Today, the first day of fall (though one would never know it here with a high of 93!), we had to renew our tourist visa for the first time.  This is required on a monthly basis for all visitors who are not in the QRP (Qualified Retirement Program) or permanent residents.  We plan to apply for permanent residency eventually, but that requires that we be in the country for a year, so until then, we must go monthly and have our passport stamped for another thirty days.  The cost for this is $50 BZD ($25 US) each for the first six months, and $100 BZD each thereafter.  We can reset the clock by leaving the country for a certain amount of time near the end of your six-month period in order to avoid the higher fees in the second six months.  I see a trip to Mexico in our future!  

Fortunately, the renewal process is easy as the immigration office is right in downtown San Pedro, and nicely air-conditioned too, I might add.  On a morning as hot and humid as today, that was a welcome stop!  We did lose a few days off our first thirty as normally this coming Monday would have been our day to renew, but September 23rd has been declared a national holiday due to the recent death and Monday's state funeral of George Price, the first Prime Minister of Belize, who was very beloved in this country and often called "the Father of the Nation".

This afternoon Barry got our new valance installed in the living area to cover up the roller shade beneath it.  It's a simple, but nice, addition to the room.  We were lucky that Kate at Sew What had the same fabric that the curtains for our sliders were made of.
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Kate also shortened our bedroom curtains for us, so now they don't get in the way of the dresser:
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This afternoon I also planted the basil I'd rooted in a glass, at my mother's suggestion.  Thanks Mom!  Hope it will do well out on our veranda.
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My very tiny garden
Here are a few other photos from the past week that didn't really fit in anywhere else:
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A little "iguana" carved by Hazile, one of the workers here. Really cute, I thought!
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Dangerous-looking holes in the pedestrian portion of the bridge to town. Hope they fix them soon!
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Grocery shopping at Super Buy South
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Shopping at Caye Supplies
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The sunset is blocked by buildings, but we get a nice afterglow from our southeast-facing condo.
Surendra
9/25/2011 09:47:27 pm

why are you choosing to go the Permanent residency route instead of the QRP? You can email us directly if you want

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BeBelize Emily
9/26/2011 06:20:44 am

Email sent, Surendra. Thanks for the question. A couple of sites others may want to check out for QRP vs. Permanent residency (vs. tourist visa) information:

http://www.belize.com/articles/residency-and-retirement-in-belize.html
http://www.belizefirst.com/QRPUpdate.htm

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Surendra
10/7/2011 09:58:29 am

Did not get your email, but thanks for the links.

Surendra

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BeBelize Emily
10/7/2011 11:40:00 am

Surendra,I just re-sent the original email from 9/26. I did have your email address correct, so please check your spam mailbox. You'll need to log in to gmail on the web (https://mail.google.com/mail) to see it, in case that is where it went. Hope you can find it!

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