After packing up every suitcase we own (and one that we borrowed from a kind neighbor) we boarded a plane for Belize City before daylight Thursday morning. By 2:00 the same afternoon, we were standing on the front steps of our new home in Consejo Shores, Belize!
The travel went remarkably smoothly with the exception of finding out that customs would be charging us a whopping 38 percent tax on all of the goods that we brought into the country (we chalked this up to a pricey learning experience and we thanked God that we were fortunate to deal with a very kind customs agent who took some pity on us).
We then hopped into our rental truck and made the two hour trip from Belize City to the town of Corozal. The drive through the countryside was full of rural farmland consisting of banana, coconut, and sugarcane fields and dotted with impoverished homes, tiny little “mom and pop” shops, and many fruit and vegetable stands. While the drive was pleasant, if I’m being honest, the following 24 hours have been a crazy-hectic blur of activity and a roller coaster of emotions.
When we left for this wild adventure, I had all kinds of intentions to document each step of our journey. I had plans to take lots of pictures and short videos, spend a little time each night writing about the day, and just generally try to capture the experience. Purchasing a second home, sight unseen, in a part of a foreign country that we had yet to even visit deserved a little documentation in my opinion. Even if no one ever read a single post about the journey, I thought that it would be lovely to record it for both my own memories as well as to share the journey with our children. Upon arrival, however, all of those plans quickly took a back seat to the overwhelm that we began to feel after visiting the property. The truth is, ”documenting” anything has been the very least of my concerns.
The good news is that the town of Corozal is much as we had imagined it based on our research. All of the reasons why we chose this area still appeal to us. The people have been nothing short of amazing; both the local Belizeans as well as our new “expat” neighbors. Additionally, the house is for the most part, as we expected and has even exceeded our expectations in many ways. It is spacious with lots of mature (albeit very overgrow) landscaping and the photos simply do not do the home justice in regard to its character and charm.
The bad news is that the house has sat vacant for so long that there are many issues that we either didn’t consider or overlooked before coming here. Issues like large termite nests, rancid well water, peeling paint from humidity, and the fact that not only do we need to purchase all new appliances and furniture, but light fixtures and faucets as well.
The WORST news however, was that the power was not yet turned on as we had been promised it would be. No power = no cleaning, no plumbing, no working on the house whatsoever. When you have only allotted eight days to complete as much work as possible, having no power is a BIG problem.
With this in mind, we spent the majority of our first 24 hours frantically trying to address the situation and get power to the home. To make matters worse, the electric company doesn’t work over the weekends and we discovered that this coming Monday is a national Belizean holiday, so they will be closed then as well. Fortunately, I rented us a room at a small, local hotel so we have a place to sleep and shower while we are working on the house; Unfortunately, without power there is no way to work on the house at all.
Finally, thanks to LOTS of prayer and the help of some new friends that we made, the power was finally turned on this afternoon! I can honestly say I have never in my life been so happy to flip that little switch and see a light pop on. It was truly a moment of glory and one that deepened my appreciation for the simple comforts and luxuries that we so often take for granted in the United States.
Electricity is a luxury and we all too quickly found out that clean running water is a luxury not to be taken for granted as well; But that, as they say, is a story for another time. It is late and both my mind and body need rest for the long day ahead of me tomorrow. So for now, I will leave you with a simple “To be continued…”