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4 August 2016

The Morning after Hurricane Earl  

Belize; aka `British Honduras', cannot cut off its umbilical cord to Britishness, apparently. The Baymen came and went, Baron Bliss is as loved as Cadbury,  and now the peerages have returned with an Earl. The night before I made it till around 1:30am before I called it and migrated downstairs  into my pre made bed inside the Defender. Thanks to the Autohome Airtop only taking seconds to put away, I crawled out of the Defender to take in the surrounding damage. Both Land Rover and I came through unscathed. The night was a real experience! 

Around the same time everyone else was starting to come out of hiding to see the aftermath. The results were  trees and power lines that had come down, water levels had risen and caused extensive flooding across the land resulting in submerged roads and bridges. A few buildings had even lost their zinc roofs, a mere pauper  line of defense against an Earl’s wrath. And this was happening just in the surrounding area I was located; The reports coming in from friends on and near the coast are devastating, they were truly hit hard. 

So what does an Overlander do with no real agenda…. Help others of course. I spent the morning with some Locals helping clear up and seeing if I could help anyone in anyway I could. In the afternoon I went to see Graham and Joyce at Land Rover Belize to see how they had come through the storm, apart from a little bit of flooding they came through rather well. There I also met Hadas and Tom who are renting space to start their solar hot water company. As it was Hadas’s birthday it was only proper (and we British are nothing if not proper!) to get a couple of cold ones out of the fridge for her birthday. I then joined them in San Ignacio at Eva’s, one of the hallmarks of the town (and the only bar that was open.. - the lower part of San Ignacio had flooded, affecting many local businesses). we had a few rounds, meeting and mingling with the locals, learning that in Belize, first you laugh, then you laugh some more, drink beer and socialise.  It is a very Caribbean attribute, and a wonderful one. It is your family, friends and close circle that take care of you first, that make you strong. as in the days of yore, it was the common people who held together against the Earls of the times; In Belize, people know you, and they will look out for you. It’s as simple as that. an aftermath of a get-together, is another get-together..  We were invited to Court’s and Sandra’s home, a beautiful house on stilts in a natural cul-de-sac, all windows and balcony with jungle views. Court is the owner of a the Bamboo bar, a local bar (“if your drink is taking too long to make, were sorry, but even a toilet can only serve one asshole at a time”… ..Ha) that was effected by the flooding. 5 ft affected, as in the submerged sense of the word. He apparently needed help drinking all the beer before it went warm. so what do friends do?..  a fantastic house party, everyone was in good spirits, save maybe the armadillo that was roasting on the grill. wave to the Earl, ladies and gents, and eat the road kill. So… a hurricane, floods, good company, a plethora of beer, a roasted Placentalia and a soft bed and hot shower. this was truly a day to remember. 

 
 
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