Friday, May 25, 2012

Belizean Betty Friday

Betty just being Betty.

It is just another Friday in San Pedro, Belize and it is also "Belizean Betty" Friday this week.  I have had so many readers asking about how is my little granddaughter Betty doing and they miss seeing "Belizean Betty Friday" pictures.  So I thought I would bring it back this Friday and update you on what has been going on in Betty's life this year.

Betty turned 3 years old this January.

Betty broke her leg going down a slide in February.  She is picking out what color cast she wants.

It was pink of course.

It didn't slow Betty down any.

5 weeks later she had the cast removed.

A week later after the cast was removed she was bungy jumping at the mall.

Betty loves riding rides at the zoo.

Betty loves helping out with the cooking

She loves eating too.

Betty is learning to ride her big girl bike.

The blue bonnets are blooming in Texas, so Betty has to check them out each year.

Betty dyed Easter eggs.

Betty loves playing in the creeks with her dog Piper.

She does a little backyard gardening every now and then.

If it happens to rain in Texas this year, Betty will be prepared. 

Betty took some dance classes.

Betty loves swinging high in the sky.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Thanks for stopping by and reading our blog.  Bill and Debra

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Celebrities in Belize

The paparazzi were everywhere.

Yes, there are celebrities in Belize.  Lots of celebrities own property in Belize and others come just to visit Belize.  Remember the wedding proposal of Gene Simmons to Shannon Tweed.  Well it was right here on Ambergris Caye that Gene proposed to Shannon Tweed.  We all know Ben Flajnik from "The Bachelor".  He was on Ambergris Caye and various other locations in Belize filming an episode where several lovely bachelorettes were all trying to win Ben's heart and a proposal in marriage. 

Bill and the Pups in the San Pedro Sun.

Anyway, those are not the celebrities I am referring too...Sorry, it is our three huskies, Alina Moon, Barney Moon and Snowy Moon.  They are just like celebrities in Belize.  From the moment we landed in the Belize City airport on January 13th, 2012 they have have received lots of attention.  They have been followed by the husky paparazzi, cell phone pictures have been snapping, and the few brave have even asked to have their pictures made with them or to pet them.  Seems that everyone has a favorite husky. 

We are now known on the island as the "Husky Family".  Most people tell us they have never even seen huskies except on TV, so they are truly in ahhh of them.  Some ask can they have one, we tell them they would want to bring them back very quickly.  If the huskies are not with us, the people on the street are wondering where they are.  Where are the "huskies"????

We are asked many times "aren't they hot"?  "Isn't the weather in Belize too hot for them"?  While huskies are a northern breed, our huskies grew up in the hot and humid southern United States.  So adapting to the weather in Belize has not been so different for them. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What Do Things Cost in Belize?

There is a Spanish named brand here in Belize that I bought once and tried.  I did not much care for it.  So it is Kraft Mac and Cheese for me.

People ask, what do groceries and things cost in Belize?  Well this week I had to go grocery shopping to pick up a few groceries, so I thought this would be a good time to give you an idea of what some things cost here in San Pedro, Belize.  In a previous post "Belize, A Day in My Life",  I talked with you about where I do a lot of my shopping.  We tend buy and eat both America and Belizean products.  Of course most Belizean products will be cheaper than US products and things are going to be more expensive on Ambergris Caye where we live than the mainland.

One reason why we shop at several stores is to be able to find certain things we want.  One store may carry a certain butter I buy and another store may carry the meat that I like to buy.  Going to 3 and sometime more stores to get everything I need is not unusual.  Then I still have to go to the Belikin Distributor to pick up my 5 gallon bottles of water and Maria's Fruit and Vegetable stand to get the fruits and veggies we like.

The last four months we had been doing all of our shopping by walking or biking to the store.  We have bikes with baskets on them so that does help when we have heavier items to carry.  Normally we would have to go buy what we need from one store and then bring it home and drop it off at the house.  Then we would head back out to the next store.  However, this week we received our permit for our golf cart and we can now use the cart when we have lots of shopping to do.

Here are some of the items that I purchased this week:

Prices are in Belize dollars below:  So prices below would be half of that in US dollars (It is $2.00BZ dollars to $1.00US)

Morton Salt  $2.95
Kraft Velveeta Cheese  $11.25
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter-Light  $11.98
Caribbean Orange Juice  $3.95
Philadelphia Cream Cheese  $6.50
Hummus (made in Belize) $10.50
Garlic Spread and Seasoning (made in Belize) $3.50
Toasted Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette (made in Belize)  $9.80
Fabuloso  $3.98
Roma Laundry Detergent  $8.50
Kraft Mac and Cheese  $2.75
Pringles  $4.30
Bubble Gum Lollipops (these are for the kids in town, not me)  $9.00
Mueller's Wholegrain Pasta  $6.95
Sunkist Diet Drink and Diet 7Up $1.75
Sausage Factory Canadian Bacon (made in Belize)  $9.95
Sausage Factory Country Breakfast Sausage (made in Belize)  $12.50
Running W Brand Cooked Salami (made in Belize)  $6.75
Running W Brand Boneless Ham Slices (made in Belize)  $7.85
Goya Spanish Olives  $4.95
Patio Frozen Burrito $2.65
All Purpose White Flour (made in Belize) $10.50
Lerskaa Vodka (made in Belize) $18.95
Nail Polish Remover  $4.00
5 Gallon Bottle of water  $3.50
1 case of Belikin (24 bottles)  $49.55
1 case of Diet Cokes (24 bottles)  $34.60

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Getting a Golf Cart Permit

Bill and the pups are happy to have their ride.

Our golf cart was shipped over to Belize back in March, but we have not been able to drive the golf cart yet because we were waiting to get a golf cart permit.  Bill turned in the completed application and paid the $50.00BZ application fee six weeks ago.  We already had the golf cart made street legal by adding tail lights, a horn and a rear view mirror.  We just needed our permit. 

List of things we had to submit with our application to apply for a golf cart permit:
1.  Copy of valid driver's licenses (we used our US driver's licenses)
2.  Certificate of title (bill of sale)
3.  Documents showing proof of Permanent Residence (Bill is on the QRP-Belize Retirement   Program)
4.  Pictures of golf cart and where it will be kept when not in use. 

We took several pictures of the golf cart on each side.  We also took pictures showing that it has been made street legal.  We also had to show pictures that we had off road and enclosed parking for the golf cart as well. 

Application for golf cart permit.

We were waiting for the San Pedro traffic department that approves all of the permits for vehicles and golf carts to have a meeting.  There has recently been a new administration that had just been put into office and they had not met yet.  They needed to hire three more traffic officers before approving any more permits.   We had also been told that there were 83 permits waiting for approval (not good) and we were told that they may not get to review all pemit applications in the first meeting.  We knew we would be having our very first visitor, my dad that is coming to the island in two weeks and we really needed to be able to use our golf cart with him here.  It would be too difficult for him to try to walk or bike any where.

So after talking to a friend, Bill decided to go down first thing Monday morning and ask for a meeting with Danny Guerrero, our new mayor of San Pedro.  He is the only one that can approve the permits without a traffic committee meeting.  Bill talked to his secretary Yolanda and set up an appointment for 9:30am Monday.  Knowing we are on Belize time, it was 10:30am before Bill actually got to see the mayor.  Another member of his staff Mr. Santos, brought over our file for Mayor Danny to take a look at.  Bill explained our situation and after a few questions, Danny gave his stamp of approval.  Bill paid another $320.00BZ for the permit and away he went.  Now we had to get insurance.

Ready to see the mayor.

Golf Cart permit approval.

Atlantic Insurance was recommended, they have their office on Middle Street in with Graniel's Dreamland.  Like most businesses here in San Pedro, people run several different businesses out of one location.  Graniel's Dreamland has some beautiful handmade wooden furniture and accessories and they sell insurance for your golf cart too.

Graniel's Dreamland

Atlantic Insurance Company

Beautiful pieces of woodwork at Graniel's.

Ok, so we go head over to Atlantic Insurance and see about getting insurance on our golf cart.  We had to show that we had a valid drivers licenses.  I had made sure and renewed my US licenses before I left the states in January since I knew my licenses were going to expire on my birthday in February.   Bill still had a few years on his US licenses, so he was ok.  You can drive in Belize on a US drivers licenses for one year. 

Ruby completing our insurance application online.

There is basically one insurance that you get for your golf cart and it covers, well let's just say it covers nothing on your golf cart.  The cost is $65.00BZ.  It does not protect us for fire, collision or theft on our cart.  If we hit someone else's golf cart and we are on a PUBLIC road, it will pay for repairs on their golf cart, any injuries to them and if we happen to kill them in the process up to $400.00BZ ($200.00US) toward funeral expenses.  Now if we are on a PRIVATE road, it pays nothing.  We asked if we could upgrade and Ruby said yes, but Atlantic Insurance would have to insure our home as well to be able to upgrade.  Well we don't own any real estate in Belize, but we asked what would we get if we upgraded.  Rubys answer was all of the above, but it would also include PRIVATE roads. Yipee!!  So our next question was, well what if someone hits us on our golf cart and they don't have insurance.  She says nothing but we could sue them if we wanted to.  I am not sure if this makes you want to cry or laugh. 

Ruby making our insurance labels.

We are insured.

After we left from getting our insurance, we decided to head to the Caribena Gas Station to fill the golf cart up with gas.  They still have gas attendants in Belize that will fill up your car or golf cart for you.  Anybody remember those days back in the US?  The golf cart only had about 3 gallons in it from when it was shipped over from the states.  We had put only enough gas in it so it could be driven on and off the trucks during shipping.  It cost $35.04BZ ($17.52US) for 2.985 gallons.  Gas is currently $11.74BZ ($5.87US) a gallon on Ambergris Caye.  He waived the 4 cents.  That sure beats filling up my Ford Edge in the states. 

Filling up at the gas station.

Waiting while they pump our gas.

Gas is $11.74BZ a gallon.

We went and had our permits laminated at Gecko Graphics.  This is good so they don't get wet and we can attach them to the golf cart seat now.

Our insurance card and golf cart permits all laminated.

Gecko Graphics

They were out of licenses plates on Monday, but the traffic department called this morning and said our new plates were in.  So we went by and picked them up today.  They also issued us a title to our golf cart.  So we are ready to roll.  It rained pretty heavy last night and early this morning, so it is nice to have the golf cart for the muddy roads today.