Sunday, July 17, 2011

Swingin’ in the breeze in Belize. Or, “What makes you happy?”

(Zulmi swinging at MRF).

Julio and I have been doing some construction lately and we have been trying to use our scrap wood for some fun projects. Julio came up with making some swings for our restaurant the other day so we cut up three leftover pieces of a very hard tree and made swing seats (basically just put holes in both sides to run a piece of rope through it). We hung up two in the eating area of the palapa restaurant and the guests have loved using them while relaxing before and after dinner.

The neighbor girls have been coming over the past couple of nights to visit since we don’t have any guests and they have been enjoying the swings too. So, since we have one extra seat, I told them I would come over this weekend to put up a swing for them. They ran home and told their father, Julian, about the swing. This morning we heard a chainsaw running for a little bit and then all was quiet the rest of the morning. I was hauling rocks out of the pastures for fill in the back of the kitchen (yes, another blog entry will be coming regarding that project) so I was VERY hot and sweaty come lunch time after digging up and hauling a bunch of wheelbarrows filled with rock.

At lunch time we were relaxing having a nice quiet lunch, me in just my undershorts since my Carhartt shorts were soaking wet with sweat.

(Marixa swinging here)
Marixa and Zulmi came up the driveway, quietly like usual, and called to us. Uh, I was “caught with my shorts down” so to speak! I told them to turn around (in Spanish of course), which they did (this is not unusual here, your living area/private area extends out of the four walls of your house – this is why the custom here is to come up a driveway and call out to someone, and then avert your eyes in case they are not prepared for your visit). I then put my shorts on and they joined us in the palapa, no comments made about me not having my shorts on.

They asked if I had a sparkplug for George (of course I don’t, I don’t even have any extras for me – but what he wanted I later found out was just a deep set socket to put his sparkplug in his motorcycle – how he got it out, I don’t know). They had a few N&L tortilla chips, our favorites with salt and pepper, and some juice and played on the swings. We were done with lunch so I asked them if their father was ready for the swing and they said “yes, he put some poles up”. I was thinking that we would just hang the swing from a tree, but I gathered up the seat, some rope, lighter to sear the ends of the rope after cutting it, and knife and headed over to their house, about 100 yards away.

Upon arrival, I found that Julian had cut down two perfect cabbage bark trees (mancheech in Spanish) for outside supports with very stout Ys, or crotches at the top for the side supports. He told me he had to get a horizontal pole for the ropes to hang from, I told him to wait a sec, I think I had one, left over from building the palapa. I came home, found a 14 foot tree we had left over from last October, and backed it down to their house.
(Jimmy swinging at home). We put it up – PERFECT fit – couldn’t have been planned any better. We cut up some rope, strung up the seat, and the kids were already having a ball when I left.

All I can say is this: All I provided was the seat (a stout stick about 2 feet long), some rope, and an idea. Julian cut some trees from the jungle and put them in the ground. I found a leftover stick for the horizontal, and the kids are HAVING A BLAST!!! I so love living here.

(Anthony swinging at home).

So, what makes you happy?

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