Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Mustaches, Brothers Shea, Thorny Trees

Happy Christmas!
The jolliest of greetings to you from Belize good friends. I hope all is well this holiday season and the fatted calf has been consumed and now you are putting on a good imitation. Here in PG, we have a surplus of cookies, cake, and candy, and not much else. Greg and I just split a bag of goldfish and a thing of double stuff Oreos for lunch. Mmmmm.

Much has happened since the last blog of mine. Including....

Jeremy starring as Santa in the Punta Gorda Christmas Parade, as well as at the St. Peter Claver School Pageant. Now, I'm sure some of you recall my previous roles as Santa. Those were fine. A big suit and beard go well together in the winter. Not so in Belize. After the pageant, which lasted for many hours, I lost perhaps five pounds in sweat. The suit took days to dry. It was horrible. Never do that again, Jeremy. Never. Also, since I was without paint for the beard, I used flour. A kid touched it and asked if it was my magic dust. I said yes.


Matthew Shea, the brother of Jeremy Shea (me) came to visit! It was quite glorious. His flight was cancelled (darn American airlines) coming down, but we were still left with a solid five days. Activities included sitting on buses for many hours, cooking lobster, eating, exploring caves, learning about the crystal skull, and hanging out.

Brother Matt at some Mayan ruins.

Also included in the visitor excitement was (and still remains) the family of Al. The Schommer clan has been camping out (not literally, too many mosquitoes) in PG for about a week. It has been swell and we enjoy having them around. We had a big Christmas Eve dinner, then a glorious brunch on Christmas day. Many pounds have been added this past week.

Greg cutting up the pork dinner.

John making some gravy for the Christmas meal.

I had a mustache! It was the greatest thing I've ever done.

The Greatest Mustache Ever

Christmas Happened!!!

Yes, that is an angel, Joseph, Mary, and supporting nativity cast at Christmas Eve Mass.

Thorny Christmas Tree.

Christmas Morning.

We ate iguana! This is the meat, the eggs, and rice and beans. Tasty.

Guatemala across the street.

Freshly shaved face of me.

That's all folks. I might get sued by Warner Bros. for writing that. Ah well.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


It has been too long since I've communicated via the blog, so I shall reward your visit with lots of pictures.

Mmmm, breakfast. Orange, tea, homemade tortilla with bananas and peanut butter, and Dubliners, by James Joyce.

Somehow we have made it to December. Now, last year December came quickly, but this year it has used super stealth mode. We have been listening to many Christmas songs in the house and last night we made glorious Christmas cookies. I ate many. They also made for a nice breakfast. And lunch.

Evening from my abode

Since last time I wrote, there have been many happenings in PG.
There was culture day at school, so all the kids were dressed up in their cultural attire.

Mr. Kevin Zuniga teaching the students how to make hats from palm fronds.

Some cultural dancing.

The Belize National Anthem in Creole. Read it, I dare you.

So, the colors for the Garifuna people are black and yellow. This also happens to make them the best Bruins fans around. The B's also seem to be killing it right now, so the Garifuna people chose wisely.

Parading back from the landing.

That weekend was also Garifuna Settlement day, so everyone was up early on Saturday (or simply stayed away all night) to watch the reenactment of the first Garifuna settlers arriving in boats. My favorite part was the token white guy dressed in colonial attire playing the British governor who supposedly turned them away two times. Everyone booed him, including me. Darn Brits.

Garifuna Settlement Day

The week after that it was Thanksgiving! I rolled up to Belize City where some nuns had us over for tasty food. The next day all the Belize JVs headed out to Cayo for a retreat. It was freezing (65 degreesish), so we were all bundled up. It was nice to get away from PG and see the very pretty district up north.

Hanging (literally) in Cayo.

Early morning run with Jon.

Ah, sun rise over, wait, an oil well. Scenic.

Winded at the top of the hill.

Running through Cayo. Hopefully Runner's World enjoys this one and makes me famous.

Creepy crawler.

I liked these leaves.

Apart from that, not a whole lot is going on down here. I've been here for something like 16 months, which is a long time.
Matt, the brother of mine, will be arriving in a week and a half, so I am very excited about that.

New painting I finished in the library.

If anyone has a library stamp, one of those stamps where you can change the date, lying around, dying to be used, please send it my way. One was stolen from the library last year and another just broke, so I'm down to one, and the year on it is stuck at 2007. The kids have to return all their books three years ago.

School gets out next Friday, followed by a nice long break of three weeks. Thus, there might be time for another blog prior to Christmas, but if not, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and there's plenty of snow and cookies to appease the huge appetite of Santa.

The crab that lives in the downstairs bathroom. He's super excited Christmas is coming. His arms are raised in celebration.