The island of Ambergris Caye in Belize has been home for my husband, Marcos, and me for the past three years and during that time, I have learned to appreciate and love the more subtle changes of the seasons. I look forward to the time of the butterflies, or when the Roseate Spoonbills will return.
My mornings start with coffee and bird songs on the veranda where I match the bird in my book to the sound my computer generates to name the bird. I check the message board and the weather and my calendar to plan my day.
Shopping is done entirely differently, and on a daily basis, which I enjoy. Here, I do not find a recipe and make an ingredient list. Instead I find the foods first, then figure out what I will prepare. Fresh vegetables arrive on Tuesday and Saturday from mainland Belize, and there is a season for many things.
When we first arrived, I could not imagine why vegetables and fruits tasted so much better than I could ever remember until I figured out that it is because everything is so fresh, literally just picked on the mainland and brought over on boats the same day.
Finding a fresh Mango or an avocado is a treat, and has me planning ahead for cooking with the particular ingredients I know will be available. My shopping day is planned around what we can easily carry in our only vehicle—a gas golf cart.
Each day’s outing includes lots of waving to people we know in this small but active community, and the occasional stop to chat or make plans with friends. We often have lunch at one of our favorite places on the beach, which often turns into a small social event as well. We have embraced the “go slow” motto of the islands, and if we don’t get everything on our list, well…we will get it tomorrow or the next day.
On Friday evenings we often go to Wine De Vine for their lovely wine social to meet friends, exchange stories and information and meet new people, and of course, drink excellent wine.
Like many expats we own a business on the island—a small tour operation and a boat. The wine social offers an opportunity for us to support each other, and even do some bartering…a fishing trip on our boat in exchange for your help with our website, and other such arrangements.
Once per month or so we go to the mainland to buy a few things we cannot easily get on the island, or to visit friends or see specialty doctors or dentists.
We are huge fans of the Belize Zoo, which is home to all rescued animals and one of the finest zoos in the world. And the mainland offers amazing Maya ruins, gorgeous natural scenery, rainforests, rivers and caves that we love to explore, making each trip unique and interesting.
Belize is a diverse country and is home to people from many different cultures. Oddly enough we all seem to get along just fine, and since all Belizeans speak English, Spanish and Creole fluently, it is possible to communicate with almost everyone.
We feel blessed to live in such an astoundingly beautiful and diverse environment where we have been able to slow down and enjoy the natural beauty of the turquoise waters and rainforests and the sweet nature of the Belizean people.
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