The Quintana Roo Emergency Management website is a pretty good resource and they are good about sending out meteorological bulletins several times a day, posting them on their website and via FaceBook. On the other hand, there is no decent online radar resource in the Chetumal area so I'm using the Belize radar set on 250KM range. Since an active hurricane season is projected this year, I'm sure we'll get to see how the Civil Protection team does during emergencies.
Wifey made a trip back to Belize and stayed with friends for a few days. While at Billy and Pam's she took numerous photographs of the many landscaping projects they've accomplished including the portable chicken coup. That's a 5-gallon bucket converted to nesting box and the chickens are quite happy and healthy. There's nothing like knowing what your chickens are eating to fully enjoy "home fresh" eggs. Yes, a chicken coop of our own is on my project list.
The lobster season has started in earnest and will run through March of next year. Wholesale prices have climbed to about 400p/kilo (US$15.15/lb) mostly due to fuel costs and diminishing lobster populations. Many lobster fishermen will be feeling the effects and may shift to farming sea cucumbers for the Asian market. I add this little snippet of information because they say sea cucumber is very healthy for you. Thank you very much but I'll stick to lobster when I can afford it.
On the topic of population health, there is a butterfly migration in progress these past few days. Every year about this time small butterflies, white or yellow in color, are migrating south from wherever they originate. I don't believe this is a migration on the same scale as the well-known Monarch Butterflies that travel from northern Mexico to the USofA and Canada and back again. I think this migration covers a smaller distance and may only be to seek out or ensure a better food supply. Oddly, I only see the migration from north to south and never the other way around. A little research on the subject didn't disclose this particular migrating species but proved very interesting in learning how the butterflies navigate long distances using the sun, coastlines and roads, even earth's magnetic fields.
Speaking of purposeful migrations, medical tourism is a big deal in Mexico despite the fears of violence, drug wars, and "allegedly" poor health care. Patients from all over the world, though mostly from the USofA of course, arrive for less-expensive, but no less professional, medical care. Specialties such as joint reconstruction, cardiology, plastic surgery, and dentistry are the big draws. The education, training, equipment, and drugs are all top notch.
We've had occasion to use the medical services in Mexico and are quite happy not only the results and fees, but also for a better relationship with our doctors. The impression I had of health care in the US was one of clean, neat, impersonal hospitals...and physicians. Here in Mexico, be it common practice or not, our doctors have been very personable, accommodating and we have their private email and cell phone numbers.
Ah, and money. It's far cheaper here than in the US. We don't have Mexico-based medical insurance and are not yet permanent residents or eligible for senior citizen discounts so we're paying full freight. These are the prices we paid (converted to US dollars at 12:1), cash on the barrel:
Mammography $62.50 for x-rays, $4.58 for interpretation by radiologist
Osteopath (follow-up visit, 30 minutes) $16.67
Internal Medicine Consult (2 x 1/2 hr) No appointment + stat chest x-ray $62.50
Blood/urine labs (7 different tests + microscopic) $141.67 (results in 3 hours)
Basically the fees are so low and the paperwork for reimbursement from our insurer so onerous, we don't even bother. We still have insurance for catastrophic events but for the routine stuff, we're essentially self-insured.
Mexico is not only serious about health care but also on step with safety precautions. Well, generally. Case in point is the Chetumal Propane Station were our friend Marvin goes to have his portable propane tanks refilled. As I was looking about I noticed one of the station's emergency evacuation points. The big portal is one of only two large entrances and if you look carefully you'll see a green and white sign on the wall to the right of doors. Overgrown with weeds and locked to boot, this is not a good place for evacuation purposes.