December was a blur and January was a busy month in Mexico with Wifey. A friend of ours came to Corozal to be near her midwife and we offered her our home for the month and the delivery. It gave us the opportunity to slip out and spend some time in Calderitas, our new future home.
We've started the process of applying for "Residente Permanente" through the Mexican Consulate in Belize City and are hopeful the process will go smoothly and quickly. It was a pleasant surprise dealing with the consulate. Their system is automated (pictures and fingerprints via computer) and the staff very helpful and efficient - quite the change from our experiences with various offices in Belize.
Many have asked why we are leaving Belize. It's a fair question with no simple answer. Sure I could go on and on about the crime, poverty, incompetence, corruption and more but the truth is we're not running away. Despite the many problems in Belize, I like the country and people. When we moved to Belize as retirees we always knew, in our hearts, that it was a but a stepping stone, a new adventure that would be the start of many more to follow. As well, since my teens I've only once lived in one place for more than 5 years in a row and the urge to move on eventually becomes overwhelming. It's that time again and the wanderlust must be satisfied.
In one respect, we're not moving far - less than twenty miles as the crow flies - but it is as different a world as you can imagine. The contrast between the two countries is startling whether you compare economy, culture, or ethics. I'll write more of Mexico in the future, trust me.
We've secured a nice rental house in Calderitas, just north of Chetumal, and have started the process of fencing the yard to keep the dogs in and adding a couple of security doors for good measure. The house is far too large for just the two of us but we took it anyway so as to have room for guests to visit and stay over. The landscaping will need some work, as will the house, but that is the way we like it. We've made good friends in town and have a very nice landlady, all of whom seem to be part of the original founding families of Calderitas. Not a bad way to start where such relations are an important part of the culture.
CALLISTE, our sailboat of many years has been sold - practically given away in fact - but to good friends who I know will make good use of her and enjoy her as much as we have. They say the two best days in a Sailor's life is when he buys a boat and when he sells it. I must be the exception to the rule. I'll miss the boat and look forward already to returning to Belize for a sail.
Yes, we'll be returning to Belize periodically. We are, after all, considered Permanent Residents here and although we've little intention of returning and remaining permanently, will take advantage of the fact such a status means visas are free and there are no fees to be paid upon departing, Belize, now firmly appended to my list of "nice places to visit", will become our vacation destination to meet up with friends and fulfill that necessary "two weeks per year" requirement to maintain our residency status.
I have a few stories yet of Belize to transcribe from my notebook and I'll post those eventually. Meanwhile, I'll rededicate myself to staying current on this blog with news of our move and acclimation to a new country, language, and culture.