Monday, June 29, 2009

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: NORMAN RODRIGUEZ - THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN

I am happy to introduce guest blogger Norman Rodriguez. Norman and I met in 2008 at the mayor's office in Belize City. I was there applying for a liquor license for the first ever, spectacular Crooked Tree Village Reunion. Norman astounded me with his love of writing, his insatiable appetite for poetry and most of all his passion for Belize.


WELCOME NORMAN! I am very excited and so glad you are here to share your column "THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN", your love of writing and poetry with us!




The Other Side of the Coin

Fourteen Patriots in A River Regatta into Belizean History

The story of the Battle that gave Belize’s its first independence is told over and over: On the 10thSeptember, 1798, the Spanish fleet came upon the settlement for the seventh time in an effort to drive them off and reclaim the territory that Spain had never settled on but claimed dominion over. Whether the Spaniards believed that this attempt would be another walk over or hoped that our forefathers would just pick up or pack up as they usually did and go over to the Mosquito Shores to hide until things calmed down, the resistance they got was not representative of any cowards willing to just walk away from what they had sweated and shed tears over for years.

The defeat of the Spaniards is a feat worthy of recognition. Our history tells of the suffering and abuse our forefathers endured throughout their time in the settlement from its establishment to the Battle of St. George’s Caye. The Spaniards were continuously trying to remove the settlers permanently, and they successfully did so on six occasions before the Battle of St. George’s Caye. One of their most successful attempts was probably in 1779 when the Spaniards captured St. George’s Caye, looted it, and marched over three hundred settlers and their slaves into imprisonment in Havana. The settlers and their slaves were exchanged in 1782.

We have many recorded episodes that make up the full history of the Battle of St. George’s Caye and the days leading up to the Battle of St. George’s Caye. The most important one is our Forefathers’ decision to stay and fight rather than to run to the Mosquito Shores away from the dangers brought on by the advancing Spaniards as was the norm when an invasion threatened. We know that in the only form of Parliament, the Public Meeting, the Settlers came together and voted whether to stand and fight or to run away until things cooled down, and that there was at one point a deadlock 51-51 in the voting with twelve not casting. Our history tells the following:

On June 1, 1797, a Public Meeting, (1) the recognized ‘Parliament” of settlement was held to decide this vital question. 128 persons attended. Of these, 51 voted in favor of evacuation, 65 for defense, and 12 did not vote.

True patriots are rare today, but our history is filled with numerous names of those who have displayed real patriotism over time including the late Hon. Phillip Goldson. Historical facts can be researched in our Archives and in the history of a few other countries that had involvement in the History of Belize; namely England, Jamaica, and Cuba.

By 1797, the settlement was bigger, more flourishing, and too valuable to lose, so the settlers had to decide if they would revert to the usual relocation to the Mosquito Shores or stay and fight in the event of another Spanish attack. One group strongly supported the traditional evacuation of the settlement. The other group, the patriots, repelled the idea of turning their backs on everything they had achieved. Thomas Paslow, one of the dominant patriot leaders called the members of the group cowards. He said that ‘Any man who will not defend his country is not entitled to reap the benefits there of.’ (Emory King’ A Diary of St. George’s Caye)—Battle of St. George’s Caye, Bicentennial Souvenir Booklet, Page 19, Paragraph 4

The story that changed and made history that is untold is about fourteen unsung heroes and patriots who lived in Flowers Bank, and who, in the dark of the night slipped and slid down the Belize River in pit pans to cast their votes to stay and fight. Their act of true patriotism shaped the history of Belize and saved our beloved Land of the Free from that act of invasion.

On Saturday, 13th June, 2009, this very important episode of bravery and true patriotism was finally cemented in the history books when the Flowers bank monument was unveiled. The monument, the brainchild of Dr. Neil Garbutt (deceased), a true and rare Belizean Patriot, stands solid as a true landmark of deep history. He, along with the Chairman of Flower’s Bank Village, Mr. Clinton Rhaburn, worked tirelessly to erect a monument that proudly tells the world about fourteen Belizean patriots who lived in Flowers Bank and who made the journey to Belize Town in their little pit pans to vote to stay and fight. They broke the deadlock 51-51 and that lead to the battle of St. George’s Caye, which ended the Spaniards’ attempts to invade the settlement and to displace the settlers. The settlement flourished thereafter and Belize Town grew into what we have today, the Land of the Free.

It is now our turn to be patriots. Belize is calling on each of us to defend her as invasion of a modern kind and in a variety threats. Let us live the example of all those who have been before us and stand in defense of our Garden of Eden. We will not give up a blade a grass or a drop a watta. Long live Belize!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

HISTORICAL MONUMENT IN FLOWERS BANK-BELIZE

The monument in memory of 14 Belizeans who constituted the majority vote against the evacuation of the settlement of Belize Town in 1797. They decided to stay and fight against the invading Spanish forces to ensure the security of the settlement. The decision to stay led to the historic victory at the Battle of St. George's Caye on September 10, 1798 over 212 years ago. 
The official ceremony organized by the Village Council of Flowers Bank in collabration with the National Institute of Culture and History and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. Entertainment was by Mr. Peters and the Boom and Shine Band.
Attorney General & Foreign Minister of Belize Hon. Wilfred Elrington
Belize Rural North Rep. Hon. Edmond "Clear the Land" Castro
The Flowers Bank Monument was established by Mr. Neil Garbutt and the Flowers Bank Village Council.
Clinton Rhaburn; Chairman, Flowers Bank Village Council
Rev. Linda Moguel did the invocation and blessed the monument
Children dancing to Leelah Vernon's "WHO SEH CREOLE NO GAT NO CULTURE"
Children of Flowers Bank St. Stephens Anglican School singing a patriotic songs
Visitors during the ceremony
Norman Rodriguez

All photos by Norman Rodriguez

VIEW FROM CROOKED TREE VILLAGE

Elsa Moulton on Summer break from Belize University
Vince Crawford, visiting with neighbors
Some of the cows from Alden Wade's herd, resting under the shade of Cashew Trees

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. MICHAEL JACKSON

GETTY IMAGES/ MICHAEL JACKSON IN 1984

Today is a very sad day, first was the announcement that "Charlie's Angels" Farrah Fawcett, died from a long battle with cancer. Then later in the afternoon, more shocking news came in that the King of pop, Michael Jackson, had a cardiac arrest and later died at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. His cause of death is still unknown.

An autopsy will be performed tomorrow. Michael Jackson, was pronounced dead on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 2:26 p. m. at age 50.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

DREAMS COME THROUGH

Officials from the Social Investment Fund
Reynard Tillett
Percy Westby, Henry Westby, Sr, Henry Westby, Jr. and Epraim Wade
Workers from the Community
Trench for the Pipes
Trenching the Pipes

The 900 residents of 245 households of Crooked Tree Village will soon have access to a new running water system thanks to a BZ$1.45 million project launched on October 8, 2008.


Officials from The Social Investment Fund under the Ministry of Economic Development with the participation of workers from within the community have begun trenching for the pipe installation. This is an historic and much needed project for one of the oldest and continuously inhabited villages in Belize.


Crooked Tree Village has experienced many hardships and water shortages throughout the dry seasons. They have had to rely on constant cleaning and clearing of wells and sometimes even nearby creeks for water supply. In a couple of months they will no longer need to depend on that little white plastic bucket and a dipper to take a bath. Every effort is being made to finish the project in time for Christmas.


All Photos by Becky and Dr. Jane Crawford

MAYA AIRWAYS TO-CANCUN-SAN PEDRO SULA- GUATEMALA CITY


P. O. Box 458

Belize City

Belize, Central America

Tel: (501) 22 35794

Fax: (501) 22 30576

E-mail: miatza@btl.net



BELIZE-CANCUN-SAN PEDRO SULA- GUATEMALA CITY

MAYA ISLAND AIR

REGIONAL LAUNCHING

PROMOTION

SPECIAL FOR MONTH OF JULY 2009 ONLY:

USD$199.00 FOR ROUND TRIP FIRST LEG

PLUS USD$99.00 FOR ROUND TRIP SECOND LEG


INAUGURAL FLIGHTS: SPECIAL RAFFLE FOR PASSENGERS WHO BUY TICKETS BETWEEN JUNE 16th. AND JULY 5TH. TEN LUCKY WINNERS GET ONE FREE ROUND TRIP TICKET EACH BETWEEN ANY TWO DESTINATIONS TO FLY ON THE INAUGURAL FLIGHTS ON JULY 8TH, WITH ALL DIGNITARIES.


FIRST MONTH:


SUPER RAFFLE: ONE FREE SUPER TICKET TO FLY ANY AND EVERY DAY, ANYWHERE MAYA FLIES FOR PASSENGERS WHO FLY BETWEEN JULY 8TH. AND JULY 31ST. 2009 (FOR USE BY WINNER ONLY).


ONE FREE TICKET TO ANYWHERE MAYA FLIES FOR EVERY FOUR TICKETS PURCHASED AND USED BY ANY DIRECT FAMILY MEMBER (FATHER, MOTHER, SONS & DAUGTHERS) FOR PASSENGERS WHO FLY BETWEEN JULY 8TH. AND JULY 31ST. 2009.


THEREAFTER:


ONE FREE TICKET FOR EVERY FOUR TICKETS PURCHASED WITHIN ANY GIVEN YEAR TO BE USED ONLY BY THE PURCHASER FOR ANYWHERE MAYA FLIES FOR PASSENGERS WHO FLY AFTER JULY 31ST. 2009.

*SUBJECT TO CHANGE BY MAYA ISLAND AIR REGIONAL*

Thursday, June 18, 2009

AMERICANWAY MAGAZINE: BEAUTIFUL BELIZE

The Belize Tourist Board and American Airlines, the largest airline company in the US, unveiled the latest issue of AmericanWay Magazine. Gracing the cover of the June's Issue is Belize's First Lady, Kim Simplis Barrow. The in-flight magazine has a readership of 3.5 million. READ MORE

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

VIEW FROM CROOKED TREE VILLAGE


MRS YVONNE TILLETT: HANGING OUT THE LAUNDRY
Hard at Work


Another day, another clothesline full of fresh laundry in Crooked Tree Village. On a hot day, wet clothing dries in about an hour, sometimes less. And there’s nothing that smells like fresh, line-dried clothing. Moreover, it’s environmentally responsible, and on cold days, if you don’t have a dryer in Crooked Tree Village, don’t worry, even the winter sun is warm. This courtyard is more than a laundry, its Ms. Yvonne’s private garden with beautiful flowers and her farm, full of all different kind of animals.

I do love walking down the roads of my village and keeping an eye out for clotheslines full of fresh laundry.

All Photos by Linda



Monday, June 15, 2009

THIS IS WHY I DON’T LIKE TO COOK

Linda's Weird Johnny Cakes
Pocked Mark Johnny Cakes

Thanks to all of you that responded and gave me tips on making the perfect Johnny Cake. I spent Sunday morning trying to make better Johnny cakes. My fifth attempt in the past month went well, it was fun, and everything seems just great, the taste was ok, but the texture wasn’t very pretty. What the heck? But I’m sure you experienced ladies (and gents) can tell from the pictures above. Maybe I should just stick to “Fry Jack & Tortilla” which is much easier and tastier for me.


The real problem is whenever I cook anything; I put in tons of time and effort and gained very little. Even if some of my cooking tastes good, the next time I cook the same thing, the taste is very different. The truth is, I’m just not a good cook like my sister Becky. She is an amazing cook who knows that cooking is an art even though the food disappears. I love to eat food made by people like her. At my age, you would have thought that I would have developed my style by now!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

BEAUTIFUL DAY TO VISIT WILLIE “BILLBLACK” CADLE



GROCERY SHOPPING FOR BILL


BILL WITH SOME OF HIS GROCERIES FROM SHELDON

BILL AND HIS DOG



Couple weeks ago Becky and I set out to visit Willie "Bill black" Cadle off the side of the Crooked Tree Village Road. The morning sun was stunning, perfectly blue skies and beautiful breezes off the Crooked Tree Lagoon. Driving over the causeway, we counted no less than nine long legged Jabirus. The temperature today; high 90's!

A friend of mine in Los Angeles, Sheldon Nicholson, sent me some money to buy groceries for Bill after seeing him pushing his bicycle cart on the Crooked Tree road to grocery shop. Bill wasn't at home so we set off to Orange Walk Town.

What a great day for ladies day! We headed to the hair salon and lunch at a nice restaurant overlooking the river in Orange Walk. After lunch we hopped over to the Orange Walk Farmers Market for some bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and cilantro, staples for Ms. Becky.

After hair, shopping and lunch, we stopped in to see the Chairman of Carmelita Village, Mr. Randy Jones. Randy is also a tour guide and we had been thinking of going to Lamanai Maya Ruins for a day by boat.

Driving back to Crooked Tree Village, we mostly chatted about the things we like or things we used to do growing up in Crooked Tree Village; friends, clothes, books, plants, etc. It was almost dark when we got back to Bill's neighborhood, but we were lucky this time. 


I must tell you that Bill is an unexpectedly funny man!


All photos by: Robert Tillett

TRAVOLTA STUCK ON CRUISE SHIP TO BELIZE

JOHN TRAVOLTA SWINE FLU SCARE ON A CRUISE SHIP IN BELIZE

John Travolta was stuck on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line " Enchantment of the Sea" after the Belize government quarantines passengers on the ship. READ MORE


Friday, June 12, 2009

BELIZE DISTRICT CRICKET ASSOCIATION


THE TEAM-BRILLIANT CRICKET CLUB-THE BEST IN BELIZE DISTRICT

ROY"BWAI-BWAI" MOULTON-THE BOWLER

KYLE CODD, DARRELL TILLETT & LYON"CODDY"CODD-MAY 2009 CRICKET GAMES

GODWIN "CABBO" WESTBY AND EVAN "BANG" RHABURN- MAY 2009

GILROY "GILLY" NICHOLSON AT THE GAMES IN CROOKED TREE-MAY 2009
Press Release 0014 -2009


Mr. Elihue Bonner
President (BDCA)
Belize District Cricket Association
Ph # 604-0038
June 5th, 2009

The Belize District Cricket Association is taking this opportunity to inform Cricketers, Fans and Umpires of the start of the Belize District Cricket Association (BDCA) semi-finals has started this last Saturday June 6th 2009. Teams that successful made it to the semi-finals listed below.

In first position Brilliant of Crooked Tree Village with one lost to Lords Bank Sunrise.
In second position Sunrise of Lords Bank Village
In third position Bright Star of Sand Hill Village
And in fourth place Unfinished Business of Biscayne Village

Reggae Boys drop out of the competition. (However for a new team, they had displayed Great Spirit of the game, excellent sportsmanship and dedication to the sport)

The Belize District Cricket Association revises Bye –Laws, revised 2008. Stated that the semi-finals should be played home and away and the third game will be played at a neutral ground set by the association.

Venue and schedule games for last Saturday June 6th 2009
Unfinished Business of Biscayne Vs Brilliant of Crooked Tree in Crooked Tree. (Postponed due to rain, Brilliant was batting and scored (205 runs with (2) wickets to fall) this game is schedule to continue this weekend June 13th at Biscayne Cricket field.

Bright Star of Sand Hill Vs Sunrise of Lords Bank in Lords Bank. (Lords bank Sunrise has won the match with (231 all out to Bright Star (116) all out.
Game two is schedule to play this weekend June 13th between Sunrise and Bright Star at Sand Hill Village.

ALL PHOTOS BY:LOUISE CRAWFORD

OBAMA APPOINTS INDIAN-AMERICAN AS AMBASSADOR TO BELIZE


President Barack Obama has nominated his friend and former room-mate and major campaign fund-raiser Vinai Thummalapally of Colorado Springs, Colorado, as the next US Ambassador to Belize, the only country in Central America where English is the official language. READ MORE and HERE

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

SOLVING CROOKED TREE’S GARBAGE PROBLEMS


THIS IS THE ROAD WHERE MANY TOURISTS STROLLED TO BIRDWATCH

HERE YOU ARE PRACTICALLY DRIVING ON GARBAGE

HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES:click on pictures to enlarge

FURNITURE AND APPLIANCES AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD

Crooked Tree Village, like many small islands on our planet is suffering from a garbage disposal problem.

For some time now, I have been monitoring with much interest, the garbage situation in Crooked Tree Village. The village is swimming in excess refuse; some of it, the burning of hundreds of empty plastic bottles, could be harmful to children and the elderly and there is no appropriate management in sight.

The village does not have a single communal garbage dump. Trash is literally everywhere. Some of the villagers have created their own dump in their yards by digging deep holes to burn garbage. Others just simply throw their trash in their yards or would sneak at night in the under populated areas of the island and dump their trash at the side of the back roads.

It is not a pretty sight to see, from refrigerators to stoves, microwaves, beds, hundreds of plastic bags and bottles and even dangerous chemicals. Some of these refuse could take years to decompose or rot.

Our world is one big village and mankind its citizens. The people in Crooked Tree Village deserve to live in dignity. The problem of garbage can be solved with several approaches involving the villagers, the local government (Village Council) and environmental education. One of the first things we can do is not to create excessive waste. Improving and educating our young children and youth about recycling and proper disposal of waste is another. Encouraging people to reduce, re-use, recycle and to start composting food for fertilizer is another great idea. An activity on Earth Day teaching school children proper practices is an excellent program that can easily be developed. And lastly, the Village Council should start posting signs, warning and imposing fines, in order to discourage people from dumping garbage on public roads.

Crooked Tree Village needs a garbage collection program run by the local government, or better yet, the Belize Tourism Industry Association, since the entire island is a government protected sanctuary. Within a few years, if nothing is done, we will not only swim in garbage, but we will be sleeping on garbage too.

We cannot only depend on politicians; they tend to put economic reasons before our health and our environment. Education is the only way and it is a gradual process that can be successful, but will take years of awareness training. We should start now and keep working at it. We have to teach our children to see waste as a resource and not a problem. For example, all the beers in glass bottles that are consumed at sporting events have a $0.25 deposit fee. Instead of being scattered or dumped in back roads, they should be collected at a designated site and be returned for the deposited fees.

The people of Crooked Tree Village are living on a small island, they need to work together to find a solution to the serious garbage problems that they are facing.

I would like to hear from villagers and concerned Belizeans on the management of excessive garbage in Crooked Tree Village.

All photos by Linda