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White Ibis on Ambergris Caye
Today was a typical Sunday with a bike ride up to Grand Belizean Estates in the morning.  Barry got going early and came home to pick me up after his first 12-mile loop.  I enjoyed my coffee and a bit of Facebook, then joined him for his second 12-mile loop.  Since I took my rain jacket in my backpack, we were assured of no rain, and indeed, although it was mostly overcast, the sun came out for part of the time.  The winds were from the north, so we had a great tailwind on the way back, and the tide was much lower today than it had been a few days ago, so riding on the beach was back to being lots of fun as the path wasn't blocked by seagrass. 
On his first loop, Barry saw a couple of new birds he was unfamiliar with.  He was able to identify one when he returned home and did a little research: a Plain Chachalaca.  Unfortunately, he didn't have his camera with him, so no photo.  The second bird he couldn't positively identify, so perhaps we'll see it again one day.  

After some computer time and lunch, we headed out for a bit more beach cleanup.  The beach we'd worked on the other day had accumulated a bit more plastic, and we needed to finish it up since we'd run out of garbage bags last time.  We almost filled up two more bags, but that beach is looking fine now!  We just started on the next beach south and will work on that one next.  As I was reaching for some trash on the other side of the sandy path, I got stung by a couple of small ants, so I was ready to get back and put some anti-itch cream on my fingers, so that was enough for one day.

We ended the afternoon with our usual Paisley playtime out on the beach.  She got to meet a nice little girl today and gave her face a thorough washing, in between time after time of fetching her Kong.  I wish I had her energy!

And on a completely different note...

The last couple of days have been interesting and very eye-opening regarding what happens when you write a public blog for all the world to see.  

One of the local message boards here on Ambergris Caye posted our blog entry from a couple of days ago entitled Stock Day at Super Buy on the board.  A local Belizean misinterpreted it and took offense, thinking that we were demanding parking lots, more bike racks, and complaining about stock being delivered to the store.  She chastised me by saying that things were totally the opposite here on the island as in the US and I'd adjust eventually.  I was really surprised by this interpretation as I thought of what I'd written as simply observations that might interest folks back home, since shopping here is so different from in the US.  I did complain about the way some golf carts park blocking bike racks, but I didn't intend to gripe about the other things at all.  Yes, it can be a bit chaotic, but of course stores need to be stocked, and big parking lots aren't needed for a small population.  If everyone shows some courtesy during the busy times here when town does get a bit crowded, we can all get along just fine.

I wrote a rebuttal statement on the forum since I was so taken aback by how she interpreted what I'd written.  This was followed by comment after comment from people who read my blog, virtually all supportive.  I also got a slew of supportive comments on Facebook, and several additional private messages on the forum.  I honestly had no idea how many people were reading this "little" blog!  

As I stated in the forum, we started this blog as a way of sharing our new life here in Belize with our friends and family back in the United States, many of whom may never get to visit this beautiful country.  By sharing our day-to-day experiences on this blog, we attempt to give an even-handed and fair picture of what life here is like and how it contrasts to our previous life in North Carolina.  We are not trying to stir the pot or be controversial, just honest.  The vast majority of what we post here is positive, but every now and then, we're going to have an honest gripe.  We have no intention of censoring those sorts of comments, as no place is perfect, and there are definitely quirky and frustrating things that occur here, as they do anywhere.

We just wanted to take the time out to say thank you to the many readers we're only now realizing we have.  In addition to our original audience of friends and family back home, some of our new readers live on Ambergris Caye (or other parts of Belize) now, some are considering moving or buying property here in the future, and some simply enjoy visiting the island on vacation.  We're glad you find the blog interesting and informative, and we appreciate your support.  There are certainly other blogs that are more thorough than ours regarding life in San Pedro, but if you enjoy what we have to share, we welcome you here any time.  We appreciate and read all the comments you leave, and respond to most of them, so please check back later if you've left one, especially if you've asked a question.

Thanks again for your support and kindness!

Emily & Barry
12/18/2011 07:17:13 am

Your blog is my favorite in Belize. I love looking at life ALL THE WAY up north. And your sportiness...as opposed to my lazy/beer heavy lifestyle...really is an inspiration. Hope to see you guys this holiday season. And like everyone has said...keep up the great work. There is always a bad apple in the barrel. But for the most part...everyone loves what you are doing.

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12/18/2011 07:18:29 am

And yes...carrying a rain coat or umbrella insures no rain. Good call. And a perplexing and annoying phenomena.

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BeBelize Emily
12/18/2011 08:40:31 am

Thanks Rebecca, I am truly honored. Your blog is the BEST and most thorough in San Pedro and one of my favorite blogs anywhere, any time. I kid you not. So, I guess we have a mutual admiration society. :)

As for the raincoat thing, it is truly amazing. Every time we have gotten poured on since arriving here in August we have neglected to carry a raincoat. I will keep that in mind for ALL future endeavors, no matter how inconvenient!

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Sabrina
12/18/2011 10:07:17 am

I think you are doing a terrific job on the blog. We love to read each posting and have found nothing negative in your postings.

~~_/)~~
Sabrina

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12/19/2011 01:29:40 am

Keep up the good work. Your blog offers great reading about expat life. Not everyone will agree with your views and you will also be quoted out of context. Your only real option to avoid this would be to take your blog private - but that would be a shame.

aj

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BeBelize Emily
12/19/2011 02:00:34 am

Thanks so much, Sabrina and aj. I have no plans to take the blog private unless things were to get out of hand, which I hope will never happen. I appreciate your loyal readership!

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Loretta Schmitzer
12/19/2011 05:36:54 am

Are you guys living in Belize full-time? Is the bridge gettting repaired?

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Surendra
12/19/2011 06:59:04 am

Passed you guys again this morning on my way into town. Your blog is awesome and so is Rebecca's.i have learnt so much about our new home from both you guys. Keep up the good work. Hope we will get to stopand chat sometime.

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BeBelize Emily
12/19/2011 10:14:41 am

Hi Loretta! Yes, we do live here full-time, and NO, the bridge has not yet been repaired. Apparently materials have been ordered... I will definitely post an update on the blog when they repair it.

Hi Surendra! Sorry we missed you today. We were probably rushing along to avoid getting caught in the craziness in town when the kids get out of school for lunch. We had a lot of shopping to do today, and we try to get back home before lunchtime (but often don't succeed) because the traffic gets so bad then. Would love to chat sometime soon too!

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