Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TROPHY DAY EXTRAVAGANZA BY BNCA

Surprise Cricket Club of Lemonal Village-2010 Cricket Champions

President Belize National Cricket Assoc-Elston Wade


Governor General of Belize-Sir Colville Young(R)

LEMONAL VILLAGE, Sat. August 21, 2010

Belize National Cricket Association's (BNCA) president Elston Wade had the official table set with an array of trophies, medals and awards to be issued to the winners and special awardees for the recently completed 2010 SMART Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition. Despite the premature departure of the guest of honor; His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, due to some disorderly conduct, the trophy ceremony went on as planned. Huge man-sized trophies were received by the champions, Surprise of Lemonal, and the sub-champions, Excellence of Double Head Cabbage. Individual trophies were also awarded to members of these two teams, although the Excellence captain collected those to distribute later in Double Head. Also, since the first round of the competition had two divisions, team trophies were awarded to the Group A champion (Surprise) and sub-champion (Brilliant of Crooked Tree), and to the Group B champion (Excellence) and sub-champions (Wicked Eleven of Flowers Bank).

Special guest speaker for the occasion Sports Director Anthony Michael issued a Spirit of Cricket team award, $500.00 check to the Surprise team for for its demonstration of sportsmanship. He also promised to increase this award to $1000.00 in the upcoming 2011 competition, as well he promised another $1000.00 for the Best Sportsman of the tournament  in 2011.

In recognition of its centenary celebration last year (1909-2009), the ICC had assigned five ICC, International Cricket Council Centenary Medals to be distributed to by the BNCA. None of the selected individuals were present (only the G. G. was there earlier but had to leave before the ceremony); and the medals were received in their behalf for: Telford Vernon by his son Trevor Vernon; for CHARLES ADOLPHUS, by the Brilliant team captain; and for umpire Norman Bennett, Ms. Virge Flowers and Sir Colville Young by BNCA president Elston Wade.

The tournament MVP trophy went to 17 year old Surprise player Herbert Banner, and he was also presented with a bat and tips set, valued at close to $1000.00 , by resident ICC umpire Calbert "Cally" Banner.

Mrs. Margaret Hendy presented the Vallan Hendy Spirit of Cricket Trophy for sportsmanship to 14 year old Keenan Flowers of the Excellence team.

The vote of thanks to end the ceremony was given by Mrs Gayle Thompson.

There were two 20/20 matches played, the start of a knockout competition, during the course of the day, and we await the report on those from the BNCA.

Reprinted from the AMANDALA newspaper of Sunday, August 29th, 2010.

Photos by Elston Wade

Friday, August 27, 2010

US NEWS ARTICLE CAUSES BIG WAVES IN LITTLE BELIZE

As people's retirement plans have changed the Central American country of Belize is getting welcomed attention in the international media. US News and World Report, AARP, The Boston Herald, as well as Yahoo Finance published an article on how to retire in Belize on $1,500. a month and the response has been overwhelming. (via Yahoo)


(PRWEB) August 27, 2010 -- Retire on $1,500 a month in a frost-free tropical paradise? That dream is a reality in Belize which has been in the world headlines this month.


The ball got rolling on Friday the 13 this month with an article in US News and World Report, followed up by another article in the American Association of Retired Persons Magazine, and then an article in Yahoo Finance and the response has been overwhelming since then.


The articles highlight Belize as an ideal retirement destination due to it being the only English speaking country in Central America, close proximity to North America, and best of all, how you can retire in comfort for under U.S. $1,500. a month.


The U.S. News and World Report article mentioned several Belize retiree stories, including that of a Philadelphia woman Lara Lennon who retired to Ambergris Caye Belize and then decided to start a bikini clothing business which has become a runaway success.


Lara related in a recent interview that “I pay $65 a year in property taxes versus $7500 in Philadelphia. If you can redefine what you thought your retirement would look like, and you can make a few small changes”, you too can 'Live the Dream' just like me!”


The spate of Belize retirement articles led to intense interest on the Internet and many Belize related websites crashed due to the traffic spike.


Manolo Romero, Managing Director of the largest independent Belize website Belize.com reports that "Our SMS alerts went off at at 6 on the morning of Friday the 13 signaling that our servers were coming under severe load. We had never seen something like this. We got so much traffic we thought it would take down our servers."


Romero said that thanks to the Belize.com sever infrastructure which is mirrored in the U.S. to provide backup capacity, the website did not even break a sweat and is one of a handful of Belize websites that did not go down under the deluge of thousands of people all searching for information on Belize.


The most viewed article on the Belize website was Top Ten Reasons To Live Or Retire In Belize which is a concise guide for those considering buying a second home or retiring full time in Belize. Some folks are aware that Belize is an offshore banking center, so pages devoted to Belize Offshore Banking got a lot of attention


A writer and photojournalist, Romero says Belize is full of success stories from expats who have come up to Belize out of curiosity and then decided to stay.


"One of our customers, the first jungle lodge established in Belize in 1981 was set up by a wondering English couple who were exploring the world.


"Mike and Lucy Fleming arrived in Belize with 300 British Pounds - about U.S. $465. and leased an overgrown farm in the jungle in western Belize. They spent a couple of years hacking down bush, building a little cabin from local materials and living as subsistence farmers before buying the land outright.


"That farm today is Chaa Creek - a world-class Jungle Lodge that has been featured in
publications such as Conde Naste and National Geographic Adventure Magazine," said Romero,

In a recent interview Lucy Fleming was asked what inspires her about Belize:


"To live in a country where the people are as diverse and colorful as the unique environments they inhabit is truly inspirational. I am awed by the spirit of a people who are
able to create such a homogenized society configured by so many assorted heritages – Belize is home to eight distinct cultures."



Thanks to the media stories, Belize is now gaining increasing attention from families seeking to make their retirement plans or simply find a new place to reinvent themselves and make a fresh start.


M.A. Romero is a Belize based writer and photojournalist and Managing Director of Belize.com Ltd. The company's main web site is at www.belize.com. 



Photo by: Marius Jovaisa from his new book titled HEAVENLY BELIZE. This book is available at various book stores across Belize and orders can be placed online by visiting the Website at http://www.heavenlybelize.com/ 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE, DEAN OLIVER BARROW IN LOS ANGELES

Hon. Roland York, Prime Minister Barrow and wife Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Ambassador Mr. H.E. Nestor Mendez 


Click on all photos for close-up view
Belizeans turned out in large numbers to greet the Prime Minister of Belize, Honorable Dean Oliver Barrow and his wife Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow to Los Angeles, California on August 13-15, 2010. Since becoming Prime Minister in 2008, this is Mr. Barrow’s fourth official trip to the United States visiting with Belizean communities in the States.  

Almost thirty years since Belize became an independent country, Barrow is the first Prime Minister of Creole descent. Before becoming Prime Minister, Mr. Barrow was first elected to the House of Representative in 1984 as a United Democratic Party candidate in the Queen’s Square electoral division, and served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Economic Development from 1984-1989 under the UDP administration.

Mr. Barrow was re-elected to his Queen’s Square house seat from 1989-1993 and from 1993- 1998 he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs
and National Security, and Attorney General.  He was elected party leader in 1998 and on February 8, 2008 Mr. Barrow was sworn into office after his United Democratic Party won a landslide victory in Belize’s general election.


Since the Independence of Belize there were many visits to Los Angeles by the head of state, but this particular reception felt like a down home event. Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, and his Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, Mr. H.E. Nestor Mendez, were a class act and they made Belizeans proud. They conducted themselves in such an inclusive manner that they didn’t need any Secret Service protection, although such protection was in over abundance.
 The Dinner/Dance reception at the U.S.C. Radisson Hotel Grand Ballroom was a class act. There were forty-four tables, with the First Family and their guests occupying the table at the forefront of the hall. There were also a number of people who had to stand around as there was not enough room to accommodate the crowd that showed up.
The First Family and the Ambassador arrived at the hotel in a motorcade through a pre-designated back entrance at 7:45 pm and were ushered into an opened elevator that took them up to the 2nd floor and into a waiting room. Their grand entrance to the ballroom was met with applause from a cheerful and roaring crowd. The Consul General of Belize, the Hon. Roland Yorke rallied the crowd a bit before introducing the Ambassador, who then gave a short speech calling on the Prime Minister to address the audience. Dinner was then served to the sound of soft music. After the dinner, a program was held which paid tribute to members of the Belizean community who had past, but contributed to Belizean communities in Los Angeles and in Belize; Family members received plaques in their honor. Several individuals were present to receive recognition certificates for their contribution in the local Los Angeles community and back home in Belize. After the award ceremony, Prime Minister Barrow and his wife retired into a large waiting room where they took pictures first with families who received awards earlier in the evening and then the general public.  A long line of Belizeans queued up to have their pictures taken with the first family. 
 The first family re-entered that Ballroom to the jamming sounds of the “New Wave Band”, they mingled with the crowd for a while, and then joined them on the dance floor, with the Secret Service detail tip-toeing to watch their every move. The P.M. and his wife, danced to several reggae and socca beats seeming to be having a good time, before they retired for the night.
The attendance for the event was predominantly older Belizeans, with a sprinkling of Belizean youths. L.A. retired City Councilman, Robert Farrell, was also present at the event.  Linda Lewis-Brown, who is also the Honorary Consul in Los Angeles was in attendance. Other attendees I’d like to mention included several of my fellow villagers from Crooked Tree; Melford Tillett, Yvette Perriot and her sister, Lorna (Lee) Richards, Penelope Tillett, Morland Kerr and his wife Helen, Mrs. Tricia Logan nee Jones, who is the Receptionist/Secretary at the Belize Consulate in Los Angeles.
At the Town Hall Meeting, held the following day, the Consul General of Belize, Hon. Roland York welcomed the First Family and Ambassador Mendez.  Everyone arose to their feet for the playing of the American National Anthem followed by the Belizean National Anthem. The Consul General then called upon the Ambassador to address the audience, who in turn introduced the Prime Minister.  


The Prime Minister addressed several important issues before opening the floor for questions. He stated that since his administration took office, he was able to convince the World Bank to resume the granting of loans to Belize, which was nonexistent under the old administration. He assured Belizeans that he will be leading a clean and transparent Government and would not show any tolerance for corruption under his governance.


The P.M. also spoke of the negative effects the gang situation is having on the tourism industry in Belize, and expressed his displeasure over foreign reporters portraying Belize in the worse possible light, especially a recent film on the gangs in Belize City. He said that he is pleased to report that the various gangs in Belize have decided to join in the “Restore Belize” programmed called I AM BELIZE. It was launched on August 3rd, 2010 to educate, promote and encourage citizens to adopt social values and behaviors that will transform Belize into a safe, peaceful and productive home for all residents and visitors alike.


In the meantime, he said that legislation is underway  that would authorize the authorities to tap into the cell phones of suspected gang members and other criminal elements, similar to what is already being done in the U.S.A. and other countries. The meeting ended without incident and on time at 5:00pm. 


A planning committee, chaired by Hon. Roland Yorke was organized to plan the different activities that took place. All in all, Prime Minister, Dean Burrow's trip to California was a success in bridging the gap between Belizeans at home and abroad.










By Winfield Tillett


All photos by Curt Sanchez: Photos can be purchased by e-mailing Curt at icreate365@yahoo.com

Friday, August 20, 2010

BELIZE'S FIRST CHINESE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE


President of the Senate Lee Mark Chang
It was a historic occasion on the floor of the National Assembly when Lee Mark Chang, 37, the well known proprietor of Chon Saan Palace, was sworn in as the pro temp President of the Senate on Wednesday, August 18.

Many of Chang’s relatives and friends filled the gallery to watch as the Clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster, swore in Chang as the first Chinese/Belizean Senator of Belize

Opposition senator Lisa Shoman hailed Chang’s ascension to the Senate Presidency as the epitome of Belize’s cultural diversity, and every other senator who congratulated him on the important milestone he has made on behalf of the Belize Chinese community.   

Chang, the son of immigrant Chinese parents, was born and educated in Belize, and has risen to become the United Democratic Party’s standard bearer for the Freetown Division.

He is holding the senate presidency for Andrea Gill, who is away on maternity leave. 

Former Mayor of Dangriga, and former radio personality Frank “Pawpaw” Mena was also sworn in as a full time senator, filling the seat left vacant when Eddie Webster was appointed as the Clerk of the National Assembly.

The Senate is comprised of six government senators, three opposition senators and three private sector senators. 

At the last sitting of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow said that he would not go ahead with the proposed reform of the Senate that would have added one more senator, bringing the number of senators to thirteen. 

Barrow said that he might have been overly optimistic when he promised to reform the Senate in his party’s manifesto prior to the 2008 General Elections. 

The session of the senate saw a number of Bills receive their second reading under the presidency of Lee Mark Chang, before the public business was concluded and the whole Senate met as a committee. 

By Rowland A. Parks-The Reporter Belize

Thursday, August 19, 2010

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL IN CROOKED TREE VILLAGE


Kecia Burcham

 

Lessons from Belize


What a blessing it still is to live in America!  Having just returned from a mission trip to Belize, I was reminded of just how much we have to be grateful for.  However, I also found that there are certain advantages in a third world village that enlightened and surprised me; things we have moved away from in our modern world that may well be worth revisiting.
As parents here in Nashville as well as many cities and suburbs, the neighborhood where children can roam freely and safely is almost a thing of the past.  Even the nicest communities can be homes to pedophiles, careless drivers and others who often don't have the best interests of our children in mind.  What struck me in the Belize village of Crooked Tree is that the children roam the relatively automobile-less streets regularly with only one another.  Rarely are parents with these children, and yet they seem completely comfortable to walk the village.  There is safety in numbers and in the tiny dirt streets where everyone knows everyone else.  A whole herd of unattended smiling, happy children greeted us in the church yard by 8:00 am every morning during my week long visit.
I was reminded of my own childhood when we explored the neighborhoods with our friends until the "street lights came on" which was the signal to come home.  We didn't have to fear so much for our safety and we looked out for each other.  We didn't worry that someone's parents would sue our parents if we made a bad choice. We were expected to be responsible and assumed to be safe.
I saw cooperation in the village.  The children had each other and they knew how to solve their conflicts, share, take turns and depend on themselves.  I never saw them argue and when we played games where there were winners and losers - no one cried "that's not fair" or whined.  And yes, someone won and someone lost, and that was that.  There weren't any parents there to make sure everyone got something for participating, and no one expected it.  Winners and losers both laughed and smiled and survived.
I saw things that would appall many modern American parents, but some of it looked a whole lot like simple responsibility to me.  For example, cows and horses roam the streets wildly and leave their droppings in the fields where children run barefoot for the most part.  No one appeared sick although it made me a little squeamish.  The makeshift monkey bars in the church yard consisted of an old water pipe near a big cement block which certainly wouldn't meet American safety standards.  There was even an old clothesline partially coiled up in the churchyard that you had to avoid getting tangled in.  When I stepped around it daily, I would think of how many lawsuits would be filed over such as that in America.  I thought about how simple it is to just take responsibility for yourself and avoid things that might be in the way instead of blaming someone else and heading off to court.  Children in third world countries know that.  They know to be careful so they don't get hurt, and they know how to pick themselves up if they do.  I only saw one set of tears in the entire week when a little boy fell down, and they were quickly dried. 
I was happy to return to the comforts of home, but I do think there is something to be said for the freedom and innocence enjoyed in that tiny village in Belize.  They have a different set of worries - poverty and education among them and those are huge obstacles, but things seem somewhat safer in some instances and a whole lot less complicated.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

ENDURANCE TRAINING AT THE Y

Recently, I visited my doctor for my annual physical. Although most of my test results were unremarkable, she was concerned about the bone density of a woman of my age and stature, so she ordered a bone scan. In the meantime, she suggested that I should try exercising or just some walking. I told her that I’m already walking nine miles a week, so with her advise in mind; I hopped over to Gold’s Gym and the Y to check out their programs. After comparing both places, I found the Y to be more ‘people’ friendly. I wanted to be in an environment where I can find people like me that are seeking to make a difference in their lifestyle.

I'm not trying to lose weight or become the next Ms. Fitness America. Instead, I’m trying to get hooked on healthy living, and at the same time build up my bone density.
In doing so, I have discovered that resistance training is something every woman should do, in my humble opinion. Strengthening your bones and maintaining muscle mass is critical for graceful aging, and according to the July issue the Mayo Clinic Health Letter, resistance training once or twice a week keeps your mind sharp.



The weight room at the gym is not as intimidating as most women would imagine.  All you really need is an iPod and some basic knowledge of a few core exercises, which the trainers at any gym would be more than happy to demonstrate to you. Then, it's just a matter of maintaining proper range of motion as you perform each exercise. I was motivated to see many women of different ages around me - trying just as hard as I am to stay healthy, and at the same time, offering each other encouragement. I was especially impressed with the women in the spinning class next to me; in a couple weeks I can see myself in there sweating it out with them. But for now I will listen to the advice of my trainer.

 With my first visit to the weight room in about six years, personally I call this phase “hello muscles”, I started out with 10 and 20 lb weights, and focused on the precise motion required to tone each muscle. This awakens muscles I haven't paid attention to in quite some time. I was surprised how weak my quadriceps are. You'd think that brisk walking a couple of miles three times a week would give me stronger legs. Apparently not as much! Change is not always comfortable - nor is it easy. I’ve discovered it requires both time and energy.

The hardest part of weight training for me, personally, is the soreness I get in my muscles afterwards.  Yes...it is exhausting too, and combining it with cardiovascular training, it’s even more exhausting. This is when I remember my doctor’s advice, and like the little steam engine that could, I say to myself, "I think I can, I think I can", and I keep on moving.
 In cardiovascular training, I especially love doing “Intervals”. This involves burst of high intensity training, with periods of low activity. The elliptical machine is my cardio equipment of choice, on which I do intervals.  I glide back and forth on this machine for thirty minutes, sweating profusely.  Next I move on to weight training. Depending on the muscle group I am focusing on for that day, I use free weights or machines. Finally, I finished off with my balance and toning on the exercise ball. I follow this routine three times a week.  My trainer told me that the increased speed involved with intervals training helps to build my body on a cellular level. This process produces new blood vessels, which helps to create new muscle cells. He said that I should be very careful not to exercise 'too hard', because this can put stress on my muscles.  Unnecessary stress on the muscles can cause small, microscopic damage to muscle fibers. So, even though my muscles are sore after a couple of days of exercising; they are getting stronger and firmer.

Resistance training is hard work. My motivation comes from the increase in my energy level, the positive result of my bone scan, and most importantly, keeping a healthy body and mind. My trainer recommends a 24 hours recovery time.  This allows my muscles to adapt to my fitness regimen. During these 24 hours, I remind myself to cherish the soreness, because I’m working my way to a better body and mind and hopefully a long and healthy life.  

Any suggestions or ideas would be most welcome!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

U.S. MILITARY TESTING BOEING A160 HUMMINGBIRD DRONE IN BELIZE

A-160 Hummingbird - at Central Farm airstrip, Cayo, Belize- Tested Monday, August 9
Preparing to take-off
Inside the air-strip at Central Farm, Cayo-Belize
The U.S. military is testing the Boeing A160 Hummingbird UAV over the Mountain Pine Ridge areas of Western Belize. The Boeing A160 Hummingbird military designation YMQ-18A is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spy and attack helicopter. Its design incorporates many new technologies never before used in helicopters, allowing for greater endurance and altitude than any helicopter currently in operation. One version of the YMQ-18A has been configured with stubby wings allowing it to carry up to eight one hundred pound Hellfire missiles


A U.S. Embassy press release states that the tests in Belize are scheduled to run for 45 days, from early August and conclude in mid-September. “Working closely with Government of Belize, the U.S. concurred that Belize provides an ideal environment for this test,” the release adds. A report in the Amandala newspaper quotes the US embassy as saying that members of the Belize Defense Force and 50 U.S. civilians and military personnel will participate in the testing starting in August and concluding in September. Asked what use this craft would have for Belize, embassy spokesman Kelly McCarthy refused to provide additional information. The press release focuses on the use of the military drone for surveillance saying the test flights will be for the special radar system FORESTER, acronym for Foliage Penetration Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Tracking and Engagement Radar, which is mounted on the aircraft.
Ground Command Centers in Vans

Members of the Test Team



Source:Belize.com... M.A. Romero is a Belize based writer and photojournalist and Managing Director of Belize.com Ltd. The company's main web site is at www.belize.com. 
Photos courtesy of the Adele Ramos Show and Amandala Newspaper


PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE TO VISIT LOS ANGELES-AUGUST 13-15, 2010


Belizeans in the Los Angeles and Southern California areas are preparing for an official visit by the Prime Minister of Belize, the Honorable Dean Barrow, and his wife Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow on August 13-15th, 2010. The primary purpose for the prime minister's visit to the United States is to participate in a number of events encompassing and addressing social and economic development issues in Belize and increase government's outreach and visibility among its Belizean constituents in the U. S. 

Events scheduled for the prime minister's visit will include a recognition banquet and dance in honor of the first official visit to Los Angeles on Saturday, August 14th at the Radisson Hotel at USC, and a Town Hall meeting addressing the State of the Nation, the impact the international economic and financial crisis has on the nation of Belize, and highlighting the challenges faced. He will also be discussing the achievements in tourism, healthcare, agriculture, housing, sports, culture and social development.

The Consul General of Belize, the Honorable Roland York, is working closely with a planning of Belizeans in Southern California. This is a great opportunity for Belizeans in the Diaspora to come out and participate in the discussions aimed at enhancing the quality of life in BelizeThe prime minister is looking forward to meeting and speaking directly with Belizeans and to discuss their role in Belize’s development and its future. 

If you'd like more information about the prime minister's visit and scheduled events, please contact The Consulate of Belize in Los Angeles (323) 634-9900 

Friday, August 6, 2010

MIRACLE MISSION TO CARACAS

By: Norman Rodriguez
If it is true that God works in mysterious ways, then His most recent miracle in Belize, Miracle Mission, occurred between the 10th and 20th July, 2010, where 75 Belizeans from across the country received surgeries to remove cataract and Pterigium from one or both eyes. Mision Milagro, as it is called in Spanish is a humanitarian effort by the Venezuelan Government, through its Embassy in Belize, whereby needy Belizeans get free surgery to remove Cataract and Pterigium totally cost free. The surgeries are done in Caracas, Venezuela and three trips have gone to date in which approximately 300 Belizeans have received surgeries.

The Belize Coordinators
The Belize Coordinators and Patients
On Tuesday, 20th July, 2010, a Boeing 737 belonging to CONVIASA touched down at the Phillip Goldson International Airport bringing home the 80 Belizean patients who had gone to Caracas, Venezuela on this latest of three trips. The 80 patients, 75 of whom had successful surgeries to remove Cataract and Pterigium from one or both eyes and whom were accompanied by 8 coordinators and one General Cordinator, Mr. Emerson Gill, had left Belize on Saturday, 10th July, 2010 for Caracas Venezuela. While there, they were provided with complete food and lodging at the Hospital Militar Carlos Arevalo for the duration of the trip, free airfare, and their free eye surgeries and follow-up treatment.





Mision Milagro is a miracle for many poor Belizeans because it affords them the opportunity of getting their surgeries without having to pay a cent for these surgeries which range in the thousands. For many of those patients, they have been back and forth in Belize trying to get these surgeries on their eyes; however, constraints such as finance and other limited resources have caused some of them to wait very long periods. Miracle Mission began its mission in April and will continue until cataracts and Pterigiym pathologies are no more in the country. Patients are selected via a screening process in Belize based on Venezuelan doctor’s diagnostics. For many, who live in rural areas, Miracle Mission is a true blessing since it restores their sight without them having to pay a cent. The Mission continues on a monthly basis and the services improve with each successive trip to Venezuela. Miracle Mission’s next trip is scheduled to leave Belize on the 21st August, 2010 and patients remain in Venezuela approximately ten days.
Belizean Patients in Caracas

The Mayor’s Association, Coordinators, patients and their families, and all Belizeans express sincerest thanks to The Bolivarian Government of the Republic of Venezuela and its Embassy in Belize for the priceless gift of sight restoration and commit to continued support for all its humanitarian efforts in Belize.