Monday, March 27, 2000

When we got home, young Leon sort of sidled up to us and asked where we were headed the next day. When we told him we planned to head south he looked so disheartened that we had to ask what was on his mind. He said his dog, King was sick and that he needed to take him to Belize City to the vet. We took a look at the dog and saw that he was indeed a very sick puppy, so we changed out plans and told him we would take him to the city in the morning. I can't imagine what it would be like to try to take a dog on the bus for and hour and a half each way.

Up early, we loaded Leon and King in the back and off we went. It was hot and the dog was very uncomfortable. The first vet we went to was closed and as luck would have it, the second was open and were able to take a look at King. Heartworms and a temperature that was so high it went right off the thermometer.

It didn't look good and they kept him there for a few hours while we went to do Elaine's grocery shopping. Belize City is a bustling, noisy town with some lovely old buildings. Unfortunately it has a bad reputation for violence and crime. The streets are lined with street vendors selling everything from corn on the cob and tamales to roasted cashews and wedges of watermelon to beads and hats. The supermarket was well stocked and we met friends of Leon as we walked the aisles. Sugar, flour and other similar foods were bagged in plain plastic bags, obviously individually packaged from bulk stores. Everything necessary for basic living was available.

We did our chores, which included checking email and went for lunch. Typical young person, Leon suggested a pizza! Not to disappoint him we went but along with the pizza the restaurant had a variety of Belizean food and even he chose not to have pizza.

When we got back to the vet, Dr. Jane Crawford who was trained in Cuba, told us that she hadn't been able to identify the infection that was causing the temperature but that we could take him home. If he recovered, he would need ongoing preventative care. Leon was almost in tears, poor kid.

We have since learned that King has recovered and is doing fine. But we now have shares in a bull terrier in Belize!

In Gale's Point, everyone has a business and one of our favorites is the icecream maker. Hand-made, old-fashioned made with evaporated milk, we tasted soursop, papaya-mango and chocolate. But boy, you have to eat it fast or it ends up as a drink in the little plastic cup! It became the place to go in the late afternoon.

That night was cashew wine night at Mr. Gentle's. Good, but again very sweet.

Early the next morning, before we left we went for a walk and saw one of our favorite people. Egbert is a rasta with dreads and also missing some teeth. He has a garden that he is very proud of and we came away with a papaya, soursop and a custard apple that he grew.I can remember having a big custard apple tree where I grew up and there were always old cars, in various stages of repair parked under it. He was so sweet and told us he would help build us a house when we come back!

Ok, so we finally decide that we must get on the road and load everything up into the little red car, say fond farewells and head down to Emmeth's drum school for a few more pictures. Little did I know that Susan had picked up the rhythms the night before and before I knew it she had the sticks and was playing! And Emmeth joined in, improvising until she finally lost it! When Emmeth heard it was Susan's 50th Birthday, he sang a full calypso version of Happy Birthday, much to her delight! It's not everyone who gets her own version of that perennial song!


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