My Five: The Good Friday in Belize Version
My semi-regular “column” called My Five…things that are happening around town, events (both big and small) in my life over the last few weeks and, in my mind, just interesting stuff.
I grew up celebrating Easter – and by celebrating, I mean…heading to my grandmother’s house for the weekend – Easter egg dying (always with this kit) always followed by Tang and Jiffy pop popcorn, an Easter lamb roast dinner, an egg hunt, our only family church outing of the year and waking up to Easter baskets (filled with Brach’s jellybean – blech!, plastic grass and one of those solid sugar eggs with a scene inside) hidden by the Easter bunny. (Not in that order…)
Enough tripping down memory lane…Easter is SO many things in Belize – so I’ll start with that!
Easter Weekend in Belize
Easter weekend is the biggest Christian holiday of the year and many houses – especially the older San Pedrano households – drape purple bunting on balconies and in windows. Belize is predominantly Roman Catholic – and it is the largest church in San Pedro.
Some pics I took yesterday in town.
Purple/violet is the color of royalty and the color of Lent.
Today, Good Friday, is a very solemn day in Belize. There is no alcohol sold or served generally throughout the country – though San Pedro, as a tourist destination, makes some allowances.
(You’ll find that there is no alcohol sales at the International Airport) No need to panic…it’s tradition!
The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church and many of the congregants hold a procession through town at the end of the day.
In usual-non-global-pandemic years, the nightclubs open at midnight…early Easter Saturday…and the partying begins. Every hotel is packed with visitors from all over Belize and Central America – here for the beach parties and huge DJ’ed events. But this year, there will be very little of that. In fact, the few advertised parties have been closed down by the government.
Social distancing, mask-wearing and a 10pm curfew are in effect. We’ve had numerous reminders from our local government as well as the government of Belize to be mindful of the law.
Hopefully everyone stays safe.
A photo from an Easter beach party from 2015. Not this year!
Belize Is One the Front Cover of United’s Hemisphere Magazine for April!
My fantastic writer-friend and GREAT lover of Belize, Ali Wunderman, wrote this month’s cover story for United Airlines about BELIZE! Three Perfect Days in Belize. And since she hops around from San Pedro – hitting Truck Stop, The Belize Food Tours, Matachica and more – to Cayo to Placencia in those three days – we know that it is INSPIRATIONAL! That’s a whole lotta travel.
You might remember her book, Frommer’s Belize – or for the back-cover recommendation, she gave MY book. (She read it before I published it and was SOOOO positive – it gave me the boost to get over my fear-of-failure hump)
It’s SUUUUCH a great article and really captures the adventure, the friendly feel, and the diversity of Belize. THE MAGIC.
Photo of Matachica from the article
The airline’s magazines are not in the back pockets of the plane seats yet – a COVID adjustment that was made. But if you are flying, make sure to ask for a copy! Exciting.
Spring and Cuttings
Spring in Belize is most CERTAINLY a season. It’s not as showy as it is in the states…no melting snow, or returning birds or naked trees starting to bud.
Spring, to me, means Easter Winds (the high, humid winds we can get in March and April on Ambergris Caye – usually between 15 and 25mph constant) and flowers. The rainy season ended in late December, it’s time for the wildflowers and the colors. My sinuses definitely know it’s Spring…they are going nuts.
I’ve had my eye on a few plants in town – sometimes when you peak into the nooks and crannies, you can see some BEAUTIES. Yesterday, I packed my scissors and decided to try to get a few cuttings. ALWAYS ask the owner first. I am not a plant thief 🙂
I’m excited about both. One is called Pigeonberry and it is gorgeous. Native to Mexico and Central America, it doesn’t mind sandy soil or some salt. PERFECT. I got two small pieces of this. BRIGHT purple flowers and peachy berries/seeds.
And then this bougainvillea at the Holiday Hotel. Bougainvillea is very popular here on the island – in bright pinks, purples, white and even peach. But it’s this multi-petaled beauty that I want to grow…
Almost like pom-poms.
Sparadise in a New Location
Yesterday, April 1st, I made my first appointment for a pedicure in over a year. The Sparadise location on Front Street has closed – and I love it there.
So I was very happy to learn that they have moved – just a few buildings up from the Palapa Bar. The spot looks great – my feet and toes look human again. And…all is right with the world!
They are really good about answering inquires on Facebook and WhatsApp. And I was totally convinced to try a Gel Pedicure next time…check them out!
New TV with VPN = Shows I’ve watched this month
Our TV broke – something about the backlight – and it just made sense to get a new one. But that can take time. You can buy a TV in San Pedro – but we decided to get one shipped down from the States using a consolidator company. They have a fixed fee based on the size of the television and….about 3-4 weeks after ordering. Ta-da! Our new 43″ Toshiba Fire television.
The MOST exciting part was that we could AND DID install a VPN on the TV so that we could start watching US Netflix, US Prime and other pay channels that we blocked for years.
After fumbling around with various VPNs for a few weeks, I settled on ExpressVPN and…I’ve been off to the races.
We’ve been watching Schitt’s Creek – LIKE very much but I think I had it blown up to BEST-SHOW-EVER status in my mind and…it’s a sweet, a bit repetitive and I can see why people were loving it during the pandemic. We still have a few more season. (8/10) Netflix US
Girls – I LOVE this show though there is a bit too much gratuitous nudity. Aside from that, these emotionally stunted women in their early 20s in NYC are…just amazing. The male characters are great too. Love them…hate them…want to wring their necks…you are never going to be bored by these people. The writing is clever and funny and often makes me cry…because it’s emotional AND because I’m SO glad I’m no longer in my 20s.
My usual complaint about TV shows is “I just didn’t connect/care about any of the characters”. This will NEVER be an issue with Girls. I’m obsessed. (10/10) HBOMax
The Wilds – Prime US This is a combination Lost and Lord of the Flies with teenage girls dealing with some quite serious issues. They are on a private plane on the way to a weird teen retreat in Hawaii…turbulence and they wash up on the shore of a deserted island where you soon find out, they are being watched. I love it. 9/10
Ginny and Georgia – Netflix. Angsty, annoying 15-year-old Ginny and her supermodel perfect mother (who appears to be about 25 years old) move to suburbia to find a better life. I don’t like any of these characters. I think they try to throw every issue they can think of into this show…and while it’s mildly entertaining…and I did finish it, it was kinda a mess, I didn’t care what happened to any of these people. 5/10
Insecure – HBOMax. Two black female best friends in LA. Relationships, job issues, online dating…I LOVE IT. The music is great (if you like R&B and rap, you’ll like it too.) And Los Angelos looks GORGEOUS. I watched Season One in about a day. Loving it. (9/10)
I have SOOOO much to catch on now that we have HBOMax – 14 years worth of shows! From the Wire to Westworld to rewatching the Sopranos.
I’ve got work to do!
Hope you all have a very happy long weekend. Especially long in Belize since “Easter Monday” is a day off too. Enjoy!
Additional Stuff on My Radar:
The San Pedro Town Council just unveiled a website! And on-line payment system is coming…stay tuned.
I’ve been yapping about getting my citizenship in Belize for the last month. I wanted to let you know that I’ve moved one step closer to completing my paperwork. I went to the San Pedro Police Department with my $12bzd, my completed form, a photocopy of the main page of my passport AND three photos and applied for my police report.
Call us in 4-6 weeks for the police record. Hooray!
I can’t wait to start lording this over Jeff – who has been in Belize a few years longer than I have but has not yet applied for citizenship.
“These are the sorts of things you would know if you were Belizean”
“Are you allowed at this event? I thought it was only for Belizeans”
You catch my drift.