I thought it would be fun to chronicle one day of mine to give you an idea of what my new life is like — living in Hopkins, Belize and as a resort owner and mom.
6:00am: Wake up. Extremely tired. Ruger woke me up twice in the middle of the night barking at who knows what. We’ve had some raccoons coming up to our balcony this past week, even getting into the dog food. We’ve since removed all food from the balcony, but perhaps there are some raccoons still looking for it.
6:10am: Get out of bed, feed Ruger and open the gate on balcony so he can go downstairs to pee. See Smith, the cat, on the stairs and feed him too. I only feed Smith once Ruger is back upstairs and I can close the gate. I need to have the gate separating Ruger from Smith while he is eating, or he will just push Smith out of the way and steal his food.
6:15am: Find Rex on couch and give him a little snuggle. Ruger whines to let me know he is not happy that I am giving affection Rex instead of him. Find Fay in her room and snuggle with her. Sit and zone out for a minute (still tired), but jarred back to life when Fay asks, “are you just going to sit there?”
6:30am: Catch up on FB and news.
7:15am: Feed kids breakfast. Made banana bread yesterday, so its an easy one — just cut and supply butter!
7:30am-8am: Hassle kids to get clothes and sunscreen on. Make their lunches (pepperoni, apples, carrots, more banana bread, combos snack bag)
8:20am: Bring kids down to the road to be picked up by classmates that live further down the road. We like to call their van the school bus. While waiting on the pickup, I chat with a guest who wants help getting into the bike storage so they can bike to town. He’s a teacher from Florida and is interested in hearing about the kids going to school here.
8:30am: Think about plan for dinner…a new shop has opened in the village that has salami among other things and I’d like to try it out for a “picnic dinner”. This is one of our family’s favorite dinners because you can pick from an assortment of food. For today I’m planning salami, cheese, fresh baked bread and pears….maybe some pickles! I write the owner of the new shop on FB to see if she still has salami and she said she will set some aside for me. yum.
9:00am: Start making bread. Always a better bet to make bread if I have time than to buy it from the store. Leave it to rise for 2.5+ hours.
9:30am: Head into the village in the truck. I need to stop by to get the salami first and then pick up some ice cream! A friend of mine is starting a new ice cream business. She could potentially sell her ice cream to our restaurant and we could offer it for dessert or for special occasions. She is also going to have an ice cream window for customers to stop by and a small cart that she can bring around town or use for events. Today she is giving me pina colada flavor to try and some ice cream sandwiches.
10am: Arrive at Rosie’s farm shop. Pick up Salami, chat for 1 hour. Whoops, late for ice cream, but had a great time getting to know a new friend.
11:00am: Arrive at Dia’s to pick up ice cream. I have an old Trader Joe’s cooler bag filled with some chiller blocks and ice, and a couple lunch thermos containers to put ice cream into. Dia shows me her new cart, signs, and the little area under her stairs that will be the ice cream shop with window. So very cute. I’m really excited for them.
11:45am: Quick stop at the grocery store on the way home. Pick up sugar. Look for brown sugar. Still no brown sugar. Look for milk. No milk. Get cheese and some raisins to make granola later.
12:30am: Get back to Beaches and Dreams. While getting all the groceries and ice cream out of truck, I drop my phone onto the rocks. My screen is shattered. I wonder if I’ll even be able to get that fixed here. Bummer. Go up to our apartment above the restaurant to unload groceries and check on bread. It hasn’t risen as much as I would have expected. Leave it to rise more.
12:45am: Go down to the office to show Ryan my stupid phone and get some empathy. He tells me I can probably fix it in Dangriga which is only 45 minutes away. Thats good news. As I’m coming out of the office two people stop me to inquire about getting a room for three nights. Its Wednesday of Thanksgiving week and we are busy but there are 4 rooms available. They get the price and decide to think about it and look around. I show them the room and the grounds for a little extra persuasion. But they need time to think.
1pm: Go back up to the apartment to do some work. Ryan wants me to add a couple adwords tags to our website. We inherited a website that uses a CMS called DNN, so I’m still learning my way around it, but have become our little webmaster of course. I also need to work on a new pricing engine web page for Ryan so he can more easily do quotes on guest packages that include hotel, inclusive meals and tours. I cook two hard boiled eggs for myself and have a little cereal. A bit of a rushed lunch because its late and I’m hungry.
1:15pm: Ryan asks me to come to the office so he can go for lunch. Can’t leave the office unattended and our office manager is also on lunch. I quickly punch down my risen bread dough and put into bread pans to rise for their second time. Grab my computer and head to office (just downstairs and across to the hotel lobby).
1:30pm: Alone in office working…in comes a couple that makes organic honey. We met about a month ago at a business expo in Placencia and they want to stop by to see if we’d like to order honey. We take each other’s information and I buy a small bottle of honey to try out.
1:45pm: Working and also texting (FB messenger actually) with new friend about coming to Beaches and Dreams for the Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Our families will plan to eat together so now I have a bit of a social plan for Turkey day. fun!
3pm: Both Ryan and Josie return to office. Our septic cleaning service arrives and we direct them to the tanks that need clearing. A woman and daughter come in to pay for the parasailing they just did. I take the payment and chat with them about their stay. They are staying down the road at an airbnb. Its 3pm so I head upstairs to check on Ruger and also grab keys to go fetch the kids. School pickup is at 3:30.
3:15pm: Drive to Sittee River to pick up my kids and our neighbor kids that live down the road. It takes about 15 minutes to drive down the bumpy dirt road to school. When I got there, Fay wanted to show me a puppy in the school yard. We went to the back by the picnic tables to see the (cutest!) puppy and there I stumbled upon an impromptu game of jump over the trash can. A bunch of boys were running and jumping, lifting their feet high above a tall trash bin ( about 2 feet tall ), trying to clear it. They were having so much fun. And another set of boys in the same area were trying to run and jump over the trash pit. There is a large pit at the far end of the school yard where all the kids throw their trash. I believe the trash is periodically burned and then ultimately covered with dirt, filling the hole. The kids were trying to jump over this pit — which obviously has more dire consequences if you miss than simply not clearing the can jump. When they upped the difficulty by placing a garbage can in front of the pit (so the kid would have to clear the can and cross the pit), one kid did in fact slide into the pit. The kids erupted into such laughter — even the pit kid laughed. They were all having so much fun.
4:30pm Return home with kids. Oz, our head of tours offers me a coconut, freshly cut from his land. He tells me it has the sweetest coconut water, because of its type. Ryan and I share some coconut water and add a little rum too! Sit on the balcony and visit a bit with Ryan about our day.
5:30pm: I put the bread in the oven.
6pm: Dinner! We have our picnic dinner with fresh bread, sausage from Rosies among other things and top it off with the sample ice cream sandwiches that I picked up this morning. Better than our average home cooked meal.
7pm: Rex starts on his project for the next day. He needs to put together a small presentation on one of the cultures of Belize, and has been given Garifuna. He needs to focus on food, clothing and song/dance. So we mash some bananas, make some coconut milk (from the earlier coconut!) and look up dances on youtube. Rex decides he will show his class the Punta dance which is a dance focusing on shaking your butt. Rex thinks he will be very entertaining and the kids will laugh at his butt shaking. 🙂
8pm: Fay helped make the coconut milk so she is late to start her project on evaporation and condensation. She says she actually covered this work last year in 4th grade. But because the grades don’t match up perfectly here, they placed her in Standard 3 here and she seems to be repeating material. Project gets done fast!
8:30pm: Kids in bed. I have a couple items to hand wash. I go downstairs to get detergent from hotel laundry room and realize there is just a broken washing machine sitting on the walking path by the laundry room. Not an attractive look. So I head back up to ask Ryan about its status (broken! needs to be discarded) and I ask the guys in the restaurant if they can help me move it to the trash area.
8:45pm: Back upstairs, hand wash a couple of linen shirts and pants and set out to dry. Also let Ruger out for a little relief before bedtime.
9:30pm: Finish this blog piece and head off to bed.