30 January, 2009


Yesterday morning we got an early start. Cody showed up at 8:00 AM and promptly got to work scraping and sanding the stair railings in preparation for painting and varnishing.
Cody Hard At It Early in the Day
By 8:30 AM, Dianna and I were off to Old Belize. Old Belize ( a combination working marina, boat yard with lift-out capabilities, restaurant, and tourist museum and other activities (water slide, zip-line and beach) that is about 5 miles south of Belize City.

After a non-eventful trip through Belize City, we got to Old Belize about 10:30 AM - right on time (more of that type-A behavior). We had come to pick up the mosaic that Gale and Ali had been doing for us.

We went there since that's currently where Gale Peterson and Ali Shandiz call home, living in their hand-painted bus, along with their dog, Scarlet. See their website: (

Here we are, more or less at arrival. We'd already been to Gale and Ali's bus, met Scarlet, picked up our dolphin mosaic. Here's the mosaic, which is sitting in my workshop till we get the waterfall unit installed. Then Gale and Ali will come up and actually do the installation for us.
Our New objet d'art
We then headed back across the marina to the restaurant for lunch. But first, a tour.
Dianna, Gale and Ali
Dave, Dianna and Gale
Before we had lunch, we toured the museum. Gale and Ali have played a big part in the preparation of the museum. Most of the scenery painting was done by Gale. They did all the building facades in the shopping area, floor painting throughout the museum and gift shop, etc.

We started off entering the museum by going through a sort of rain forest/jungle. Pretty much designed for the cruise ship crowd.
Wow! A Real Jungle!
Then we saw an example of a Mayan grave. Complete with actual Mayan pottery and bones.
Mayan Grave
Here in the village scene, was an example of how Belizeans lived in the late 1800's. Funny, I still see a lot of houses, just like that... well, maybe not as well constructed or as square as this example, but similar. Dianna was admiring the hand-made baskets. Gale said when a cruise ship tour is happening, there are actual folks that come in and give demonstrations of basket making, grinding corn, etc.
Dianna Checking Out the Basket

Then we saw a scene depicting some of the lumbering operations that used to occur in Belize, including the preparation of logwood dye, used in fabric dye and printing inks.

Logwood Dye
Here's an example of the early sugar mills in the area. This one is Indian Church.
Sugar Mills
And a quaint dray cart with petrified donkey. Gale did the scene behind the cart, as well as most of the others in the museum.
Dray Cart
Here we are finally in the gift shop. They also have a lot of wood items from the Hattieville prison. All really good looking. We've been meaning to stop at the prison gift shop one of these days.

Notice the wood and stone floor? It's all concrete, painted by Gale. Thirty-some years doing Broadway set decoration comes in handy now and then.
Beautiful Wood and Stone Floor in the Gift Shop
From the museum, we strolled over to the restaurant for a nice cold Belikin and a good bacon cheeseburger and fries. It was unusual in that everything was served at the same time. We're just not used to that anymore. Good food though, and reasonably priced. Lots of Belizeans come here on the weekends for a family outing.

Before we left, I almost forgot to snap a shot of Gale and Ali's bus. Completely hand-painted. It's quite unique. It also reminded me a bit of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters bus, "Furthur" and the trips they made in the early sixties (See for more info on that).
Hand-Painted Bus
Anyway, after filling our belly, we thanked Gale and Ali for being such good hosts (and buying our lunch), said our goodbyes, and returned to Corozal with our mosaic. A fun and tiring day.

This morning, as I told a friend of mine via email, I had to go into town to get some paint (oil-base, exterior, satin or semi-gloss, and a specific color that has to be mixed). This just demonstrates our normal, creative shopping experience down here. Seldom do we ever get everything in one store (We tend to think of every store in town as being a department at Wally World or some other big box place. It's just that our store is big enough you can ride your bike or drive your car from section to section).

The only hardware store in town that can mix paint is Villa's. They were out of BH paint (The best paint, interior or exterior here is BH, made in Jamaica). Their other brands weren't up to snuff. The clerk told me if I could get a gallon of white BH from somewhere else, he'd mix it for me.

Three stores later, it was obvious no one had it. Best I could do was at National Hardware, I got a gallon of Corona, oil-base, white for $40.00 BZ. I took that back to Villa's who mixed it and actually came real close to the original color. Mixing cost $11.00BZ.

Oh, yeh. When I left National, I stopped across the street at the video store and got three bootleg DVDs, The Reader, Slumlord Millionaire, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday again Dave. This morning while at breakfast at the fashionable Southwest Grill my cell phone rang and a message reminded me it was you birthday. I don't think I put that program on but it was a great surprise and again Happy Birthday. Norm