“Don’t Stop the Party” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

The completion of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize has given Rose and I nearly every thing we have been dreaming about for the last few years. I say nearly because although the construction of it is finished it is still somewhat of a shell.

OK, we have a sofa and armchairs. The kitchen is equipped with the essential appliances. But we don’t yet have the niceties. No TV. No dining room table and chairs. No bed (we have an air bed but its not the same – but I do know now what they mean about rolling out of bed!). No patio furniture. The list goes on.

We know what we want (we have spent time during the last few months considering options and making choices) and during this last week we have tried, on-line, to make the purchases in the ‘States for the stuff that we want to ship (under the Qualified Retirement Programme scheme) to Belize.

The ordering process went exactly as you would expect. You choose what you want and then place it in ‘your basket’. Repeat this action until you have selected everything you want and then go to ‘checkout’. And that is when the trouble begins. I can’t go any further. It won’t let me pay! Why? I am using a Debit card so no risk of not having the money in my account . No waiting for payment.

Interminable, inane email exchanges with the stores we want to purchase from bring no solution. Is it the fact that I do not have a US billing address? No US telephone number? We want the stuff delivered to a shipping agent? Questions that I have yet to get answers to. But I will next week -one way or another- because I am determined that we will get those creature comforts for our new home.

The absence of a TV in our home means that we have to travel to be able to watch Arsenal’s games and this was the case yesterday morning when Rose and I went to Pedro’s Hotel to watch the game against Liverpool. Top placed (Arsenal) versus the third placed club. It’s still early in the season but if Arsenal are to be considered a serious proposition to win the ‘League this season they have to win games like these.

We got there just before the 11.30 hours (local time) kick-off. Just in good enough time for me to have a BZ$ 25 bet with Peter Lawrence (Pedro -oh he of little faith) that Arsenal would win. And they did, two goals to nil.

After the game (and BZ$ 25 richer) Rose and I headed home taking with us Frank (our friend who is a serving member of BATSUB), who was visiting Ambergris Caye for the weekend, with us. It had been two months since he had last seen our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and he was keen to see the finished article. And we were more than happy to oblige!

Following lunch (we had picked up the ‘obligatory chicken, rice and beans ((Brianna’s had sold out of the chicken soup -bummer)) we gave Frank a tour of the house and the Ground Floor apartment and then around 15.45 hours I took him back to Pedro’s Hotel because we had a party to organise. We had invited the core team who had worked on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to join us for a celebratory drink.

We had thought that they would arrive shortly after 16.00 hours (not long after they finished work) but 17.00 hours came and went. No one arrived. It was getting dark .


“Where are they?”.

And then just around 17.45 hours we saw the first bikes appearing at the end of the front garden and in no time at all they were lined up in front of the house.


“Let the party begin!”.

In double quick time the Belikins (I had bought three crates) were out of the refrigerator and we started to reminisce about the build.


From left to right, Nicholas, Sam, Eduardo and Hipolitto.


Time for Nicholas, on the eve of his twentieth birthday, to strike a pose.


Alfredo joins the group.

It was time for a group shot.


From left to right, back row : Angel, Eduardo, Nicholas, Alfredo and Rolando; middle row : Martin; front row: Eric, Sam, Hipolitto, Christopher and Rene.

And then one with Rose and I in the shot.


Rafael (aka The Frog arrived) – he’d obviously taken far too much time on his appearance!


A very dapper Frog arrives.


Some of the guys ‘chewing the fat’ and guzzling the Belikins.

Time for another pose.


And then spend some time looking at the hundreds of photos I had taken of the guys ‘in action’.


I’m the old one!

All the while the caps were coming off the Belikins and we were slowly (well not that slowly actually) working our way through the three crates.

Rose then got in on the act!


Rose and Nicholas.


Rose flanked by the two brothers, Nicholas and Angel.

Time for me to get in on the act.


I’m the old one. Rose is the pretty one!

Around 20.45 hours the last of the Belikins was opened and although there were shouts from the boys of don’t stop the party it was time to say goodbye. A great bunch of young men who have helped to make our dream come true. Thank you guys.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 2012 by Pitbull which reached number seventeen in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number seven in the UK Singles Chart.


  1. Hi John & Rose, congratulations of completing the build! Fantastic news. Enjoy making your house a home. I see your little chinese men (ornament) have arrived. Will email, Maria (Sassons) x

    1. Thanks Maria. It’s been a year in coming but well worth the wait. Now the garden. And deciding if I am going to get a boat!

      I hope that all is good for Chris and you and look forward to receiving an email so you can bring me up-to-date with what life has held for you recently.
      Kind regards

      John (and Rose of course)

  2. lifeagain says:

    John, what a grand highlight to celebrate the finish of your house. When you started showing the group pics and everyone getting in, i smiled and smiled and smiled again looking at everyone else laughing and smiling. Your photo taking is way above par. Now, did you get speakers included in your deck build or are you going to go wireless for listening to music on those warm nights when you just sit, pat yourself on the back for a (job well thought out and done) and stair out at the waters.

    The blog must go on……

    There will be many of times that you will run into all of those young men at one time or another and they will always know you as a real stand up guy. I am sure they will count you as a friend as you have shown them that you surely appreciate all of them.

    1. Hi Don.
      It was a very enjoyable evening and a great way to bring the build to an end.
      As to the guys (mainly young guys) on the build we really do feel as if we have got to know them and aside from working hard they are very polite and respectful.
      Already when we drive around town it is rare not to ‘bump’ in to at least one of them and this has meant that we have also met some of their partners and (Rose) has held their young babies.
      Now as tithe photography, the quality (or otherwise) of the pictures is totally down to the camera. I just point it and press the button.
      No ‘sounds’ on the verandas yet. But I am working on it!

  3. kristina nadreau says:

    and lastly, I have enjoyed your blog greatly. when I discovered you back in June, I went back in your archives and read them all. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. PS now you need a perimeter wall and a herd of dogs. ty again.

    1. Pleased that you have enjoyed the blog Kristina . I do intend to keep going with it but (obviously) it will not be so centred on building a house now).
      Kind regards


  4. kristina nadreau says:

    I assume you have a pressure tank, as part of your water handling system. I was wondering about the psi/size needed to accommodate your 3 floors. Also for your water heating needs,, are you using tankless, point of use or are you using a tank or 2?

    1. Kristina I have to be honest and tell you that I have no idea what the psi is for our water. Next time I go to the pump room I will take a look. All I know at the moment is that water gets to where we want it!
      As to heated water, we have an instantaneous tank.

  5. kristina nadreau says:

    I got a Medley, florida address, from You have Mail, which has a tiny store front forwarding service here in Corozal. I used a similar service when living in Aruba and it works well. I do have a USA billing address, which is probably part of the issue. When I want to get something big like furniture from Ikea, I would go to Miami & buy it, then have Hyde ship it. For things like sheets and small appliances, I either ship in or bring in suitcases. I have become a seasoned TV shopper, even tho I rarely watch. We need a larger screen due to my aging vision. I have researched the cost of the options. -1- Buy in Chetumal and pay duty (low due to “cousin in immigration”) -2- buy in USA and pay duty -3- Buy in Corozal from Panorama, which is owned by a Syrian family, who are headquartered in Panama. The most economical is to buy from Panorama! I was surprised. Also, friends here tell me that electrical items usually only last 5 years due to the humidity/salt/climate. Thus buying the best and planning for many years of use is not a wise investment.

    1. Hi Kristina
      They have a similar Mail Box facility on Ambergris Caye but a friend has offered to ‘lend’ me his address and telephone number. Going to try this today and hopefully it will work.
      As to Panarama, I have never heard of them but now that I know will make sure that when I am next on the mainland and in that area that I pop in.
      Buying in the States is an attractive proposition for us because (as I am in the QRP scheme) there are no taxes or duties. And we can buy exactly what we want.

  6. Laurie The Cruisin Camper says:

    Looks like a good time was had by all. So sorry to hear about the issues with making your purchases. I guess they want to be sure that you are truly you. I have a friend from Oz that had a cash card she planned on using on holiday here in the States that had been almost completely drained of funds when she went to use it. So I guess folks are a bit hesitant when the buyer is so far away – which is sad really. Can you possibly send a copy of your QRP papers to make them less nervous? Not sure what other solution there might be. Have a great day regardless and good luck on getting this situation resolved.

    1. Hi Laurie. Yes, we all had a great time on Saturday evening.
      I am sure that much of what you said is correct but we will persevere and eventually make the purchases we want to make.

  7. footballbat says:

    Awesome John & Rose. Don’t want to spend your money for you, but I think the boys deserve a BBQ (or 3) along the way. 🙂 Sorry about the furnishings issue. What a hassle. When the contract says: “The party of the first part in this contract shall be know as the party of the first part” it’s going to be a bumpy ride. When you get comfy with the insides we will love a sneak peek.

    1. I did contemplate a Bar-B-Q Derek but with no grill and no furniture yet we went for the easy option – beer which I believe the guys appreciated.
      As to photos of the inside of the house when it is furnished, highly unlikely.

  8. Jane says:

    A fantastic and thoughtful way to appreciate your crew, John! I’m sure they’re as happy and proud of your new place as you are.
    I believe not having a US address is messing you up. We have a Miami address now through MailBoxes, so that problem, which we had as well, has been solved for us.

    1. Thanks Jane. We think that they appreciated the gesture. They told us it was the first time it’s ever happened.
      As to our order, someone has ‘offered’ us the use of their US address and telephone number and I am going to try this today. Fingers crossed!

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