Crazy Man

The blogger is (finally) back!

This is another story from when I lived in Belize.  I didn’t include it in How to Cook a Tapir because it’s still painful to think about.  Most Americans have no idea how boring life in a small, primitive (no electricity, no plumbing), isolated society like Rio Blanco can be on a day-to-day basis, especially 50 years ago.  The only similar societies here that I’m aware of are the assisted living homes where my mother, then in her 90s, spent the last few years of her life.

Manuel Xi and his sons and grandsons would not have chased the crazy man.  (Photo by Joan Fry)

Manuel Xi and his sons and grandsons would not have chased the crazy man. (Photo by Joan Fry)

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Belize It Or Not

There’s something about Belize that inspires coincidences.  Not only for me, either.  So many people have noticed all the implausible events that cluster around this small, insignificant country they’ve even coined an expression to describe the phenomenon:  Belize it or not.

Maxiana on my right, and her daughter Miriam on my left.  (Photo by Francisca Bardalez)

Maxiana on my right, and her daughter Miriam on my left. (Photo by Francisca Bardalez)

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Obeah in the 21st Century

When I lived in Rio Blanco, Father Cull transformed the school into a church so he could say mass there.  But since I’m not Catholic, I’m not exactly sure how he did that.  One night—and this story is in my memoir—I saw candlelight coming from inside the school and heard two people talking.  The next morning, I discovered they’d been burning black candles on the table/my desk.  Was somebody making obeah against somebody else?  The village mayordomo didn’t know, didn’t care, and didn’t want to talk about it.

A king buzzard.  In ancient Maya mythology, they carried messages from humans to the gods.  Kriols call all vultures John Crow.  (Photo by Danny Bates)

A king buzzard. In ancient Maya mythology, they carried messages from humans to the gods. Kriols call all vultures John Crow. (Photo by Danny Bales)

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