Today, John cleared his schedule so that he could show the men around. They got up at 6:30, and headed to John’s house for bacon, eggs, pancakes,fry jacks, and a new fruit called a Custard Apple. The custard apple is a little smaller than acantaloupe, grows on a tree, and is full of big, black seeds. The texture is soft andslimy, and was the first (and only) food in Belize that Vaughn didn’t care for; None of the guys liked them!
Lunch was first on the agenda in the pleasant city of San Ignacio. Vaughn had rice and beans (included in almost all bz. meals), stewed chicken, fried plantain, coleslaw, and pineapple juice for $18bz. Greg had Quesadilla de Pollo – very good and so was served so much he couldn’t eat it all.
view from restaurant in San Ignacio.
After lunch, the men went to the hospital to find out what they could about health care in Belize. It sounds like both medical and dental care is fair to good. Most Belizean doctors are/were trained in the US. If people need highly skilled medical care or the newest technology, many travel to Mexico City for great care (some in US go there also if they cannot afford treatment in US for lack of insurance). Belize health care is sufficient to cover your dental needs and most health care. It is also inexpensive. The average doctor visit runs between $15-20, with dental being similar.
On the way back to S.L., the guys stopped off at some property that was advertised for sale. The beautiful 500 acre farm offers varied opportunities – it has river frontage, irrigated cropland, a large citrus grove, manager and employee homes, and machinery. If you are interested in this fantastic property, it is offered at 2.3 million, turn-key.
After coming back to S.L., they stopped to check out a few cell phone places. Stopped at Western Dairies for milkshakes, and then drove out to check out a local lake.
On the way back to S.L., John took the men to meet his in-laws. They got to visit with John’s MIL, but his father in law didn’t speak much English. His MIL showed the men some of the different items that they home can down there, and opened a can of pickled veggies. My guys liked them very much. While there, John went out and cut a few coconut off of a tree in their yard for the men to try. John showed them how to, with a machete (they use machetes for EVERYTHING), hack off the outer husk and then cut off the end to open the coconut, put a cup over the hole to drain off the milk, and then deftly cut it in half to get to the meat. Neat experience! Abe had invited the men over for dinner, so they headed over there and had homemade bacon & mango pizza with chocolate peanut butter pies for dessert. As mentioned before, many people have multiple business ventures going at once. Abe works as a machinist and makes $17.50bz/hr., and his family runs about 1000 layer hens and sells the eggs. They also have a few cows for both milk and meat, and have some fruit trees for their own use.
While sitting out on the patio talking with Abe, bats would fly by, and there were geckos crawling all over the outside walls of his house. A 3 inch bug flew up and landed on a window near them; Abe caught it to show the men. He called it a grasshopper, and it looked much like one except that it’s long wings looked like leaves. Vaughn found a large toad and was poking it with his finger, saying, ‘hey, look at this’… The toad hopped near one of Abe’s barefooted children, who quickly jumped back. Abe said that maybe Vaughn shouldn’t be touching it as it secretes a very painful poison. The men also saw a large spider (about 6 inches in diameter) – one of Abe’s boys just walked over and smooshed it with his bare feet! Yuck! All the ‘interesting wildlife’ was a great addition to a wonderful evening of fellowship.
near the river at Spanish Lookout
This would be their last night in Spanish Lookout, and Vaughn and Greg’s last night with Stephen and Grady.