Friday, September 4, 2015

It has been a dry one.

We often hear folks say they would not want to be in Belize during the rainy season.  That did not stop us from starting a major construction project at the beginning of the rainy season and on June 1st, right on schedule, it rained all day.  However, while we have had both down pours and sprinkles we have also had some beautiful sunny days and the skies have given us gorgeous and calm sunrise moments and fireworks colored sunsets. 


Perhaps we are getting lucky with the weather during our construction period, or perhaps it is that controversial global warming thing, or maybe it just does not rain non-stop every single day during the rainy season.  Regardless of the answer, we continue to hum along building out Leaning Palm Resort.  Here is an update of our progress as we enter the fourth month of construction:

We built a Road:

When we planned the construction project we smartly determined the first thing to do would be to build a road so construction materials could be driven to the project site at the beach.  When the project started on June 1st along with the rainy season we decided to turn it all upside down.  So the road is being built after all of the construction materials have already been taken to the project site on the beach.
  
This would be a good time to thank all of those strong men (including my wonderful husband, Ken) who carried construction materials every day, 600 feet through the jungle, sometimes in the rain, against the wind, barefoot (really) so construction could progress over the last few months.  I carried a box of nails and we would not be where we are today with that significant contribution. 

The road is a major advantage for us and we all now have the luxury of bringing additional items to the job site each day.

We made progress on the plumbing:

Leaning Palm Resort is situated in a pristine and untouched environment.  Imagine any Caribbean beach location before all the tourists and big hotels arrived and you have Leaning Palm Resort in your sights.  As a result there is no power grid or water distribution system to rely on.  Ken and I are working with Erix Tobar Construction and Pro-Solar Power to engineer systems that are not intrusive to the eye or the environment but still provide the luxuries of civilization.  All water will be collected with an extensive gutter system and stored in tanks under the bungalows keeping our foot print small but with big benefits – who does not like a fresh water shower at the end of a great day playing in the sea.  And with on-demand hot water heaters, you avoid a cold shower with no hot water heater tank footprint.   YEA!

We watched a crab migration:

 We finally noticed that we are living in someone’s garage:

 We started some art projects: 
When we designed the upstairs space above Wild Canes Bar & Grill our goal was to create a place where our guests could get away from the grit of being outside, but still be outside.  An open, but screened space with great views and a wonderful breeze.  While we are achieving that goal we are getting even more from this space.  It is one of our favorite places to be despite the long ladder climb that is required to get up there currently.  The Gumbo Limbo tree has healing powers and we have all been relying on it while we remove the Poisonwood trees from our property.  We also have been working to remove the trash that so infamously now collects on beaches around the globe.  So it was only fitting to repurpose some of that trash and make a healing Gumbo Limbo tree.  This piece is still in progress, but it has lent its name to the now World Famous Gumbo Limbo Lounge!




We planted some palm trees:

We started an internship program for future job candidates:


We are still building stairs:



We learned that if you need a new shovel handle the ocean will bring you one:

We started a bike-to-work program:



We started making furniture:


And finally we learned that we have something in common with Ellen.  I love Ellen and must confess on a bad day of my former mode of earning money I used to take a break and watch Ellen clips to alleviate the pain.  Her show was so moving I would often find myself in tears at the end of an episode.  Not because of the touching stories, but because she was clearly living a better life than me and I was jealous.  So Ken and I took up her pledge to give away as many cars as possible.  We don’t really have a show with an audience, but the few of you reading this will work for now.  [Applause]

As we head into the next month of construction we must admit that we are feeling a bit like this:

So this month we will also be taking a bit of break and enjoying a visit from our friends Scott and Jenny and we are excited to show them around our neighborhood in Belize!