Monday, October 29, 2012

Snorkeling Pics!

Getting under way, we are all excited!

Sierra's first trip to the reef.  She didn't really know if SHE was excited or not...

Our tour guides:  Carlos and Angel making sure we have our lunch supplies.

Ok, the next pictures are under water.  It was our first time getting to play with  the camera, so please excuse the lack of flash (I didn't figure out how to turn it on  until we got home), the lack of framing (the fish are really freaking fast) or lack of any photographic skill on my part.  If I know what the creature is called I will caption it.  ***SPOILER ALERT****  When you get to the shark pictures, DON'T PANIC!  They are just baby nurse sharks and DO NOT attack people!  They will bite if you shove your hand in their mouths, but I am excited not stupid!  The first time I went to the reef I got to swim with BIG nurse sharks, but I am not supposed to tell my Granny that, so Granny, don't read that ok?  Alrighty then, let's post some pics!

One of our tour guides, Angel

Pretty coral, too bad you can't see it

Trying to convince Sierra to get in the water, she thinks Grandpa is crazy!

Ten minutes later she finally hangs her feet over but still doesn't want to go in...

Sierra finally makes it into the water!  Way to go!

Pretty fishies

More fishies and some coral

Our tour guide Carlos


Fishies and coral

Something really cool Carlos was trying to show me, but I didn't understand his bubbles.

Carlos pointing out pretty fishies and coral


Ummm, the bottom of the ocean?  Oh, coral, yeah, coral!

Aha!  One I know!  Spider Crab!

Carlos' fin and some coral


Fire coral, DON'T TOUCH!

Rick's bubbles obviously say "I LOVE YOU!"

Granny, skip the next few photos please!  We left the reef proper and headed over to shark and ray alley.  Let's go see some sharks!

Chumming to get the little guys to come visit.

Interesting note here:  The sharks and rays actually FOLLOW the boats around here.  Not for the reason Granny is thinking if she didn't skip these pictures, but it started a long time ago when the fisherman would clean their fish on the boats and toss the guts in the water.  Harmless nurse sharks and the Southern Stingrays would follow them around for free goodies.  Here come some more, Granny, keep your eyes closed!

Now the rays have come to play too

They really are such beautiful creatures, they are actually playing together.

Carlos holding a ray, they like to be petted

Ok, so now we have friends to swim with, so let's get in the water!  Ok, well HALF of us got in the water.  Rick and Sierra decided to keep their feet nice and dry on the boat while Grandpa and I jumped right in.  Oh, you see the picture above?  Carlos is STANDING UP, it is very shallow here.

Grandpa holding a Southern Stingray

Carlos holding a little shark for us to pet.  The skin on the top is what you would think, like sand paper, but when he flipped him over so we could pet his tummy, it was very soft and you could feel his breathing and heart beat.

Brave fishy!

Southern Stingray, he kept tickling my feet!

Flipping the shark over so we could pet his tummy.

Beautiful collection of sea life, all gathered together.


Tour guide Angel

Me trying to keep my fins off the bottom so we can take pictures.  It was very shallow.

Ok, back to the reef now...
Fishy swimming away, fishy swimming away fast!

Finally, got some better light and look, a fish!

Beautiful fan coral

Ok, I really liked this coral collection, there are like three pictures of it from slightly different angles.  Looks almost fake, like something you would buy to put up behind your aquarium at home.

Closer up

Like I said, I REALLY liked this little grouping of coral!

Spiny Sea Urchin, don't let this photo fool you, those spines are over six inches long!  Glad I didn't get stuck by one!

Come out, come out little fishy!

There you are!

Rick stole the camera, oh my goodness I look fat!  But oh well, it was fun!

So peaceful!



Well, thanks for snorkeling with us, tell Granny she can open her eyes now, we made it back safely!

Yeah Pics! (Sittee River Trip)


Ok, so I'm a slacker!

Sorry guys!  I know it has been forever and a day since I posted.  We have been busy, busy little bees.  My dad got here so we had to show him around and get him settled, then we ran over to Cayo district for the weekend and stayed on the Sittee River.  Pictures coming!  (My dad brought me a camera so this should happen more often now, LOL)

Trying to get our work permits in order, keep kids busy, house clean and hubby and father out of my hair.  My  dad and I did rent some tanks and do a little shallow diving on the back side of the island, but it was too muddy to take pictures that day.  Oh, we took Sierra out to the reef and did some snorkeling too, I have pics for that too.  I  finally have a working VPN (yes, sadly I had to break down and BUY  one :-(  I hate paying for things like that!) so Skype is now working.  Google+ is working too, but seems to be more complicated than necessary for some of my family.  I only put VPN on this laptop for now, but will get my dad set up soon.  Can't really think of anything new to say really.  Which  is good I guess, I hate drama!  Nice, slow, boring (well not really, not to me) life.  It will be perfect once I can start working!

Ok, I am going to go get the cameras and get pics uploaded so you can see what has been happening with us.  Miss you all, and love you all so much!  Even those of you I have never met.  If you are here reading or a follower of my blog, I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Home again

Well, Rick and I just got home from Belize City.  I got to spend a few days in the hospital.   Yeah me.  I had a cyst on my ovary rupture, which doesn't feel good let me tell you.  While I was getting all of my tests done it also came to light that I have bilateral kidney disease as well.   The good news is that my kidneys are still functioning like they should, and with some dietary changes I can keep them that way for a long, long time.  So good news with bad, yes, they found it, but at the earliest point so that I can keep it under control.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of High School

Well today was my first day of high school, as a teacher that is.  It went fairly well.  I have ten students, eight boys and two girls.  Most of them seem bright and eager, a couple looked like they would rather be napping and one who seemed to think he should be teaching the class.  I think he might be my problem child.  For those who want to learn, I am there to teach, for those who want to sleep, I will fix your computers for the rest if your life (for a price) but what to do with one who thinks he already knows it all already?  Actually, I am already forming a plan.  He seems to be the ring leader of a group of talkers, so I think I shall make him my assistant.  By keeping his little hands busy maybe it will help keep his little mouth shut.  And maybe by asking HIM questions, maybe, just maybe I can steer him in the right direction.  I was a know it all too (I know Granny, I KNOW!) but still, somehow, I managed to actually learn something along the way.  I hope to be able to get through to this one.  Maybe he is NOT my problem child, maybe he is my special project.  Yes, yes indeed, I like that much better.  It's always so nice to talk these things out so thank you Reader, thank you for being there to listen when I just need to ramble out loud and figure things out.  It's so nice to know you are out there.

Friday, August 31, 2012

To Whine or Not To Whine...

I believe that happiness is a choice no matter where you are.  If you go to a foreign country with a negative attitude, you are bound to have a negative experience.  If you go with love in your heart for the country and its people, I think you will see that returned to you.  Sure, Belize has its problems, but so does anyplace on earth.  If you focus on the negative all you will see the negative.  I choose to focus on the positive, and I see it around me everywhere.  Someone suggested that I change the name of my blog because Belize isn't paradise.  It isn't?  It's hot, really freaking hot at the end of August, but is that a reason to complain or an excuse to go swimming?  Yep, there's a LOT of bugs.  A reason to complain or evidence of a thriving ecosystem?  A poor economy, yes, that sucks for everyone, but it gives the community a chance to pull together.  Just like me volunteering at the schools.  I would not be needed like this back in the States.  Just like the proverbial glass, it is your PERCEPTION that makes a place Paradise or Hell.  Attitude is the minds paint brush, it can color any situation.  Paradise?   Maybe not, but this is where I have chosen to make my home and raise my children and I will be damned if I will let some one else's negativity alter my happiness.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New chapter in life.

I never pictured myself as the teacher type.  I am not the most patient person in the world.  I did have fun home schooling my kids, when they did what they were supposed to any way, but other people's kids?  Well, it is time for me to learn a new skill.  I am going to be a teacher!  Wow, it is weird seeing that in print.  I will be teaching computers at the elementary school for a couple of months until the real teacher can get back.  This is just as a volunteer.  I am also volunteering at the high school and will be teaching computer diagnostics and repairs.  Seems like a lot and I am feeling a little overwhelmed.  It started out with me volunteering to make sure the elementary school's computer lab was up and running for school.  Simple enough.  Then the high school asked if I would be willing to teach an elective class.  One hour a week, actually sounds fun, ok.  Then I went to the elementary school to work on their computers and the principal said that the computer teacher wouldn't be back until the end of October, and could I please fill in for her until she comes back?  Three days a week, Standards 4, 5 and 6.  How can you say no to kids?!  I couldn't.  So, I am now a volunteer teacher four days a week.  I am excited and terrified!  I will keep you updated, provided the kids don't kill me...