Monday, September 12, 2016

September Festivities

September is a month of celebration here in Belize. The two major events are The Battle of St. Georges Caye Day and Independence Day.

The Battle of St. Georges Caye is an interesting story if you have never heard about it. In the mid-1600s, shipwrecked British sailors became the first recorded European settlers in Belize. This group of pirates, buccaneers and adventurers became know as the Baymen.

On September 10, 1798, the Baymen along side their slaves were forced to defend their tiny settlement against a Spanish invasion of 32 ships carrying 2,000 troops and 500 seamen. Heavily outnumbered and against the odds, the Baymen achieved a decisive victory. 

Independence Day is on the 21st and is celebrated with parades, costumes, beverages and partying. The parade includes a lot of the typical parade features that you would expect but on a smaller scale than you are used to. No matter what time the parade is SUPPOSED to start, count on it being several hours later than that. In addition to the parade another party will be that day. For more than a decade we have hosted a Not On The 4th of July party. It seems only fitting that this year we should have it on Belize's Independence Day while waiting for the parade to start!

Even with the many celebrations, September is known as "Mauga Season" or the Lean/Thin Season. With less tourists, business shut down, complete repairs or go on vacation. Places that you count on to be open certain days all of a sudden are closed for a week or a month. The chances of boredom begin to increase and people find creative ways to have fun. Squeezed between the two major holidays is a new local event known as Putt Putt Drink.

It was decided to host a hole on the Putt Putt Drink course and in true fashion, we are going over the top just a bit. It seems that a tiki bar is just what is needed for both the Not on the 4th of July party as well as Putt Putt Drink! The good news is that near us is a construction site and our material cost began to plummet.

The plan began to take shape and the design was completed. Based on the interior space of our truck the dimensions fell into place and boards were cut. Some more than once. Many of the boards came with screws and after removing those we found that they were the right size to reuse. Sanding? A hand sized flat rock came in pretty handy. The paint? It looks very similar to our house color for some reason.  Total cost to build came in at $5.65BZ. Tiki Jim should be proud.