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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Culture Shock

Although my father was a mild-mannered accountant when I left for the colony of British Honduras (in those days, the capital was Belize—not Belize City, just Belize), he got into a lot of scrapes as a kid.  One of them involved an older half brother and a fishhook.  The particulars of what took place are fuzzy, but at the end, my father had a fishhook lodged in his ear.  He went through the rest of his life with a punctured eardrum.

You can see how narrow the road is--this one goes to Pueblo Viejo--and how close to it the rain forest is.  (Photo by A. Terry Rambo)

You can see how narrow the road is–this one goes from Santa Elena to Pueblo Viejo–and how close to it the rain forest is. (Photo by A. Terry Rambo)

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The Lure of the Rainforest

Very few people move to Belize with the intention of living in the rainforest.Like forests everywhere—those that still remain in regions of this country, the “forest primeval” of Europe, the Australian outback, and the ancient woods of Scandinavian countries—most people find them frightening.

In the Maya version, an ix tabi does not shed tears of blood. (Photo by grimm.wikia.com)

In the Maya version, an ix tabi does not shed tears of blood. (Photo by grimm.wikia.com)

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