‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ from Ambergris Caye, Belize

Before I forget I just wanted to let you know that the Christmas Charity Concert held on Saturday 15 December raised BZ$7,000 for the five surviving children of Hector ‘Chapin’ Duran. A tremendous BZ$2,000, or 40%, more than the target the fund organisers set for themselves. A fantastic achievement that should make things that little bit better at Christmas for the children.

Whilst on the subject of remembering things I am now able to answer the question posed by a number of readers – “Are they going to remove the plywood after the concrete pour for the roof of the water tank?”

I put the question to Anhill this morning and was pleased, but not overly surprised, to be told that it will be removed via the hole left for the manhole cover. All of the plywood boards have been cut to go through this aperture . Simple really isn’t it.


Plywood cut to the requisite size.


Manhole aperture ( great word, must find other opportunities to use it).

When the time comes ( hopefully very soon) to remove the plywood, two or three of the guys will go under the roof ( via the aperture – told you I would find opportunities of using the word again) , remove the nails and hand the boards to their colleagues above the roof.

The other thing I asked was why there was no work on Sunday as they had said there would be . Turns out that Nicholas and Martin turned in for work but nobody else did. With not enough people to do what they had intended Nicholas and Martin returned to their respective homes and went back to bed. Anhill, who had been to Corozal the previous day to visit his young son before Christmas ( he lives with his Grandmother which enables Anhill and his wife to work full-time) arrived at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to find nobody there and he too went home.

There wasn’t too much action today either with only five of the guys in for work. They were waiting for the plumber to turn up to run the pipes before fitting forms and rebar over them. The plumber never did turn up so that section has been left until they return to work on Thursday.

This meant that they were only able to carry out ‘tidy up’ jobs like removing ( apologies to the readers that are not rebar fans) surplus rebar.


Nicholas and Martin reducing the eight rods to the required six.

They also tamped the veranda (which had been packed with sand the previous day) with 6 mil polyethylene sheet.


Tamping in place.

With not much going on as far as our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize was concerned we took the opportunity of seeing how our coconut trees are developing. Pleased to say that they all appear to be thriving.


A mini plantation.

On the way home we popped into BC’s so that I could collect BZ$120 for winning the weekly NFL Pool prize. Not bad after only five attempts. And a Brit too! The first I understand to win the thing.

The headline comes from the 1973 Yuletide UK number one by Slade.

I wish all readers a very, merry Christmas.

The next edition will be published on Friday 28 December.


  1. Trish Peterson says:

    Cistern water is really good to drink, with or without filtration, add several chlorine tablets regularly and it will be fine. Rain water has a nice fresh taste. Possibly cleaner than the tap water . . . Just saying’. A lot of homes outside of city water use cistern water and there by save the “water” bill each month. We had a well for showers and potties.

    1. John East says:

      Trish, I will probably drink straight from the tap but I doubt that my wife will (she didn’t in the UK). In addition to the water tank we are also going to have a well. I am also giving thought to a grey water system but if we do install it will likely be after the house is built and landscaping is well on the way. Regards John


  2. karl says:

    john do you plan to hook to the electrical system or use an off grid system,i know here in canada or the u.s.if you use a grid tie in system or a full off grid solar system you get a government rebate of 30%,so a basic small house would cost you around $12,000 plus installation,and with all the sun there and not getting dark like here early,would pay itself in 5-10 years,as i know there electricity rates are high with no competition.

    1. John East says:

      Karl, our building site is already ‘hooked ‘ into the power system . We cannot get mains water (hence the water tank) but are OK for electricity. We may eventually go for solar panels but this is not part of the initial build plan. Kind regards John


      1. karl says:

        with a cistern tank,do you need to install a filter system of some sort as the water is not below ground and moving as in a well system.i would think with the temps there you may get bacteria in the tank,most well systems here may have hard water so we use a water softener,you wouldnt get that there,but we also install a uv system here to kill anything coming through the water before it reaches the tap,not expensive.im looking at possibly building on the island down the road when i retire but want to be totally self reliant to save on costs,thanks,karl.

      2. Karl, our initial plans do not include a filtration system ( we may fit one later) because we will not be using the rainwater stored in the water tank for drinking. We will put chlorine tablets in the tank, however, to prevent bacteria and microbes.

  3. Trish Peterson says:

    Say John, having fun reading your posts. Having built a home onAmbergris Caye some years back, I can relate. We discovered however that every holiday that might be what one would think was 2 days or so usually turned out to be a week!!! Hope you have better success. It will be interesting to see how many guys show up the rest of this week!

    1. Nice to ‘meet’ you Trish. Pleased that you are enjoying the blog. Will let readers know how many of the guys turn up for work on Thursday. Kind regards John

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