I don't think I would have been able to keep up the celebrating for much longer. First there was Christmas Day dinner at Elsie's place.
|Elsie and Christina|
|Photogs At Work|
Shortly after we got there, Dianna got busy fixing the gravy. Here she is being all chef-like early on.
|Dianna Making Gravy|
|Denis and Vivien|
|Something About Too Many Cooks?|
|Craig Placing the Yummy Salads|
|Meal, Ready To Eat...|
Then there was Boxing Day. For you non-Brits or other colonials who have gotten lax on the proper celebrations, this is the day after Christmas day, where the lords of the manor gave the 'staff' either the boxes stuff came in or the stuff they didn't want or something like that. I'm not real sure. Anyway, we celebrated that event at Maria and Ed's place.
|Dave and Denis Hard at Work|
|Relaxing at Ed and Maria's|
|Christmas In Belize|
|Ed Carving the Ham|
|Twyla and Maria|
Before I forget, this was preceded by horses duvers.... hors d'overs..., Hors d'oeuvres..., appetizers, whatever. There were enough of those were enough to feed half the town of Corozal.
Then we move up to New Year's. I have to say, I think the economy of Belize is improving vastly. The reason? Well, for Christmas, which used to be the real biggy as far as fireworks, let's just say the fireworks were the usual displays. Not bad. But, about after a half hour or so, the noise from the star shells and other explosives, managed to work itself down to one every now and then, and finally petered out. A fairly normal display.
For New Year's Eve, wow! I couldn't believe it. Horizon to horizon, noise and more noise. And it went on and on for several hours. And, not just the fireworks - at least I think they were fireworks, Ok, with maybe some other explosives mixed in for effect, but I think that every other neighborhood in Corozal and Ranchito had a band or a humungous sound system - maybe both. All night long.
We must be becoming Belizean. The music blasting all night has even begun to sound like normal activity to us - either that or we're simply becoming slightly deaf. Dare I say, that we even look forward to it now?
In fact, the next morning, when I walked the dogs, there were still parties going on. I walked near one in Ranchito. They were still setting off fireworks, playing music and it sounded like there was a yard full of people still whooping it up. Even when I was young, I would have been hard pressed to keep up with these folks. That was around 6:30 in the morning. But they weren't the hard core party goers.
No sir. Not by a long shot. Around 8:00 or so that morning, there was still the sounds of parties going strong from virtually every direction in Corozal. Approaching noon, things finally began to settle down and get quiet, of course with sporadic outbursts of fireworks and some sound system here and there being momentarily cranked.
There had to have been a fortune spent on fireworks alone, not to mention the bands, sound systems (I'm sure some of those were rented), food, drink, rented tables and chairs, and party tents (all big business year-round here).
If you're worried about putting rice and beans on the table for the family, you're not going to spend near as much on the trappings necessary for a great bashment for your family and friends, so that is my rationale for saying things have improved markedly.
Out of the almost six years that we've been here, this was by far the biggest, loudest, most long-lasting celebration of the new year that we have witnessed. At least I hope it is a sign that the economy here is improving. It will only help if it is.
Well, since we're on New Year's as the topic, things just didn't wind down, they kept going. Earl and Gail had their traditional New Year's Day Brunch, which we made it to for the first time in a couple of years.
|Quite a Feast|
|Everyone Getting Comfy|
|Nice Covered Patios|
|Lots of Folks Outside|
|Even More Inside|
|Looking the Other Direction|
|Some Are Not Impressed With the Festivities|
Which was fortuitous, since we had our own event to get back to. We hosted the second annual Corozal Men's Group Polar Bear Swim.
|Our Intrepid Polar Bears|
|Braving the New Year's Day Chill|
|Doug In Canada|
So, after the polar bear swim festivities and ceremonies, we were finally able to relax. My God. I don't remember a holiday season here in Corozal that was as all-encompassing and as all-exhausting as this one. It's going to take the rest of the year to recouperate and prepare for next year.