Dental work -Part 3

Well, went to the Doctor for my EKG. Had the test and was truly pleased when he told me that – contrary to what Rose has been telling me for years – I do have a heart . And it is in good condition. Unusually good condition for someone of my age . So, Rose might be partially right

Wrong that I do not have one . But partially right because it does not appear to have been used much! Message to self – must demonstrably show more use of it . Reminders now in diary for Valentines Day , Rose’s birthday and our anniversary. Not looking forward to the next EKG , it will probably show detioration because of increased usage !

Dental Work -Part 2

Dental Work -Part 2

The dental practice I have chosen to use in Belize City appear to be extremely thorough . Before the treatment – scheduled for next Wednesday – can be carried out I have been told I have to have an EKG ( a requirement for the treatment I am having if you are over 40 years of age ( and regretfully I am) ) and a blood test.

Going for the EKG this morning for a cost of BZ$84.40 and the blood test on Friday at a cost of BZ$223. The blood test is scheduled for 7am which is good because I have to fast before going for it . So the plan is blood test and then breakfast at Estel’s. I will deserve this after having taken no liquid or food for around 14 hours.

On a completely different subject we have noticed the temperature dropping slightly, the first time since being here that there has been a sense of chilly weather . Still very warm by UK standards but…Time to start reminding ourselves what sweaters we brought with us !

Qualified Retirement Programme in Belize.

Now that the build of the house is soon to commence in earnest we are giving serious consideration as to whether we shall apply to be admitted to the Qualified Retirement Programme (“QRP”). This is a programme launched in 1999 by the Belize Tourism Board to encourage investment by foreigners who wanted to live in Belize .

There are certain conditions that you need to meet eg must be over 45 years of age, no criminal record, US$2,000 per month ‘income’ , clean bill of health, etc. There is a paperwork process that you have to go through and there are various fees to pay ( more on this later when we actually make the application) and – all being well- it takes about 3 months to gain admittance but once qualified it generates some benefits that are worth serious consideration. For example you can ship in personal goods ( household appliances, furniture, clothing, etc) up to a value of US$15,000. You can also bring in a golf cart (or car/truck),a boat ( and a plane!) exempt of tax and import duties . And there is a one year time window to do so from the point of entry into the programme.

OK under the programme you cannot work in Belize ( even charitable non paid work ) but we have not come here to work !

The other benefits you get are that you no longer have to go to the Immigration Department on a monthly basis (time) and pay the US$25 per person (money) 30 day Visa fee ( this increases to US$50 after six months).

So far I have only read the paperwork a couple of times ( seems a straightforward process) and am now considering whether to ‘do it’ myself or employ the services of one of the companies that will take care of it for us. I’ll let you know which we elect for very soon . Can’t wait , can you!

The first steps towards the build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

This morning Daniel Camal,the builder we have appointed to construct our house, ‘planted’ the posts that laid out the footprint of where our house will be built.

A truly momemorable occasion for us and one that we have spent the last 4 years waiting for. It is amazing what a few posts hammered into the ground can do to stimulate your imagination.Both Rose and I could see our new home in its finished form ( and no, we were not on marijuana ).

We were impressed with the way that Daniel conducted himself during the tender process we ran for the selection of the builder and are confident that he will deliver a house that matches our aspirations . Time will tell, of course.

We look forward to the next important step when we ‘break ground’ but the adventure has now truly begun.


The photograph shows the area on which our house will be built.

Planning of a different kind – dental work.

Shortly after arriving on Ambergris Caye I realised that the cap that I had repaired just before leaving the UK would not ‘last the course’. More permanent repair was necessary if I didn’t want to have a gap-toothed smile!

So, I set about researching what options were available because flying to England was not on the ‘menu’.

I googled dental practices in Cancun, Guatamala, Nicaragua and Belize to see which practices carried out implant work because this is how I intended to have the very frail cap replaced. There was an abundance of practices that carried this out but after considering the additional travel, time and cost I settled on one in Belize City that a dentist from Guatamala practised in implant surgery visited once a month.

So, I made an appointment for an examination which revealed that my teeth had not been particularly well looked after by the dentist that I had used the UK for nearly 40 years( chose him when my sister worked for him as a dental nurse). He informed me how much work needed to be done (a major overhaul was required) and how much it would cost(lots). I decided to test him by having the tired and frail cap replaced with an implant and after this I would decide to use him for the remainder (the bulk) of the treatment.

Well I had the implant fitted two weeks ago and it looks and feels fine so next Wednesday I am in the surgery again for the other 7 implants ( all day with my mouth prised open). When this has been done I will have the associated work – root canal, a bridge and some crown replacements – done.

Very necessary work but very expensive . Once done though it should ‘see me out’.

Trying to get the build started

Nearly two weeks ago the architectural plans for the home we are going to build were submitted ( by the builder we have appointed to construct it for us)to the San Pedro Planning Board.

They decided not to hold a meeting that week because they only had one application. Ours! So, this was held in abeyance until this week and we understand that our plans were going to be reviewed and decided upon last night. Fingers crossed that they were approved and we get the ‘good to go’ message today.

What our builder was told when he was ‘chasing up’ this week though was that he could start laying out the lot in readiness for the start. This is going to start next Monday whether we got approval last night or not.

Clearance of the lot – cutting down and removal of weeds, debris, etc – commenced just over a week ago and has made an amazing difference to how the lot looks . So much bigger than we remembered . ‘Before’ and ‘after’ pictures will be posted shortly.


A bit about us

I suppose the first thing to do with this blog is to provide a bit of information about myself and my wife.

My name is John and I am English ( hold a British passport), aged 61(passed 62 since starting the blog) and am married to Rose, a lovely Irish ‘girl’.

I worked in the publishing industry in the UK for 44 years (for over half of this time I worked for Rupert Murdoch when he was at the ‘top of his game’)until I was made redundant in August 2009. This event accelerated the plans that Rose and I had to retire and move to Belize, plans that were formed when we first visited Ambergris Caye in August 2009. For us it definitely was ‘love at first sight’!

We bought a condo around two months after our first visit and this became the base for our annnual ( sometimes twice a year) visits. In 2004 we bought some lots of land in the San Pablo area on which we eventually planned to build our new home. These plans changed quite dramatically however in 2008 when saw two lots on the lagoon side of Tres Cocos and bought them. We bought the land from Pelican Properties who were extremely professional and helpful throughout the whole process.

Back to being made redundant. With the decision taken to retire early we set about selling our property in England (we lived very close to Canary Wharf in East London)and deciding which of our possessions would make the journey with us and which would not. Quite easy for me but it was a really difficult process for Rose. She had fond memories and strong attachments to nearly every thing. And we had lots of stuff to decide on, believe me.

Anyway, we eventually sold our flat and made the big move and arrived on Ambergris Caye on 31 May this year having pre rented an apartment for a year. We also had organised a long term rental of a golf cart.

Since arriving we have reacquainted ourselves with the very many friends we have made over the years and, I am pleased to ‘say’, made many new ones. The primary focus for us on arriving,however,was to finalise our architectural plans ( we started the process whilst in England when we appointed Strukture Architects of Belize City to design our dream home for us) and to decide who would build our new home for us. This we have now done.

So why the blog? Well I decided that I would like to create a log to fulfil a number of objectives. These are -in no set order of importance- to give me something to do, to record (in words and pictures)the building of our new home and finally to hopefully help others that are thinking of also building a new home and life on Ambergris Caye.