Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years to all our Friends both Far and Near

When you are lonely, I wish you LOVE.
When you are down, I wish you JOY.
When you are troubled, I wish you PEACE.
When things seem empty, I wish you HOPE.
Have a Happy New Years.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Photo of the Day - Mosquito Nets

Baby Beds

Check out the baby beds we saw at a store in Belize, they came in tropical colors complete with mosquito nets.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Photo of the Day - Conch Shells

Conch Shells

Conchs need a lot of oxygen in the water to be able to thrive, so that is why they are mostly found near the breaking surf of the barrier reef.  They also like warm clear water and a sandy bottom which makes living in the Caribbean waters of Belize ideal for conchs. 

The meat of the conch is white and rubbery and is used to make chowder, conch fritters and cerviche.  Conch season is from October to June in Belize.

Craboo Ice Cream

The Craboo Tree

Belizean "Ice Cream" - Craboo, Rum & Raisin and Strawberry

Ever heard of Craboo Ice Cream?  Neither had we, but we found some Craboo Ice Cream in Belize.  The Craboo tree, also none as "Nance" is native to both Central and South America.  It is also found in Cuba and most of the Eastern Caribbean.  Ice Cream, jams and even wine can be made out of the craboo fruit.

Craboo trees have elliptical shaped leaves and bunches of tiny, vibrant orange, yellow and red flowers that bloom from May through June in Belize.  They can grow as high as 10 meters and are found from Corozal to Punta Gorda.  The small round yellow fruit is approximately 8 to 12 centimeters wide and are generally ready in July or August.  There are several different varieties of craboo and some fruit are tiny and bitter, while others are large and sweet.  Most Belizeans like them mashed with milk, but you can eat them right off the ground.  The fruits are rich in calcium and vitamin C.

The craboo wood has a very pleasant odor which some people use for smoking meats, the leaves are the most commonly used as a tea to treat diarrhea and dysentery.  Some use the pulverized bark for gum disease and as an antidote for snakebites.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Photo of the Day - The San Pedro Police Department

The San Pedro Police Department

The Belize Police Department's jurisdiction encompasses the entire country of Belize, covering 8,867 square miles (22,960 km²) of territory. and serving 297,651 people (Belize CSO, 2007 mid year estimate). There are currently over 1055 officers in the department. These police officers are assisted by dedicated Special Constables, civilian staff members and Community Support through the Citizens on Patrol (COP) and Neighbourhood Watch programs.

Person of the Year 2010 – Jan Brown | Ambergris Today

Pier Lounge, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Jan Brown took a leap of faith and packed up and moved from Texas to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize and bought the Pier Lounge Bar.  She was named Person of the Year 2010 in Ambergris Caye.

It was not until 2004 when she took a leap of faith and packed her things back home in Clear Lake Houston, Texas and moved to San Pedro after she had purchased the popular Pier Lounge bar. Back in the US she was an active businesswoman, including office manager of the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce, board member of the cancer society and coordinator of the central committee of the Clear Lake Tourism Board which also coordinated their Christmas Boat Parade.

Read more of her story here:

Person of the Year 2010 – Jan Brown Ambergris Today

Monday, December 27, 2010

Photo of the Day - Frolicking on the Beach

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

I caught a picture of this cute little fellow who had been frolicking on the beach in San Pedro.


No Belizean would be caught without a boat, every where you look in Belize there are BOATS, BOATS, BOATS.

Boats, Boats, Boats

Sailboat, rowboat, motor boat, too.
Moving through the waters so clear and blue.
Tugboat, lifeboat, kayak and canoe
With so many types of boats,
Which one will you choose?

by Melanie Mazurek (teacher)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Photo of the Day - The Baker

"The Baker" an International Bakery in Belize.

Just wanted to add another place that I left out of my blog post on "Eat and Drink" like a local.  "The Baker" which is located in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Barrier Reef Drive.  All of their products are natural and organic and without any artificial or chemical ingredients.  "The Baker" is not to be missed, it is your international bakery in Belize and expats love it.

Check out their price list here:  "The Baker" price list.

Photo of the Day - Santa on the Beach

Santa on the Beach

Sending wishes to you and yours for a beautiful Holiday Season and a peaceful New year.    

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Photo of the Day - Ixchel Dispensary

Ixchel Dispensary - Medications, Toiletries, Nurse Natalie Palen, Registered Nurse, Registered Mid-Wife, and JUSTICE OF THE PEACE.


Sorry, I guess this should be photos of the day.  One day while taking a golf cart ride and checking out the north side of the island of Ambergris Caye we ran upon this sign.  I thought it was pretty interesting of all the things offered at Ixchel Dispensary.

Eat and Drink Like a Local —San Pedro, Belize

Many grocery items in Belize have to be imported from the United States, Canada and England and are much more expensive than back home in the US.  But if you "Eat and Drink Like a Local", you can still eat very good and much less expensive.

Super Buy Grocery

Super Buy Grocery - is the big purple grocery store located on Back Street and has very good prices, but always watch for expiration dates. 

Belikin Beer Distributor

Belikin Beer Distributor - you can always stop by the Belikin Beer Distributor and pick up a case of beer.  Belikin is the leading domestically produced beer brand in Belize and was first brewed in the 1960's.  The "Belikin" name comes from the Mayan language and means " Road to the East".  The Belikin label features a drawing of the Pre-Columbian Maya temple-pyramid at Alta Ha.  Four types of beer are sold under the Belikin name, the lager with 4% alcohol; Belikin premium, also a lager with 5% alcohol; Lighthouse, a pale lager with 4.2% alcohol and Belikin Stout, a dark beer with 6% alcohol.

Casa Pan Dulce Bakery

Casa Pan Dulce Bakery - the largest bakery in San Pedro and has some yummy breads, cakes, sweets and pastries.  Everything I tasted was excellent. 

Mermaid Pizza

Mermaid's Pizza - and if you are craving pizza or pasta, you can always stop in at Mermaid's Pizza for a pizza, lasagna or even a bacon cheese burger.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Photo of the Day - Men at Work


While in Belize one morning when I went to take a shower...I was waiting for the water to warm up before I decided to step in.  A few minutes later, still no hot water.  It had not been a problem any other mornings, but I figure OK..this is Belize and maybe there will be no hot water this morning.  So I decided to go for it...I had just gotten my hair all wet when the water switched to barely a trickle and then NO water at all.  Bill went down to the office to check out what was going on and they said that a water pipe had broken and there was NO water right now and they were working on the repairs.  Lucky for us, they had it all nicely repaired and back working by the end of the day.

Belize's Largest Lizard - The Iguana

Belizean Iguana

Iguanas are the largest lizard in Belize and can grow up to 10 feet including tail.  They all have the characteristic round cheek scale and smooth tail.  The young iguanas are bright green, they become duller colors as they age.  The females may be a dark gray and the males olive (with orangish to red heads in breeding season).  Iguanas are a delicacy with the locals who call it Bamboo Chicken (they say it taste like chicken).

We saw them all around the island of Ambergris Caye

IGUANA STEW - Try it, you might like it. 
1 iguana
2 onions
1 tsp salt
1/2 lb carrots
1 tsp cilantro
1 small ball recardo
Vinegar, lime
1 sweet pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb cabbage
2 cloves garlic
1/4 lb tomato
coconut oil
1.  Skin and clean the iguana.  Wash thoroughly in vinegar and lime.
2.  Rub in the seasonings - salt, black pepper, recardo, onions, garlic, cilantro and sweet pepper.  Let it sit for about 20 minutes.
3.  Place enough coconut oil in a pan to cover the bottom and heat up.  When hot, put in the iguana.  Keep turning him or her, adding a little water for about 30 minutes.
4.  Add in cut up carrots, cabbage and tomato.  Cook for another 30 minutes.
5.  Enjoy.

Recipe for Bamboo Chicken - You gotta keychit first. (A funny Story)

Me: so how do you catch the Iguana?
Bushman: with yur hand you keychit. You got to be ready dough wid de machet in de rih han kaychim wid de lef han. You see mi machet? I shawp on de tip and on de bottom. Chop he hed offn wid the bottom ah de machet.
Me: Oooo Keeeyyy (he shows me his 30" machette is sharp at the tip and by the handle only)
Bushman: Den you stick de nife in he belly just like wan fish yew gut he and peel de skeen offa heen.
Me: Oooo Keeeyyy
Bushman: afta you skin he, mek I tell yu sonting, you mek suuur you gat wan greeeen guana, not like wat you hav pon de Caye, dems noh good eatin, wha big greeeen guana what we like.
Me: how do you take the skin off?
Busman: you do eet just like you do wan fish, just skin it. Den you gat to hang it by de tail from de tree to let all the slime come out.
Me: Slime?
Bushman: yes gial, you cyan eet de guana wid de slime.
Me: What does the slime look like?
Bushman: eet look like slime. Gial, yew see de slime yew noh wantta eet de guana, yew tew delikate like dem Merikan laydeez.
Me: What color is the slime?
Bushman: gial, slime IS slime me no noh wha kala is de slime.
Me: How long do you hang the iguana in the tree by its tail?
Bushman: kupla hours. Den you gat to lime it real good.
Me: how do you do that?
Bushman: You gat to squeeze de lime all over it and rub he wid de lime and let he soak for a coupla hours.
Me: O.K.
Bushman: den you ken bubbakew he.
Me: O.K. how do you cut the iguana up?
Bushman: whaaaaale, I brek he showda and chop off he feet and chop he on de elbow. Den I chop he belly in a couple peese, and chop he tayl.
Me: how do you barbeque him.
Bushman: Gial you just bubbakew he (I sense he's getting frustrated with having to explain everything to me.)
Me: what spices do you use when you barbeque?
Bushman: salt n peppa, gaaalik, tarrey yakki soy sawce, an peppa sawce.
Me: what does it taste like?
Bushman: chicken

Back to Living in Paradise: Recipe for Bamboo Chicken

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Elvi's Kitchen Mayan Feast Fit For A King | Ambergris Today

Elvi's Kitchen - Notice the tree growing out of the sand floor.

Elvi's kitchen is one of the most famous restaurants on the island of Ambergris Caye and is located in downtown San Pedro.  We were lucky enough to get to eat at Elvi's on our first trip to Belize, but they were closed when we there in September of this year for annual renovations and maintenance.  Elvi's is known for its Mayan Feast and Margaritas with an "Attitude".

Elvi's Kitchen started 25 years ago as a "hole in the wall" take out window, underneath Mrs. Elvi Staines house and known then as Elvi's Burger Isle.  Mrs. Elvi Staines was born in the town of San Pedro and has been living on the island of Ambergris Caye for 66 years.

Today Elvi's Kitchen is a popular hotspot for both locals and tourist and is still run by Mrs. Elvi Staines and her daughter.

Elvi’s Kitchen Mayan Feast Fit for a King Ambergris Today

Monday, December 20, 2010

"A Toast to the Holidays"

Yesterday afternoon was Bravo's annual "A Toast to the Holidays" Champagne and Wine Tasting.  It was my first time to attend and my friend Alyssa's 2nd time and we will definitely be making this an annual tradition.  Norm Rush did a great job telling us all about the wines and champagnes, it was a sold out crowd this year of 50 people and I think everyone had a great time.  I know we did.

Ambergris Caye has a great wine and cheese shop located on Coconut Drive called Wine De Vine.  We popped in just to look around when we were there and they had a really nice selection of wines.  They also have lots of other neat stuff like olive oils, vinegars, mustards, glassware and fine chocolates..YUM.