about doing something, he very graciously invited us to their house for dinner. Lou and Annie made a delicious traditional Belize dinner of chicken, rice, and beans, with a whole range of choices for dessert. We didn’t know that Lou is a baker and has even written a cookbook, so we were delighted at the array of food, and I was delighted to talk cooking with her. And, she made a cassava pudding as one of the dessert choices, and we were all happy to try this traditional Belizean dish which none of us had tried before.
The next day I accompanied Beth and Jeff on their trip to Caracol with Gonzo. I hadn’t been on a guided tour of Caracol in quite a while, and it was interesting to see the new things they’ve uncovered in the past couple of years, and to get a guided tour of the dig that’s now in progress. Beth and Jeff were surprised at the size of the city, and were able to envision what it must have been like when it was teeming with people a thousand years ago. Unfortunately, Beth had woken up that morning with a toothache, so we decided to skip the usual stop at Rio On Pools on the way home and head into town to try to get antibiotics at La Loma Luz.
This turned into another one of those things that only happen in Belize. While Beth, Jeff, and I were at Caracol, Tom had gone to the Guatemalan border to pick up Jim and Deb after their overnight trip to Tikal. Jim had developed a sinus infection after a week of diving, so Tom suggested they stop at La Loma Luz to pick up some antibiotics. Deb is a Nurse Practitioner, so she is able to prescribe medications in the US. Even though her license isn’t technically valid here, the medication dispensing rules are a little looser, and the pharmacist at the hospital was able to give the medication to Jim as Deb prescribed it. As Beth, Jeff, and I headed into La Loma Luz on the Western Highway, we passed Deb, Jim, and Tom, who had just pulled out of the hospital. Tom looked in the rearview mirror and saw us turning into the hospital, so he made a U-turn and followed us – and it was a good thing, because Deb was able to run into the pharmacy right behind Beth and Jeff and prescribe the antibiotics Beth needed. We’re not sure if the pharmacist would have been able to give Beth the medication based on her veterinary credentials, but in any case Beth wasn’t sure of the human dosage, and having Deb there made the whole procedure very easy. Only in Belize…!
Jeff and Beth had to leave the next day, but we’ve been in email contact with them since they’ve been home, and we’re happy to report that they’ve taken a bit of the Belize attitude home with them!