Monday, March 27, 2000

78 Front St

Today I rented a house on the Caribbean. My new address is 78 Front Street, Punta Gorda, Belize, Central America. I should know for sure tomorrow after Diane talks to her husband Chet who is in Laguna Beach.

Happy Birthday Susan. This means that I am living my life as I want to live - I can still most likely continue to work for Quokka and I already picked up my first job setting up John's daughter Nicole's computer. PG Town made me feel young and alive again. The architecture of the government buildings reminded me so much of old Durban when I was growing up.

When we went into the Post Office, it was hilarious. It joins the Courthouse and when you walk into the office, there is a long counter and to the left is a wooden arch mounted on the counter with Stamps printed on it. Behind the counter, a gentleman sat at his desk. We asked for some stamps as we stood side by side at the main counter. He languidly got up from his desk and indicated that he would sell us stamps, but we had to stand at the stamp arch! It was really hard to keep a straight face.

Postscript: Circumstances have changed (notably my two sons need me as a base for a while and the stock market took a dive)so I have put off my move to Belize for a year or two. The dream is definitely not dead, just on hold. So I will continue with contract work but in Southern California so Ryan and Cody can live with me.

The area seems to attract a wide variety of people and most are adventurers and oddballs. Dr. Lau is a 72-year-old botanist known around the world as the King of Cactus. I called him the Prince of Passion Flowers. He had just returned from leading a two month long expedition into the Amazon in search of new plant species. I was intrigued with his vast knowledge of flowers and particularly passion flowers.

I saw the first flowers outside our window the first morning and couldn't believe it! Granadillas growing right outside. Later he told us at length about the various species and brought books filled with passionflower pictures. The garden at Nature's Way is a paradise, filled with orchids, ornamental gingers and hibiscus. Lizards and iguanas scuttled about in a feeding frenzy. To me, this is heaven.

Damian, who runs the hotel has five children ranging in age from 15 down to three and all have their daily chores around the place. Even the youngest, little Diane assists her big sisters. Thomas, who is ten, cooked and served us breakfast with as much aplomb as any adult. Scrambled eggs, toast, coffee fruit and juice served on the veranda. It can't get any better than that. The two dogs, Whitey and Blackie sat at our feet while the lone puppy Sheba, bounced around.

We were concerned about the health of the animals after the episode with King in Gales Point. All the animals were covered with fleas and poor little Sheba was going frantic. But as Susan says, "they are used to it." So we did nothing.


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