Above is part of our haul from today and yesterday's bike rides into town.  We stocked up more than usual since Hurricane Rina has closed down the Belize City port, and it may be a few days before more food barges make it out to the island.  I was delighted to find sweet potatoes (the purple things in the photo).  I've read that they're white inside here, so they probably aren't bursting with beta-carotene like the ones back home in North Carolina, but I still look forward to trying them.  We also got bell peppers, romaine lettuce, zucchinis, and carrots, which are in the fridge and not shown in the photo.  We're going to be eating well for awhile!

Here are a couple of other tasty items we've whipped up recently:
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My fish fillets with almonds and papaya sauce and spinach/bulgur bake
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Barry's dark chocolate bark with walnuts and dried cranberries, made with Belizean Goss Chocolate. Yum!
 
We had pretty much given up on getting nice whole wheat or any type of whole grain tortillas here in San Pedro.  Small corn tortillas in large stacks are really popular with the locals, and we'd also bought many larger white flour tortillas for wrapping around various combinations of beans, veggies, and cheese; but there were no whole-grain tortillas anywhere.  We could either make our own or do without.  So, we'd resigned ourselves to using white flour tortillas when making dishes that required larger tortillas than the small corn ones.

Yesterday Barry stopped into the local tortilla maker's place, Domingo's Popular Tortillas, and asked if they had any "wheat tortillas".  What he meant was "flour tortillas", as opposed to corn, but when the proprietor heard "wheat", she must have assumed "whole wheat", and she told him they no longer made them due to lack of demand.  When they do a "run" of tortillas of any kind, it ties up their machine so that no other varieties of tortillas can be made, so obviously they have to make what they can sell.  Barry was surprised that they were no longer going to make flour tortillas, so he asked how many he'd have to buy to make it worth her while to do a run.  They agreed on ten packs (40 tortillas), and he said he'd pick them up the next day at 10 am.  He still thought he was ordering white flour tortillas, and when he told me the story afterwards, I was as surprised as he was that there was not enough demand to make them. 

So, today he rode into town to pick up his tortillas, expecting a large stack of white flour tortillas.  Instead, much to his delight, were 40 lovely whole wheat tortillas!  They were still warm, and the proprietor gave him one to try to make sure it was to his liking.  Oh yes!  The price was only slightly higher than standard flour tortillas, which run $1.25 BZD per four-pack.  These were $1.50 BZD (75 cents US) per four-pack.  

When he got home and I started unpacking the groceries, I was taken aback to see the lovely, still-warm whole wheat tortillas come out of the bag.  What a score!  I guess maybe my bad back does have a silver lining, because if I had gone to the shop, I would have requested flour tortillas, and we would never have known about this option.  Yay Barry!
In other food news, the 6 lb. protein powder we'd ordered from GoNature came in today.  And even more exciting, we'd also placed an order for five pounds of bulk unsweetened baking chocolate from Goss Chocolate down in Placencia in southern Belize.  We'd been surprised that larger sizes of chocolate are so hard to come by in a country that makes wonderful chocolate, and the small bars sold in stores are very expensive.  After some online research and email communication with one of the owners, we located this nice company that would sell to us in bulk.  

This is Belize, so delivery is a little different than in the US.  Instead of UPS or Fedex, the chocolate was shipped via Tropic Air Cargo today and arrived in San Pedro this afternoon, so Barry took a second trip into town on his bike to pick up the package, along with the protein powder.  In Chapel Hill, he learned to make the most wonderful chocolate "bark" by adding dried fruit, nuts, and sweetener to the melted unsweetened chocolate and looks forward to doing that here as well.  Yum.
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Note puddles outside the terminal from all the rain
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Barry's bike loaded down with protein powder and shipping box for chocolate
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5 lb. of dark baking chocolate
A very good day in food indeed!
 
It's been a rainy weekend, but nothing brightens up a dreary day quite like Barry's tropical fruit smoothies.  They are delicious!  The recipe is quite flexible, but on a typical day consists of:
  • fresh papaya
  • fresh mango
  • a banana
  • orange juice
  • real vanilla extract
  • chia seeds
  • whey protein powder
  • cinnamon
Sometimes we have fresh pineapple, dragonfruit (pitaya), or coconut, and will throw that in too.
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Blend with crushed ice
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Serve and enjoy
 
Whenever you move to a new place, it seems like the list of needs is endless.  If you move across town or even across country, you are able to take a lot with you, but moving to a foreign country means leaving most of your possessions behind.  Although we're shipping a pallet of boxes down, it's not worth the cost to ship all the little things you need when setting up a new household.  Spices, condiments, various household potions and cleaning products, paper products; all these have to be bought fresh for our new condo in Belize.  Since we are living car-free here and our beach cruiser bicycles are in the shipment that we're waiting on, that means a lot of walking back and forth to town carrying what we can manage.  Yes, we could take a taxi or water taxi, but we're living on a budget, so we choose to operate on our own power whenever possible.  It's about 2 miles to town, and a lot of that is on the beach, so it's great exercise and quite a nice walk if there's a breeze and your load is not too heavy.

On our first two days, walking into town we battled mosquitos, as the breeze was nearly non-existent.  Today, however, the breeze finally picked up, and it was absolutely gorgeous.  No mosquitos bothered us at all, but the sun was shining warmly, and we were sweating profusely as we walked from place to place.  We had bank business in addition to visiting a multitude of shops.  In Belize most stores are small, so you end up going multiple places to do your marketing.  It's actually a lot of fun, but we are looking forward to having our bikes with baskets, which will enable us to travel faster and carry more.

Today we made it all the way to the south side of San Pedro for some good deals at the less expensive grocery stores there (Marina's and Super Buy South, which we noticed had lower prices on some items than the in-town Super Buy), and visited our two favorite places to buy fruits and veggies: Maria's fruit stand, and Zac's Healthy Belize (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Healthy-Belize/145912062138566).  At Maria's, we were helped by Jose and his son (also Jose).  The fruit there is fresh and inexpensive, and they threw in a free cup of freshly squeezed OJ.  As hot and sweaty as we were, that OJ might as well have been manna from heaven.  Yum!  Here is what we bought at Maria's for $15 BZE ($7.50 US), after eating two of the four bananas:
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Limes, oranges, onion, tomatoes, bananas, pineapple
At Zac's we picked up a great assortment of fresh organic veggies we'll enjoy for the next few days.  We have been eating mostly bean tacos (with tomatoes, onions, chipotle peppers, and cheese) for dinner since arriving here so were very ready to stock up on some green stuff as well as a couple of dragonfruit!  Here's what we got for $46 BZD ($23 US):
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Peppers, asparagus, dragonfruit, arugula, cilantro, mixed salad greens, Malabar spinach
We also visited the GoNature health food store (https://www.facebook.com/pages/GoNature-Health-Food-Store/173156749407154) for the first time and had a nice chat with the owner, Taz.  We ordered some whey protein powder and also mentioned a few other items we would like to buy there.  We were happy to see that she had some great healthy items, and a nice selection of locally produced items.  It will not be hard to eat healthy here at all, and the fact that most of the healthiest food is available on the south side of San Pedro while we're living on the north side will assure that we stay fit as well, since we have to get down there on foot or bike to purchase it.  Barry estimated that we walked about eight miles today while visiting seven different establishments.

Here are a few other assorted photos from the past two days here:
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The Chico Caribe pool feels especially refreshing after our long walks into town
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Little Blue Heron -- we see this guy every day we walk down the beach
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Paisley having a little lap time
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...and killing a coconut!
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Perfect weather for lunch on the veranda -- this sure beats a day in the office!
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The view!