Hideaway Caye

Building a Dream














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7/20/2009   OK. I know it's been awhile.  Alot has happened.  Remember we got wood.  So it arrives and we start throwing it off the truck.  Well, the boys I am pretty sure the females do not throw around wood here.  The next day Dustin and Chris take a load of wood out to the island, while Kelli and I stayed back and cut the decking with the jigsaw.  First of all we got strange looks because we were using power tools, second it was Sunday, you don't work on Sunday.  Kelli and I were finished in no time.  We waited and waited for the boys to come back.  Finially about 4:00 they surface.  They overloaded the boat me then they had expected.  It took them 3 hours to get to the island and about the same to get back.  They were fried and exhausted, but the wood was there.  We sat and waited out one weather system to the next to pass threw, which didn't bring us anything but rain.  Until, one night we had what was called a "Bay-ah-ma".  We have been warned of these systems.  The locals call them naked man nights.  It means in the middle of the night you are outside naked reanchoring your boats.  It is a storm system that comes off the mountains of Honduras a sweeps down into Belize.  The air got really cold really fast and the wind turned to the South West.  As soon as the wind switched Dustin threw out a second anchor.  The wind picked up to 50 knots and the rain came down in sheets.  Everyone was dragging all around the anchorage.  Thank god we stayed put, but our neighbor just about grug into us.  We could use a new paint job if he has good insurance.  We surveyed the scene in the morning, every boat was in a different place, and the fuel dock was gone.  What the earthquake started the storm finished.  So we now had that experience and would rather not again.  So time kept on going and we are still looking for a boat.  God bless Craig's List of E-bay but it is not quite as much as an adventure.  First we take a boat trip to Monkey River, not the boat.  Then Dustin takes a tour of the lagoon and talks to some people, no go.  Then we randomly walk up to a guy with a boat turned ovewr in his yard, no go.  Then we take a van ride up the pennisula, no go, but my very favorite is Dustin comes home and says he is taking a scooter ride up the pennisula to Seine Bight to look at a boat.  He wasn't back for hours, that may be the boat.  So that's where we are with that.  So finially last Wednesday we got to go out to the island.  We loaded the sailboat with more wood and we were off.  We got to the island and offloaded a pick ax, posthole digger, wood, levels, squares, saw, chain saw, 2 drills, gringers, screws, bolts and "The Mangler".  Keep in mind everyday you have to bring all this stuff back to the boat or they will be someone elses tools tomorrow.  Anyway "The Mangler" is a 8 by 8 that is attached to 4 long pieces of wood and held together by rebarb built by Dustin and Chris to pick up and drop down on the piling to force it into the ground.  I am so happy to have it off the boat.  I was very close to having it mangle me.  So by the time everything was out to the Island, Dustin had changed his mind which way he wanted the walkways to go.  Before they were a straight line, now they are snaking threw the mangroves.  Which is prettier but that means pounding piling around the trees.  So after much stareing, the first hole was dug, the piling was placed in place, the saw horses were set "The Mangler was in place, and let's mangle was announced.  It was amazing the way "The Mangler" worked.  The pilings were 10 feet long and 5 feet were buried.  Four piling went up in one day, 6 piling were up by the second day.  The stringers were put up and by this time I was sick of being tool girl or standing and holding the generator.  By the time the decking was set in place, I wanted to play with power tools.  I got my hands on the drill and got dirty looks.  He says " Do you know what your doing?"  Of course I say " YES!".  Because you know I have built so many other Islands it's old hat.  So immediatly I drill my first hole and break my first drill bit, more dirty looks.  I counter sunk the screw and drilled in the screw and stripped the screw head.  I was pretty sure all power tools were going to be taken out of my hand, but he let me proceed.  Kelli and I got a good rythm going, we only broke 2 bits and stripped 4 screws.  I think that's good.  We were all out of pilings and beer so it was time to go home.  Before we left on Saturday morning we decided we deserved a break.  We decided to snorkel.  Kelli and Chris used their Hooka Rig, while Dustin and I went old school.  I have to tell you straight out I was petrified.  I have watched Jaws one to many times.  The Isalnd goes from 4 feet to 60 feet just like that.  After sitting in the lagoon in the dingy, with much coaxing I got in the water.  We snorkeled in the lagoon for a bit, we saw lobster, huge coral heads, big starfish and other kinds of fish.  Then we got to the shelf, no way.  We are talking straight down, CRAZY.  All I pictured is something big rushing up at me.  I dillied and I dallied, until Kelli and Chris got close to us.  The engine on the Hooka was loud and they were diving all the way down on the shelf.  So, I figured they were deeper if the shark was coming up he would be full till he got to me.  What are friends for.  I would have been really mad at myself if I had not gone all the way around.  It was crazy, we noticed some big cracks that had no sediment or fish life and realized it was damage to the reef from the earthquake, all the way out there.  So that was our adventure and we were back in Placencia in 4 hours.  We will wait to haul another load of wood and we will be back to the grind.  Right now Dustin left with money in hand to buy a boat.  Who knows when he will be back.

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9/30/2009     I have spent the last week in so many different states, sleeping in different campsites or hotels that I wake up not knowing where I am.  We went through 3 states in 1 day, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisana.  We spent 2 nights in Louisana.  The first at St Bernard Perish State Park.  They really put the place back together, it was hit by Katrina hard.  St Bernard Parish itself is brand new, all new houses and stores.  The old ones still stand ready to be knocked down.  Going through New Orleans itself was an eye opener.  Most things in downtown are still in the state of disrepair, things they don't show you on the news.  The road system is horriable.  I understand they got bigger fish to fry in Louisana but seriously.  Have you ever been thrown around while sitting on a seat in a school bus.  Well, I have.  At this point the roads in Central America do not scare me.  Louisana please pave your roads!  The second night we spent at Sam Houston State Park, which is close to the border of Texas.  We spent the night watching the baby racoons try to invade us.  We met our neighbors, which were very interesting folk from the low country of Louisana.  Gotta love the south.  The next day we finially reached the border of Texas.  This is the part of the trip I wasn't really looking forward to.  We spent our first night at Galvaston Island State Park.  The park was not much since they pretty much got taken off the map last year during hurricane Ike.  You should have known there was a problem when the sign when you entered the park said "No there is no shade and yes we have bugs.  NO REFUNDS"  We pulled up and there was no electricity at our site.  No big deal we were on the beach, who needs AC.  There was a nice breeze and no trees to block it which also meant there won't be many bugs.  HAHAHAHAHA!!!  In the last weeks I have slept in The Everglades, by a marshy lake in Tallahassee and the low country of Louisana and never in my life have I ever seen mosquitos like this.  I had bites on top of bites.  We even went down to the water and stood knee deep, they were still biting us.  We put up the mosquito net to sleep under and they still got in.  So far, Texas was not my cup of tea.  As soon as we could leave in the morning, we did.  We drove out of GalvastonIsland and saw some beautiful oil rigs dotting the horizon of The Gulf.  We were headed to the next state park on Padre Island.  We were no more then 30 miles out of Galvaston when the bus started making some horriable noise, so we had to pull over.  We lost all the oil!  Why?  Didn't quite know.  So here we sit on the side of a highway.  We aren't quite sure where we where or how we are going to get out of there.  I did find the roadside assistance number but no one answered.  We finially got ahold of police dispatch to find us a tow truck.  This was going to be some tow truck.  Well, Binitz (that's Texas for :being that is is) a Sunday and all it is going to cost you alittle more.  Well, what else were we going to do.  The tow truck, monster truck showed up and the driver was as nice as he could be.  He towed us to his yard and then took us to find a hotel.  Again, people in the south are very nice.  This would have happened in any place else.  They would have wanted the money first towed your car and let you stand there till a cab showed up.  We spent that night in the booming town of Clute, Texas.  There claim to fame is The New Texas Mosquito Festival.  And rightly so!!!  The mosquitos are no joke here either.  At this point every bite I get makes me want to cry.  Texas makes my feet itchy.  The next morning Dustin goes to check on the bus.  He comes back with a somber face and asks how I like Clute Texas because we were staying awhile.  It was a good thing he said he was kidding right away because I was about to hitchhike to the airport.  A bolt had come loose so it had to be put back on a tightened, no problem.  We were off.  We got back on the road and stopped for diesil and it happened again, we lost the oil.  Dustin called the mechanic that worked on the bus and he came 30 miles out of his way to fix it again.  Who do you know that would come out of there way and not charge you?  This day we finially made it out of the area.  We had to stop every 50 miles or so to check on the status of the bolt but that's ok.  That night we spent in Corpus Cristi.  By the time we got to where we wanted to be, all the state parks were closed.  So we got a motel by the water.  Little did we know we were in the hood.  We were both pretty sure when we woke up and went out to the bus there would be graffitti all over it.  All was fine though.  It would really piss me off if we came all this way and I got shot in Corpus Cristi.  Now off we went, to the border.  We drove through roads that we saw no one for miles.  There were no towns just farmland for miles and miles.  The clouds looked pretty ominous.  I was sure we were going to be in the middle of a Texas twister.  I don't know why, but it was comforting to see the billboards on the road change from english to spanish.  We went on the long haul out to South Padre Island.  We will spend a few days here so Dustin can relax from driving all that way and we needed some beach time.  South Padre has a long beautiful beach and I miss the water.  So, we will head to the border tomorrow or the next day.  The trip is half way done!!!

10/14/2009     If you believe even half of the story I am about to share with you then that suits me.  I am not sure I believe it myself.  We did our 72 hours in Texas.  The last night being in the compound of the transmigrant yard.  As I sat in the room enjoying some Spanish TV Dustin flys in throws me the keys to the bus and says he has to go.  He takes off in a Mustang heading for god knows where.  I sit and wait and wait for him to come back.  Hey if your going to abandon someone Los Indios Texas would be the place to do it.  After hours though he comes back not without a story.  The story has to do with a catfish.  While standing and talking in broken Spanish/English Dustin learned that our names have been tagged before going across the border.  Meaning, we have never driven through Mexico and they were not going to let us do it, alone anyway.  They were going to make us pay $600 for a guardian to drive with us all the way through Mexico.  He would have to stay on the bus with us, yeah right!!  Good thought that Dustin told me none of this before he took off.  He left with a guy named Miguel (which is another story) to go to other transmigrant offices to see if anyone else was driving to Belize.  As good fortune has it, the first place he stopped he asked the guy at the desk.  Why, yes, they were out in the back.  There sat 3 Belizians, one named Catfish, the other Gonzalo and the last Harold.  I will now refer to them as our guardian angels.  Dustin met them and asked them what they were driving.  They pointed to 3 school buses parked in the yard.  You thought we were being original.  One bus was towing another bus, one towing a truck and the other a car.  They bring buses down from the USA to fix up and sell to the bus lines in Belize.  Anyway, they agreed to be our guardian and drive with us thru Mexico.  All the paper work was done and we met them at the line at the border.  This is how it works at the border.  You get in line with your vehicle.  This day was busy so there were 3 lines.  It was completely amazing to me the amount of shit these people bring into the country (i.e.: The front of a tractor trailer pulling 3 other of the same or a box truck with a car inside pulling a trailer with a car on it while towing a car).  Once again we thought we were original but there were a slew of buses.  I have to say ours looked the best.  Anyway, so your in line the officer comes around and checks your Vin # once she is thru the whole line of cars you are dismissed and the whole line goes.  Here is where Miguel comes in.  A new rule anyone driving over the bridge to the other side of the border needs to have an agent drive them over the border.  In comes Miguel.  The bridge is about maybe 3 football fields across, a bunch of bull ,I'd say so, at the going rate of $100.  The kicker is Miguel has only worked there 3 weeks and has never driven a school bus.  Getting off the subject.  We get through the border hit Mexico, Miguel gets out and we are stopped to see our papers.  "Que! un piqune Espanol" this becomes the theme, meaning "What I only speak a little spanish"  Well, there Spanish is telling us we are not getting past this point.  The only rule was : Follow catfish but catfish was gone.  After about two hours of back and forth our guardian angel returned.  In the long run we had to buy ourselves into Mexico.  At this rate we would be broke before the Belize border.  We cleared customs and immigration, the bus got sprayed with pesticides and we bought our auto insurance.  Off we went.  We followed catfish.  Needless to say we stuck out, we were pulled over at every check point in the north for lack of tan.  At one point catfish finially said "Tell them I have all the money!".  This was day one and at about 9:00 we finially stopped at a rest stop, ate and slept.  At this point I must tell you that I have slept at some of the finer truck stops in Mexico.  I have seen more Mexican hookers then I care to remember.  Every time we got out of the bus at a truck stop I stayed close, being I was the only female at the truck stop that was not a hooker.  Day 2 started at 6:00, you know that this was no doing of ours.  We were breaking the #1 cardinal rule: Do not drive at night on the roads in Mexico.  Day 2 proceeded with 2 check points and only a few pesos changing hands.  It is quite an eye opener to pull up to a check point and have machine guns all over the place.  Day 2 seemed to be a bust when we had to stop at a welder to get the alternator welded back on.  Also, Harold needed some welding done to keep the truck he was pulling in place.  So the day started at 6:00 and ended at about 10:00 or so.  Once again some food and some interesting accomadations.  Making up for time the next day we arose at 4:00.  Let's not forgot about tolls.  The roads are all toll roads with no rhyme or reason the price of them.  It seemed to be the more the toll the worse the road.  Mexico's roads suck and don't let anyone tell you different.  All of this time and crappy roads the kayaks on the roof are holding strong until about half way through.  Harold was behind us and sick of watching them go back and forth, so we through them in another bus.  This day brought another snag.  The problem we had in Texas reaccured, but worse.  The bolt came off at a check point with military guys and machine guns.  There was no way we were stopping.  We went on but ended up messing it up even worse.  Let me tell you how unpleasant I have become to be with at this point.  The solution was obvious.  It was not fixable, not here anyway.  We had a spare bus.  Our guardain angels unbolted the one bus and bolted our bus in its place.  After a few hours we are on our way.  This bus was not quite the lap of luxary like my beauty.  But we persisted on.  Here was the deal, the next day was Friday.  If we did not make it to the border by 3:00 Friday we were stuck.  The border was closed on Saturdays and Sundays and Monday was a holiday.  I did not want to spend my birthday in Mexico.  That night we spent in the finest hooker infested truck stop.  Again we were off at 4:00.  We were on schedule to make it to the border by 2:00.  It was about 20 miles to go and the tire blew.  Of course, there was a revene to one side but with Dustin's fancy bus driving skills and about 3000 miles under his belt he remained in control.  The tire shreaded and we left our mark on the roads in Mexico.  We look around and there are no guardian angels in sight.  Catfish in front is gone.  The 2 buses in back are nowhere to be seen.  Dustin get out and walks to find catfish.  We have no tools to fix it, it's not our bus.  He is gone over the hill.  One bus wizzes by and the other is nowhere.  Finially, help arrives.  The tire was fixed and we are in a race.  We reached Chetmal in good time.  It was like vultures.  Everyone wanting to make a buck rushes you.  Somehow someone made off with our passports to cancel our visa.  Thank god, he brought them back but wanted money.  This ends up in a fight which I believed had a lot to do with next events.  Customs would not let the bus come through.  The bus had to leave the way it came in, under it's own power and untowed.  They said we could get a tow truck for 20,000 pesos.  I would have push this bus across the line before that happened.  After they realized we were not budging they finially let us thru.  Ahhhhh!  How attitudes changed from 100 yards away.  Belize baby!!!!!!  We pull in and sit around until the customs agent gets to us.  It was pleasant and not as expensive as we had thought.  We weren't home yet.  We had 3 more hours until Belize City.  It was dark, it rained but we pulled in around 8:00.  The bus was towed into Truck Parts in Belize City where it would be fixed but not tonight.  We had the pleasure of staying with Catfish and his family.  They opened there home to us and it was beautiful.  We slept a death sleep after we realized we had about 10 hours of sleep in the last few days.  When we woke we found out the bus wouldn't get fixed today.  So we raced to get the bus to get back to Placencia as fast as possible, 5 hours later we were home.  We picked up Ashley and turned to find a place to stay.  We ended up Harry's and it was nice to have my dog laying on may lap while I had a nice cold Belikin.  At this point let me stop and say that the next morning Ashley Petey Ingersoll passed away.  She started having seizures and never stopped.  I believe that she waited for us to get home to spend her last couple hours with us.  She was the best boat dog ever and probably has more tales of high seas adventures then most people.  She will be very missed.  All in all we are home but pretty sad.  Dustin is picking up the bus today in Belize Cityand we now know that he can have a great furture in transporting buses to Belize.  I am out, the trip wasn't exacly like the brochure made it out to be.  We will go and get the boat on Friday.  Everything will come together and we can start the building process again.

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12/08/2009   Sorry it has been so long but there have been times that we have been so busy and other times that there has been nothing to write.  We have had an interesting couple months of learning experiences.  What I have learned the most is patience.  Mostly I learned I do not have any.  I am trying!  Early in November we decided to take a trip to Spanish Lookout.  Spanish Lookout is a plateau on the top of the Mayan Mountains.  This is where most of the farming is done.  It is also where the milling is done.  It is home to the Mennonites and they are who build the Monnonite houses.  Duh, who else would build them?  Anyway, that is your geography lesson for today.  We decided to go and price the houses and see if we could have them built for us.  We left in the bus early in the morning.  We rocked and rolled and shook all the way down the road of Placencia.  The road is only paved for 10 miles up the pennisula then it is pure dirt and rock awaiting paving.  To not brake the bus completely we can do about 5 miles an hour.  You learn after the first time you fall over to sit down and hold on.  You know not to talk because with everything rattling you can't hear each other.  This is the adventure you get to if we pick you up from the airport.  If you are not that adventurous take the puddle jumper but your missing out.  Anyway, it takes about 5 hours to get to Spanish Lookout so we immediatly looked for a place to spend the night, it was getting dark fast and we were in the heart of the jungle.  We did happen upon a campground, yes, a campground.  It was complete with facilities and a bar.  Now how much more perfect is that and we were parked right next to another school bus.  In the morning we headed into the town of Spanish Lookout.  Amazingly enough, Spanish Lookout reminds me of the farming towns of Pennsylvania.  Kind of like Lancaster County.  It is very hilly, green and lush and spread out.  The only difference is they found oil here a couple years ago, so, they have a chimney several 100 feet high with a huge fireball blazing on top all the time.  Oh, how pretty.  We visited 2 different builders, one was a standard house that we could not change the design of the next was so expensive we could only afford half the house.  We kind of walked away with faded spirits but there were other places.  Our time was short that day because we had to pick up a load of wood for a friend down the road.  You really confuse people when you go to the mill to pick up wood in a school bus.  Especially when you have to pass the wood over the bed to get it on the floor.  The other thing about having a bus is when you go down the pennisula you have to pick people up when they wave at you or otherwise you feel like a jerk.  It really seems to confuse the people when they get on the bus especially when it is stacked high with wood.  We reached home and took a look out to the harbor and the boat is rockin and rollin.  For the next few days this keeps happening.  No sleep was had for several nights because the boat was pitch poling.  The last straw was when we were eating lunch and the boat started pitch poling so hard the cabinets started opening and things started flying out at us.  We crossed the Yucatan Channel without those drawers budging.  This was rather ridiculous.  So we broke down and went to a dock.  There are not many to be found around here and none quite as plush and friendly as CoCo Plum Yacht Club.  We are now docked at Placencia Yacht Club.  Now some of you would say "wow" a yacht club but besides us the only other members are the sandflys and the raccoons.  We do get to plug in and you know what that means, refrigeration"  Whoohoo.  We immediatly went to go change out refrigerators from the cheap home depot fridge to the really expensive RV propane fridge that we brought from the states.  We decided to opt out of the propane part of the fridge for it scared the crap out of me to leave the propane on all the time.  It was also AC so we could plug it in.  It was in place and the electrical cord was run we plugged it in and...........nothing!!!!!  It was so anti-climactic.  I knew nothing else to do but cry.  We called Norcold, they said to bring it to your nearest dealer.  Right, that would probably be somewhere right inside the Texas border.  We had one more option.  We called the local repair guy.  One would think this wouldn't help but you are wrong.  He told us we had to burp our fridge.  Yes, I said burp.  You have to turn it upside down for a half hour then back up for another half hour and then turn it on.  Sure as shit it worked.  I had ice cubes in my drink made by my freezer that night.  I will have you know still till this day all I have in that fridge is beer ice cubes bread and juice.  I will also have you know that since we moved to a dock it has been flat calm in the harbor.  Moving on.  The next week we were back up to Spanish Lookout to get more prices.  We came upon Mid-West Lumber.  He listened to what we wanted, told us to draw a plan and come back tomorrow.  No problem.  We stayed another night in the campground and awoke to cows at our doorstep.  We sat down with our new builder and discussed prices and options and he seemed to be willing to do anything we wanted.  We went back to Placencia happy with what we had accomplished.  We picked up some random people on the road and headed for home.  That night was an interesting one.  I lived in the mangroves in Marathon, spent time in the Everglades and the swamps of Louisana but never in my life have I seen no-see-ums like that night.  I even made new screens to keep them out.  That night we scratched and itched so bad I thought we were going into anafalactic shock.  When I woke up in the morning they were all over our sheets and swarming on the screens on the inside.  I didn't think we could stay.  We paid rent but I wanted to flee, fast and far.  That was when we made the best discovery of our lives, Mosquito Coils.  They work, they really really work.  We can now live here mostly in peace.  Except for the raccoons.  We left the boat the one night and I forgot to shut the side port.  We came home to the screen pushed out and the bread and tortilla bags empty and laying on the deck.  Thank god, they just reached in. I don't know what we would have done if they were still in the boat when we got there.  We get visited by them frequently.  Mostly, I find footprints on the boat in the morning. Sometimes, we see eyes peering at us in the late evening and they run away screaming.  One night, they pooped in my cup.  Now that is personal!  How rude!  Anyway, we had decided to go with Mid-West lumber and have them build the Cabanas and the Main House, just the shells and we would finish the rest.  We sent our payment off and amazingly I didn't feel as sick as I should about sending that payment.  That was what it was all about.  Building was to start right away.  We were told we would have houses by Christmas.  I would have a place to put my Christmas Tree.  I probably wouldn't be able to use the lights on it, though.  Work was actually supposed to start on Thanksgiving Day.  That kind of struck us both funny.  Thankgiving would be one year to the day of our premature departure of our bartending jobs.  Of course, they did not start on the day specified but this is where patience comes in.  Last week was a big week, though.  Our boat finially got registered.  We started on a Monday and the paperwork was finially done by Thursday.  They did not bring the paperwork to change the name of the boat, so, the old name had to be put back on.  A little spray paint and some fancy finger-painting and we christen her The Captain Joe, again.  But that is not all.  We took the builders out to see the Key.  It was November full moon and high tide.  I don't think thay were prepared to be ankle deep in water but "no problem, we can do that!"  Thursday, supplies were brought out and by Sunday the pilings for the first cabana were in place.  The holes for the main house were being dug.  The pilings are 6x6 16 foot hard wood pilings weighing about 400 pounds a piece.  Two guys carried 1 piling at a time off the boat and through the mangroves.  They are jet washed into the ground about 6 feet, the houses will be 10 feet tall but you could do that math.  We are here on land awaiting another mangler so we can resume work on the walkways for the termites took mangler #1 away from us.  By the time we get back to the Key we will have decking on the first cabana so we can have a panoramic view of the Key.  Who knows we may even have walls.

1/26/2010
It has been over 1 1/2 months since the last time I have updated.  Things are moving along at a rapid rate.  If I did not say so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  The holidays are very wild here.  They last for 2 weeks and they are painful.  Christmas Day was a different one for us.  After we opened our presents which consisted of random items for the island (Dustin got condiment containers and I got tupperware) we went for a boat ride with some random tourists.  The water was flat calm and gorgeous, so, we got the brillant idea to get the tube out of the bus (Yes, we have evereything in that bus) and go tubing.  The kids had a blast.  Me on the other hand realized tubing ends at about 25 years of age.  For the first minute it's fun for the rest of the time it is just painful torture.  I didn't fall off I was to scared to.  After watching all the boys, including Dustin, lose their pants we called it a day and brushed off all of our bruises.  New Year's Eve was a another story.  We had no plans but decided we had to celebrate the past year that had brought us so much.  So, we did!  I am not really sure what happened but I know we got hijacked.  We had to rescue a stolen boat at about 1:00 in the morning.  The whole process was promised to take about a half hour.  Not long into this journey I realized I had no business being on this boat mission so I closed my eyes laid down and tried not to get sick. After the men with machine guns helped push us off the sandbar they unhandcuffed some of the boys and we took them home.  We arrived home at about 3:30. Just when you think the holidays are over next comes Boxing Day.  I don't even know what Boxing Day is but you don't want to be rude and not celebrate it, so we did.  Now, One might think this is all fun and games but between the bad weather and the wind (record low temperatures over the holidays) we were hard at work.  The cabana has progressed rapidly.  Those boys work fast.  They are amazing to watch.  They never brought a ladder with them.  Now remember, the house is 10 feet off the ground.  They just shimmied up the poles and walked on the 2 inch cross braces to put the floor on.  They built the walls on the ground and hoisted them up 10 feet.  I think they have done this once or twice before.  The main house is coming into form.  Saturday I stood in what will be my kitchen.  I did a cartwheel in it.  If anyone has ever seen the galley in the boat they would know my excitement.  I will have a double sink that the dishes will fit in and you will have plenty of headroom so not to knock yourself out while doing the dishes.  Now, Dustin has no excuse.  Of course, the appliances are still a figment of my imagination.  Dustin and I have been busy also.  Yes, we are working, we don't just watch other people work.  We have solved our garbage problem.  We built a big sandbox to throw everything in.  I started on one corner of the island and started to collect all the garbage and haul it to the sandbox.  The next day I come back and poof more garbage in the same place, job security.  High tide and I are going to fight.  I know who is going to win!  It will look good once there is sand on top of it, right now it is just a beautiful trash pile.  We are still slaving away at the walkway.  It goes pretty fast when everything comes together.  Lately, we have had a monkey wrench thrown at us everyday.  We get so far on the walkway then something breaks or we run out of something (i.e. Threaded rod, screws for the decking, nuts and washers, grinding wheels and patients).  This is where you all stand corrected that owning an island is as glamorous as you may think.  Dustin jokes that this is all just a sick joke to see how much I can take. Some days I think it is the truth.  The kicker was the engine.  It took a crap on us and needed to be repaired.  This would have left us out of commission for a few days.  Dustin was at the dock of Yoli's waiting for the repairmen (aka Dougie) when a bunch of kids rode up to the dock selling fish.  Looking all sad and rundown Dustin took a look at their shiney engine.  The engine was a 50 hp four stroke.  In laymen's terms it burned less gas and you didn't have to put 2 cycle oil in it.  Anyway, it was for sale.  He did some figuring and even though it was costly in the long run it was worth it.  So, they went home and came back on Monday with the engine.  Here is a good one, if you take any signifigant amount of money out of the bank they ask you what you want it for.  I was half tempted to tell them drugs, what business is it of theirs.  Anyway, back to the engine.  The boys take the engine off their boat, took the engine off our boat and put it on our boat.  The boys and Dustin walk to the justice of the peace to get the paperwork signed over.  Just as the JP was about to stamp it the cops bust in and take the boys away. The boys yelled to Dustin to call their dad.  Someone tiped the cops off that it was stolen.  I am still sitting back at the boat with the stolen engine on it and I catch wind of this when the kids came back in their shiney new handcuffs.  Dustin is nowhere to be found and basically because the engine is on our boat we are in posession of stolen property.  The police ordered the boats were not to be touched until this was sorted out.  The cop asked me what paperwork the boys had given us, all I could say was " I have nothing to do with this!".  Dustin finially walks up nonchalantly, like nothing, as I am freakin out.  Most of you have probably seen this scene before, me freakin out and Dustin living by his motto "It'll be fine".  The boys had to change the engine back and off they were hauled.  Now, the father keeps calling us telling us the engine is legal the paperwork is on it's way down, then he asked if he could borrow $500 to bail the boys out, what!!!!  Well, to make a long story short, the engine was legit but the boys had to spend the night in jail.  The father wanted to charge us more the engine because of their trouble, I don't think so.  We have the engine and that is how you buy an engine in Belize.  Our poor boat "Captain Joe" if it could tell a story.  It will have it's own chapter in my book.  Yesterday and today Dustin has been taking the thatch guys back and forth to bring the poles and the leaves for the main houses thatch roof (6842 leaves to be exact).  I was thrown off the crew of this mission.  The boat was loaded 3 feet over the sides with poles, leaf and people.  Yesterday was 2 trips back and forth today will be 2 or 3.  Not so bad, but we got a cold front last night so the wind is blowing.  This is one time I was happy to hear that it wasn't girls work.  The builders will be done with their work and thatch by next week.  It is all us after that.  It is really turning out to be beautiful.  We sat on the mangroves the other day while the water was flat calm and watched all the fish swim by.  It really is an amazing place.  I hope soon we can start to share it with other people.

5/24/2010     I know, I know, it has been quite a bit of time between updates.  I have to let you know beforehand that if any of you remember Dustin's motto "It'll be fine" it has changed.  The new motto is "If you are gonna be dumb, you better be tough".  It has been a rough one but the Ingersoll's always find the humor in it all, at least after the fact.  The cabana and main house are complete from the outside (pictures are in accomadations and restaurant bar).  We have started to stay out at the Caye for 4 or 5 days at a time.  Right away, I started to paint the houses, every wooden louvre, every nook and crannie.  Till this day I am still at it and the joke of it all is where I started is now starting to fade, already.  HA!!  We have had guests, nonpaying of course.  Friends have stopped by while they were sailing by or out fishing.  The great thing about cruisers is that they bring their own beer and it's imported.  Imported meaning from Guatamala, Hondorus or Mexico, here in Belize we only have one brand of beer, so when you get something different you appreciate it more then you will every know.  I have actually seen people drinking Budweiser or Keystone light and I have ambushed them to see where they got it from. Oh, when someone asks you Bud or Budlight, don't bitch you have one more choice then we do.  We have finially finished the main walkway, all 300 ft.  Yes, a football field of hard wood.  No sooner were we finished with every corner that goes around every tree for 300 ft, we put in an order for 70 more feet of wood, 1000 board feet.  Yes, we are a glutten for punishment.  I was supposed to do cartwheels all the way down the walkway but I will get to that.  A little something about getting legal.  Of course we check-in every month with immigration but on top of that to open the Caye we need our work permits.  So, we had a meeting at immagration or so we thought.  We drive one hour to Dangregia and go to immigration to meet a guy who, of course, was not there.  So, we talk to the guy on hand.  Unbelievably we had almost all of our paperwork, except for our letter or recommendation from village council.  Now, I know what you are thinking "What village?"  Yeah well, that is where it will get technical I suppose, the jury is still out on that one.  Anyway,  we ran all around the town all to figure out that this was not getting done today.  Well, honestly, I knew that before we left.  Which is ok because, we went to this awesome junk store that had everything.  We spent our money for our work permits on a butane refrigerator for the Caye.  So, instead of coming home with our work permits we came home with a frig a bucket and steak knives.  That is an Ingersoll road trip.  We got a weeks reprieve during Easter when our friends went out of town and we had to watch their house.  We were living it up in the lap of luxary.  We had a house with constant running water, hot or cold you could choose!!!! We had cable, internet, a washing machine and Wii.  Boy do I suck at every single game on Wii!  So, for the first couple days it was cool, then it just became utterly rediculous.  Southern cable has 125 channels and we still watched movies from the 80's (i.e. Sixteen Candles, The 3 Amigos, Ferris Bueler's Day Off). We also threw in Seinfeld, Friends and Cheers reruns.  We have not seen TV for a year and that's is what we pick.  So, we are not really missing anything.  The highlights of Easter were the beach.  Everyone said Easter is crazy, so we took a walk to the beach.  Now, I believe!!  Usual days, you can walk on the beach and see a few people here and there.  This peticular day people were elbow to elbow, not that they were in the water because it was blowing like snot.  I swear that Guatamala let out and they were all on the beach in Placencia.  It was time to retreat back to the safety of the house and do something fun like do wash in a washing machine.  For those of you who have been spoiled enough to have a washing machine all your life or even a laundrymat you do not know how good you have it.  I used to do the wash in a bucket with a plunger as an aggitater.  I now still do it in a bucket but use my feet as an aggitator.  Don't worry they are clean, sad ain't it? So, on a good rainy day you can see us sorrounded by bubbles because I never get them all out.  Oh yeah, the other highlight.  I got to watch a new episode of South Park.  Sad ain't it?  Anyway, it was back to work when our friends came back. I think a funny thing to throw in here is a phone call we got sometime in May.  If any of you remember Dustin's Key's cruiser you will know how good of friends he had become with the good guys at NAPA.  Well, Dustin got a call from Ken at NAPA to see how things are going and it just made us happy to know that people are still thinking of us.  We in the midst of all of this wanted a dog to take out to the Caye with us just for a little protection.  Not that we are in a bad neighborhood but it is just nice to have.  Our friend told us we could take one of her dogs with us when we go.  He is tied up under her house all the time and is alittle unstable, but he has taken a liking to us since he was a puppy.  He is about a year old now, about 110 lbs and his name is Lucky.  He is also deeply in need of a girlfriend which keeps him on the crazy side.  He got out to the Caye and was a completely different dog.  He was fun to have around.  He learned how to run over mangroves, swim after sticks, the only backwards thing is he took garbage OUT of the garbage pile.  Only if we could teach him to pick it up and put it in the garbage pile.  Needless to say we had grown attached to this dog.  He was alot of fun.  I say WAS because one night while making dinner I found a rancid potato and tried to throw it in the garbage pile.  If you know my aim you know I missed, hit the thatch and it came down right infront of Lucky.  Well, he picked it up and moved it then walked away.  I went in to go throw it again and there he was.  Apparently he was not finished with it.  He bit my hand and I could not pull away.  Ridgebacks are ment to hunt Lions so this was no little bite.  Needless to say I needed stitches.  I was alittle stubborn and did not want to go to shore while the wind was gusting, it was overcast so no moon and go through the reef but it had to be done.  I would like to say I was playing it cool but I have never seen the inside of my hand before so I was freakin out a bit.  We were off to our friend Winston's house where the doctor was going to meet us.  I got 8 stitches, antibiotics and pain pills.  I know what you would say about medical things in a 3rd world country but where would a doctor come out at 9 at night for a house call stitch up your hand give you drugs and only bill you $75 while telling you that you can have a couple drinks tonight and start the anti-biotics tomorrow,  NICE!!  So needless to say Lucky went home the next day never to return t the Caye again.  I was a little incapacitated for awhile so that is why I have not done my cartwheels down the walkway, yet.  The next time we went to the Caye all I could do was paint.  It hit us hard that Lucky wasn't there to get in our way but we could not trust him anymore.  I took the stitches out about 2 weeks ago, and the wind has been howling ever since.  I am sure mother nature hates us.  Our new wood order came about a week ago and we have only been able to take 2 trips to get it out there and that isn't even half.  When the wind died we had engine problems and guess what the part was on back order.  I don't know what back order means in Belize but that could be a lifetime.  No worries we jimmy-rigged it and are waiting for friends to come back from Guatamala to bring us the part.  Now, I know you are all wondering how far along are you?  When will you open?  The answer is "I don't know!"  We have come so far it has been so long and we are trying.  We are fighting the odds, the weather, the late deliveries and everything else that is thrown our way.  Sometimes pep talks from each other don't help.  Maybe, if you are reading this, then you can remind us of why we are doing this. I know if it was easy then everyone would be doing it.  We are now house/dog sitting for our friends yet again.  So, we have another second hand dog to take to the Caye with us and when we get back to land we rigged our boat with cable from their house and air conditioning.  We are styling.  So, that is it for now and remember "If your gonna be dumb you better be tough".

8/20/2010
Yeah I know, I am getting bad at this.  All is going well.  Walkways are done, for now.  We completed 50ft of walkway that leads to the water to our dock.  It is the windy spot,the swimming spot, the spot to watch for shooting stars, the spot to watch glowing things float in at night and the spot to throw the dog the stick and see how far he swims.  It really is the coolest spot on the caye to just sit and stare.  We also finished 20ft feet of walkway going underneith the main house to Dustin's new and only ever storage shed to store the composting unit and the batteries  First things first, about this shed.  If you do not start out with a square platform you will also not have a square structure.  Upon completing it Dustin moved in and brought the nails.  Every tool has a nail to hang on.  Even the bag of nails has a nail to hang on.  He walks down there often to stare at his new space.  Now I could get everything out of my kitchen.  We also put in pilings and a platform to put up our water catchment.  We purchased a 300 gallon water tank and gutters.  It is nice buying things other then wood.  So the cistern is up on the platform and we had to hang the gutters.  Dustin thought he could hang out over the veranda to attach them to the roof but he forgot 1 thing.  He only has 2 hands, so we had to go for the ladder.  The roof is 2 stories up in the most amazing mud you have ever seen.  As he hung from the ladder I held onto his pants.  I don't know what that would have done if he fell.  He would have ended up in the mud pantsless.  Funny in theory.  So, it was all together gutters on and all there was to do was wait.  In the first night the tank filled up to half with minimal leaks.  Two more good rains and it was overflowing and the tank weighing about 2500lbs didn't bust thru the platform.  Of course, there is always time for play.  We celebrated our 2nd Lobsterfest here in Placencia.  It was quite an event.  This was the weekend that Tropical Storm Alex reared his ugly head.  We were out on the Caye and had every intention of leaving early.  Here, let me brake and tell you alittle about the weather updates in Belize.  We have a phone # we can call, usually cloudy with a chance of rain in the south and the hills, 10-20, small craft caution.  This is about how far you get.  They have one minute to talk and by the time then get to the tropical outlook it cuts off.  Okay, so as I said we had every intention of coming back but we were awoken by the phone, our friend Yoli who said get home, now.  Now was to late.  By the time we knew it it was blowing about 30 from the South, no go.  So here we were stuck with no 50 past the hour update on the weather channel but at least we had food.  So we did what anyone would do in this predictament, call John.  If you don't know John he is our great guru of everything and we knew even if we are 100's of miles away he would know.  He said exacly what happened small tropical storm and would pass by tomorrow.  Thanks John!  So here we were stuck but the scariest thing was sleeping under the thatch and watching it breath in and out as the wind would gust.  So, we slept in the kitchen.  I come to find out that it is a good thing for the thatch to breath.  Anyway, we made it to the mainland the next day the most beautiful clear day I have ever seen.  You could see all of the mountains in Honduras.  Lobsterfest was on as usual.  The fishing tournament was canceled but we got there to eat lobster watch the fire dancer and end with fireworks.  Now, that's a party!!!  But all in all the biggest baddest thing that has happened is (sit down) I now have a double sink.  Yes, 2 sides.  Dustin can pile all the dishes he wants in 1 side of the sink and I can use the other side.  If you have ever seen the sink in the boat you would understand my excitement.  We hooked up the foot pump to the water tank and like magic, water came out of the faucet.  Who knew?  I have the structure for my counters and bought a brand new stove.  It has 4 burners and can fit a turkey in the oven if I so choose.  I also have mahogney boards to use for counter tops.  So much counter space a new fridge and stove and sink.  Classy!  I am so moving up in the world.  So grown up.  Today, we were supposed to take the stove and the wood for the counter tops out to the Caye.  We packed it all up and were off.  We hit the cut and the first wave came over the side and my stove got wet.  Abort!  I just couldn't see my stove get hurt before I even used it.  The wind and waves will subside tomorrow and we will repack and try again.  All is coming along and morale is alot higher so start making your plans because this is really happening.




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7/30/2009  We got a boat.  Dustin came home on The other night not just buying the boat but having the past owner tow it around out of the lagoon to the front of Yoli's with Dustin and a bunch of little kids in it.  He always has a great way to make an enterance.  So now we have a boat, 6 hours to late.  The guy who gave us our captains licence tests is also the one who registers the boats.  Since he was here in the afternoon before we bought the boat we now have to fly him down again.  Now we need an engine.  The plan is to take the lobster truck that takes the fresh catch to Belize City and come back with a brand new engine.  What could go wrong.  Of couse the truck is not going this week.  Not enough lobster.  So we accomplished our captains license.  Call me captain Kim.  We also got a boat.  Wow sounds like progress, but we then realized we need money for the engine.  Go figure.  I thought it would be easy start a bank account and wire money into it.  Not so easy.  To start a bank account you need two letters of reference, from your other banks.  Saying what I don't know.  So I e-mailed my bank in the states.  They didn't know what to say.  Tell them I am nice to old people, how the heck am I suppose to know what to say.  I don't work in a bank.  I also need a permenant address, which is easy enough to make up, because everything is general post.  I also need a utility bill.  What?  Who am I supposed to ask for that the sun, it provides my power.  Wouldn't you think, I would be asking the bank for a letter of recommendation.  I am giving them my money.  So thus far no bank account, so no engine.  About yesterday, One would have thought it would have been a somewhat easy day.  Early in the morning we got on the Hokey Pokey.  Which is a water taxi that takes you from Placencia to Independance. We were goin to do our immigration and customs there.  Kelli and Chris were with us because Chris had to go to the clinic to get his eyes checked.  So we go our our little ride on the Hokey Pokey, which let me reinerate, it is bad ***.  We have to keep this clean because I am now aware my niece Mikayla reads this.  So here we are dropped Chris and Kelli at the clinic and we went to the police station for immigration.  You'll never guess, immigration was not there today.  They will be there tomorrow.  Well, our visas ran out that day.  The office in Dangregia was opened.  Kelli and Chris came out with a similar storey the eye clinic was open in Dangregia.  Guess what, we are off to Dangregia.  The taxi drops us at the bus station, and there we sit.  The bus didn't come for another hour and a half, and it took another hour and a half to get there.  Then i spot Dustin out of the corner of my eye talking to the taxi driver.  next thing you know we are in the taxi heading for Dangregia.  He is so good.  We reached Dangregia at lunch time, so we could do nothing but wait.  Immigration was fairly simple, got it done fast.  Next we went to a lawyers office.  never been in one of those places and not been in trouble.  We were there to change the title of our new boat over.  The guy who sold it to us never transfered it to his name, so it gets complicated.  Dangregia is the only lawyer in this part of the country.  So her assistant has to write an affidavit to change the title.  A paper we have to give to the Belize Port Authority when we fly them down, again.  You would think it wouldn't be that big a deal.  It is probably done all the time.  It took us an hour and a half.  The printer was not working so they had to send it off and a girl on a bike had to go and pick it up.  Finially, we were on our way back to Independance, record time 45 minutes.  Remember it was going to take 1 1/2 hours on the bus.  We made it just in time for customs.  So there you have it 3 big accomplishmnets in one day.  Back on the Hokey Pokey, once again bad ***.  We were home worn out and hungry.  We sat around all night and laughed about the day.  What else are you going to do.  Onward and upward.  As you can see not much building is getting done, but we are still here laying the foundation.


9/2/2009    It has been awhile, but here it goes.  Dustin and I got to go out to the island one more time to date.  So, let's take score Dustin 3 drill bits, Kelli 2 bits, me 1.  Ha.  The mangler has seen better days.  The termites seemed to have liked the wood.  We scared them away for awhile but they bite and I have a feeling they will be back.  Our first piling together is quite obvious.  We spent about an hour trying to get the dam thing straight with little avail.  It is pretty jacked up.  We threw decking on top fast so you really can't tell but I know.  The day ended short with the demise of the mangler and the breaking of 3 drill bits.  Our ride wasn't coming to pick us for a few more hours.  We managed 15 more feet of walkway.  Then the staring began.  The original stakes for the main house have been moved.  I wonder how many times they will move until building begins.  About a week later, Dustin went for "ice" a code word for "I am going to wonder around and stare at things and I don't know when I will return"  He left around 3 in the afternoon, 5 came around no Dustin.  Oh where oh where could Dustin be.  Around 7 he finially surfaced and we our now proud new owners of a Yahama Enduro 60 HP.  We couldn't play yet: One because the engine is teatering on 2 bolts.  We need more bolts.  Two we need a gas tank and hose and the the boat needs to be registered.  It isn't a simple fine you have to pay if you are not registered.  You can actually get deported.  We'll wait.  So this is a major accomplishment, but we will not be able to get the boat registered before we have to check out of the country.  The biggest accomplishment we have made is a bank account.  Tib finially e-mailed us our letter of recommendation and we got a letter of recommendation from someone in Placencia that has know us for 2 years.  Yes, really!!!!  So all of our letters in hand we head for the bank.  Well, we didn't have an appointment , so we were sent away and told to come back on Monday at 10.  Monday at 10 we are at the bank again.  Well, we did not confirm our appointment so they were about to send us away again.  Finially, someone nice helped us.  It only took a little more then an hour to give them $150.  All in the name of progress.  All the while it rains every night so we wake up pump out the dingy then go to shore and pump out the skiff.  One morning we were awoke by friends saying "Your boat washed away".  I was all over the place, checking the dingy, checking the anchor, what the hell was he talking about.  Oh yeah the skiff.  The front line came off the boat and it was up on shore getting pounded by the surf.  It was time to move the boat off the beach to the lagoon.  Before we moved the boat we changed the name of the boat and christened her The "Kimberly Ann".  Fitting, kind of rough around the edges but cleans up quite nicely.  The last couple weekends we were in Placencia futbol "soccer" season started.  The games were on Sundays and in case you don't know all soccer games in Central America start at 3:30.  Good trivia question!  So the whole town shows for these events.  The beer tent opens at noon and the stewed chicken is served.  Then it is on.  I never really cared for soccer but this isn't the high school soccer team I was made to watch.  This was the real thing.  What a great way to piss away a sunday.  Our time was coming to an end, we headed to Independence on the Hokey Pokey to check out with customs and immigration.  Every official seemed to be in the desiginated building they belonged, so the process was hard,  just expensive.  Why do you have to pay money to leave the country and what if your broke?  Do you have to stay?  The day before we left Placencia we actually got to take the skiff out.  The engine started right up.  The day was flat calm, so we went out of Placencia and just cranked the engine.  The engine takes off.  We are on a plane inb no time and both of us smiling from ear to ear.  After we wasted half the tank of gas, we stopped and stared at each other, giggled a bit and headed back to store the boat in the lagoon.                                                                                                              

Monday morning the day we left was hard we had to pass little Ashley off to one of our friends.  I had to leave that poor little blind pup in Placencia for a good month.  I didn't want to import her into Guatemala becauce I did not know what to expect.  So, we are off.  For days and days before we left the breeze was wonderful.  At least 10-15 knots.  Of course, we only set sail with absolutly no breeze, not a breath.  Anchors up, things stored, away we go.  That night we headed to a place called New Haven.  What a great anchorage.  There is one old delapadated house, which was home of  Hard Luck Charlie.  It use to be a haul out yard and a coconut plantation.  Hard Luck Charlie, obviously< had some hard luck and he no longer exists, but the anchorage is beautiful and the palm trees grow on.  The next morning was bright and early.  It was to be a long day.  We are off to Guatemala, the farthest south I have ever been in my life.  We took off  headed directly at the mountains.  We watched them get closer and closer.  We finially hit the Gulf of Hondurus.  One would think in there mind that the gulf would be pretty.  Wrong.  The water was brown.  At certain points in time I thought I was steering into weed lines.  They were not they were garbage lines.  Lots and lots of plastic.  If the man that invented plastic would see this he would shoot himself.  Now I know where all the garbage on our island came from.  Finially, we got close enough to see the mouth of the river.  The Rio Dulce is the best hurricane whole in the Caribbean.  We had to pull in Livingston to check in but had no intention of staying there.  We anchored and waited.  About a half hour later a boat with about 7 people come speeding up.  Five people boarded our boat.  Nerve racking,  I think so.  One was Port Captain, one was immigration, customs, the Doctor and the interpreter.  They were the nicest people ever.  We sat there and laughed with them.  At least what each of us could understand.  They took our passports and gave us a map telling us where to pick them up.  We headed to the bank and exchanged money.  We even tried to exchange Belize money.  No one wanted anything to do with Belize money and we got a bad exchange rate.  Guatemalans and Belizians are not that fond of each other.  Once we paid and picked up our passports we pulled anchor as fast as we could.  Livingston didn't seem that bad but we also did not get that warm fuzzy feeling while we were there.  We headed up river.  The mouth of the river turned into sheer cliffs and rock canyons.  The jungle ends where the water begins.  We kept going farther and farther up the river.  The farther we went the more our mouth dropped.  We had to take turns steering, so the other one could sit on the bow and stare up at the 900 foot cliffs.  We were in the heart of the rain forest.  Farther up the river we got into the Indian villages.  Houses lined the river and fisherman paddled around in there dugout canoes.  Seven miles up the river was our destination to Texan Bay Marina.  We pulled into the marina and out on the dock stood friends we met in Placencia.  The anchorage was calm and surrounded by the mountains.  What a crazy beautiful place.  The night we came in the marina was a birthday party for a 2 year old.  This marina is situated in the middle of an Indian village called the "Catchee".  The feast consisted of pork, which happened to be a live pig yesterday and beer.  Anything other then Belikin was gladly accepted.  The music consisted of a very large Xylophone made of wood that 3 people at once played.  The night progressed and 3 little indian girls came up and tugged at my shirt and said "ballo, ballo".  This is what I know now to mean "dance, dance".  So 3 very cute little girls and I held hands in a circle and we danced.  They then learned my name.  Now it was "Kim, ballo"  Let me tell you something about these songs on the xylophone, they never end.  How can you stop dancing if the song never ends.  Now it is hot outside.  Not just hot, "Guatemala HOT!".  So these little girls aren't sweating but I am about to die.  This is where rudementery spanish comes in "Cinco minutos, por favor!".  What an amazing night.  The next day we woke to the beautiful sight of the clouds coming down over the mountains and we got in the dingy and toured all over the river.  We went through villages past little stores, we even went to a bar that had hot sulfer springs.  Saturday, before we left we took a trip up the Rio to Frontorus.  I'll write about that later..... 

9/23/2009   Along time in coming but back to Fruntaros.  We arrived up the river in Fruntaros and got of the boat.  Getting off the boat was amazing we were thrown in the middle of an open market.  It was just like like a scene in Indiana Jones, open market, all kinds of spices in bags, tarps covering everything but no monkeys.  Our mission was to get money.  We were out of Guatamalan money and American.  Of course, we had Belize, no one wanted that.  So we were off to the ATM or whatever they called it there.  First one didn't work, second wouldn't take our card, third wouldn't either.  Now, let me remind you, we are leaving tomorrow on a plane.  We are leaving our boat at a dock at Texan Bay and we have no money to pay for it.  Comforting right.  We back track and go back to ATM #1 and it works.  We missed the boat back to the marina so we had to get the second boat that was leaving when it left.  We attended a party for a person we didn't know ate well and I had my first Corona in a long time.  It was amazing!!  We headed back to down the river in the wind and the dark but we made it.  Our boat was in the new slip that was now paid for, so we packed everything downstairs and put a tarp up to protect what I don't know.  Later on that night it rained hard, the tarp did nothing to stop it from coming in.  The next morning we got up and Thomas took us to the bus station.  We arrived and shortly boarded the bus, which was something like a grayhound bus but without AC or bathrooms.  The bus trip lasted about 6 hours.  We started with about 10 people onboard.  We stopped every couple of miles by the end of the trip it was standing room only.  We went up the mountains down the mountains, passed many cows and even a truck of revolutionaries carrying machine guns.  We finially got to Guatamala City which was so high up my ears were popping the whole way up.  We arrived in Zone 10 and checked into our $30 a night room, good enough.  It had a security guard with a shot gun, OK.  We were hungry, so out we went.  Not knowing where to walk and what to eat, when we stumbled upon an Applebees you would think we hit gold.  It was the most surreal experience being in an Applebees that everyone speaks spanish but everything in the restaurant is way to American.  I had a ceasar salad that was the best thing I have had in months.  We retired to our room for our big trip tomorrow.  Dustin made friends with the security guard and his big dog while I was glued to The Indiana Jones Trilogy, in Spanish.  Please remember, I have not seen TV in months.  The next day we reach the airport.  Guatamala City airport was alot nicer then I had expected.  They had a Subway, so I had to have a turkey sandwich.  Yet another craving satisfied.  It's the little things.  There was no drug dogs, no machine guns, they only checked our bags 3 times and we got to board.  When we were finially off the ground, we went over the mountains then trotted up the coast we just sailed down.  It took us approximatly 3 hours to fly the same route it took us 2 months to sail.  We got to Ft. Lauderdale and drove back to Marathon.  So, if you are following this, we got on our boat to get on a skiff to get on a bus to get on a plane to get into a car to get onto a bus to drive back to Belize to get a boat to get our boat and bring it back to Belize so that everything I own will finially after years all come together.  So we arrived in Marathon just in time to have our first drink at Sparky's and try to remember that that morning we were in Guatamala.  Our week in Marathon was a whirlwind.  We almost saw everyone we wanted to see, while spending all the other time loading the bus with all the crap we bought.  We stayed at our friend Bobby's house and kept him up late with our stories.  We even sold Dustin's Jeep, which I seriously thought he was going to cry.  It was a good truck and went to a good family but if your reading this Steve, SUCKER!  After a solid week we hopped the bus and we were off.  The first night is, of course, was The Everglades (The Skunk Ape Research Center).  We probably would have stayed longer but if you recall it's September and rainy season, so it's not only hot the mosquitos are no joke.  Not just dusk and dawn mosquitos, they are all the time mosquitos.  Again, we were off.  This time all the way to New Port Richy to visit Dustin's family.  We left the bus sitting in Dustin's uncles bar parking lot.  We went to Dustin's mom's house and spent some time.  I know I have had a culture shock, I was to a Super Wal-Mart and a mall all in one day.  That was good enough for me.  We spent some time there and fly to PA to visit my parents.  We landed in Philly and froze our asses off.  We shared alot of pictures and stories with people I miss and love.  You know the ones that have to move farther south because I can see my breath in Septenber.  We flew back to Florida and took a day to get ready and off we go.  Noah, the bird, I will not miss you.  Get on the bus because here we go.  We were off, were we ready, not really.  There is shit all over the place.  Ask me where something is and I will know but it may take me awhile.  We proceeded up US 19 until it actually became a nice road to travel on.  It went through real Florida, pine trees, peaches and peacans.  We went all the way to Tallassee on the first day.  Dustin lived there at one part of his childhood.  We were going to camp at Lake Jackson, but one problem the campgrounds were not there.  Dustin talked to the guy that owned the restaurant on the lake and he said we could back up next to the dumpster, OK.  It was right by the bar, come on.  We went to the bar and drank some good draft beer, ate oysters and smoked mullet.  That was everything I dreamed I would do in Tallassee except see the lake.  The Lake has a sink hole which took it away about 10 years ago fish, gators and all.  So it is really just a muddy, grassy bog.  Tallassee was a great looking city but we were off.  Today, we followed route 10 all the way through the Panhandle and we are in Alabama in a hotel.  We really needed a good shower and AC.  Now we are going to do what every good ole boy should do, spend some time at the local Dairy Queen.

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