Well another week has been chalked off my life and having reached the age of 39 again, my memory of it is pretty vague. Sorry about it. I know full well that I was very busy all week. I was out in the field to finalise the tool sharing project, I was in meetings to organise the ‘Cacao Cook-Off’ I am hosting at the annual ‘Chocolate Festival of Belize’, and I was also trying to arrange a tree planting ceremony for ‘Earth Day’. I also know that we have just had an amazing weekend on a small island which was a two hour boat ride from here.
I won’t bore you with the details of the tool project or the cacao cook-off meeting. They were both successful and will hopefully increase our online and offline visibility and help with funding for future projects, but that is all you need to know for now.
The tree planting also went well after originally looking like it might go tits up. I had arranged for the local press to come and witness the spectacle, my boss had sorted the trees out, and my mate gave us a bag of top soil and fertiliser. Friday, Earth Day, arrived and at 9am my boss phoned to say he was unlikely to make it in for 10 (the time of tree planting) and to continue without him. This threw a spanner in the works. He was supposed to be bringing the shovel, planting the trees and giving an interview to the press. I had to get someone to nip down the shop to buy a shovel, get someone else to do the interview at very short notice, and someone else to plant one of the trees as I needed to get pictures and film for the social media accounts. It wasn’t quite as straightforward as organising a piss up in a brewery but I think I managed to pull it off. I do owe a few pints out now though.
Muggings here then had to plant the other three trees in soil that was as hard as concrete. I blistered my thumb and was drenched with sweat and tears when I finished. It was tough work. No wonder my boss didn’t fancy it.
As mentioned earlier, we were away from town again this weekend. Last week was luxury, this week was the other end of the spectrum; a night in a tent on an island miles out to sea. We would spend the afternoon of Saturday swimming, eating fish that was caught only a couple of hours previously, drinking rum, and playing cards games which I won. Of course.
Sunday was a little more adventurous. After a breakfast of peanut butter sandwiches we hopped into the boat and headed out for some snorkelling. I faired a little better this time. My mask wasn’t as desperate to fill up with water as last week and so I managed more than a few seconds under water without getting eyes, nose and lungs full of the sea. I did manage to inhale a load of the salty water once or twice though. I stupidly breathed whilst being too far submerged for my snorkel to operate correctly.
It was cool though. Our diving spot was an old wreck so we got to swim around it and see loads of different fish, rays, an eel and a lobster. Dom would return to the sea a while later in a different location and almost get in to difficulty on a shallow reef. She did get to swim with nurse sharks and avoid getting ripped to pieces on the sharp coral though so overall it was worthwhile.
After our swim it was to time to return to camp, pack up, and go and see if we could find some whale sharks. We didn’t find any but we did get to visit a couple of small islands on the return home. The first was manmade and only big enough for the house that stands there. It is decorated with conch shells and would be the perfect getaway holiday home, if not a little hard to find and travel to.
The second island was a little bigger and was a base for dive exhibitions. There was accommodation there in the form of a large house and four or five little cabanas. The only occupants presently there were the caretaker and his purple dog. Kevin (the caretaker) kindly let our guides clean and cook the two tuna fish we had caught en route, and so we ate the freshest fish ever for the second time of the weekend. Me and Dom also got Kevin to break open some coconuts so we could have a totally tropical drink of rum and coconut water.
It was an ace weekend. Very much needed after the hectic week. It’s back to the grindstone now though. At least it’s another bank holiday next weekend and so we can have a three day adventure. Make sure to check back to see what we get up to.