It’s been relatively quiet since the last edition on New Year’s Day. I’ve (obviously) been getting up in the morning having my ‘me time’ on the veranda (the western one on the first floor if you are interested) with a mug of coffee (black) and my iPad. Not the new one though. It’s been too damp (it’s rained a lot over the last few days – well months actually) to expose my new iPad Air to the elements!
Work on the fence had slowed to a standstill because Rubio (the main man) had told us that after working on 30 December he was heading off to spend time and celebrate the new year with his family in Punta Gorda and would not return to work until Monday 6 January. Although Rubio hails from the mainland he has lived most of his life on Ambergris Caye having arrived here in 1975 fearing that the San Pedranos would not allow him ashore. They did though, and he has been here ever since.
Rose and I took advantage of the lull in the fence building. She by starting work on making the curtains ((more on this in a future edition(s))for our new home. And me? Well I picked up on some ‘must do’ administrative stuff. Our “QRP” (Qualified Retirement Program) status needed renewing (although I didn’t gain entry in to the ‘Program until the end of last May the permit (card) expired on 31 December – all permits, whenever they are issued, run as per the calendar year).
Renewal isn’t too arduous a task. You simply have to present to the Belize Tourism Board (it is this body that administers the Program) the following:
a copy of a bank statement that proves that you brought US$ 24,000 (this is the minimum requirement) in to Belize during the previous year (in our case this was for 2013).
photocopies of your ‘old’ permits (identity cards). Why they need photocopies when they issued the permits I’ll never understand- but they do.
a passport sized photograph for each new identity card.
photocopies of all pages in the passports for those in the ‘Program ((me as principal and Rose as the dependent (always told her she depends on me!)) for any exit from or entry in to Belize during the ‘lifetime’ of the identity card.
And a payment of BZ$ 50 for each of the new identity cards.
I presented all of the necessary paperwork (and money) yesterday (Friday) and we just now have to wait around three weeks for the new cards to be issued but if we have to prove inclusion in the ‘Program we need do no more than present the receipt we received when submitting the necessary paperwork.
Next on my list yesterday was to start the process to open a checking account at the Atlantic Bank branch in Pescador Drive so that we can more easily (and less expensively) transfer money from our Atlantic International Bank Limited account and draw cheques in Belize dollars from an Atlantic Bank account rather than transferring money to our Belize Bank account (which charges a deposit fee).
For the opening of the account I needed to provide a reference from two other banks or a reference from one bank and a reference from a business in Belize that has known us for more than eighteen months , copies of the photo pages of our passports and a copy if a utility bill.I was about to leave home when Rose pointed to the envelope containing the stuff for Atlantic Bank that was ‘sitting’ on the dining room table and said “Now take that to the bank” (excruciatingly bad link to the headline I know but …).
Around twenty minutes after arriving at the bank the necessary paperwork (and they DO like a bit of paperwork in Belize) had been completed. It will now take around a week before the account is open and we have another way of spending money. Great!!!
I arrived home to a surprise, Rubio and Mike were there working on the fence. Apparently Rubio needed the money so cut short his visit with his family in Punta Gorda. Bad for them, but good for us. Me selfish? Probably.
They had started on fixing the vertical planks and the fence, well, it started to look like a fence.
With the first plank in others quickly followed
Going back to banks, below is another photo courtesy of Melissa and Ken Fellure – the Scotia Bank branch (sic) when it was located in Barrier Reef Drive (front street)
and as it is now in Coconut Drive.
The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1978 by Shalamar which reached number seventy-nine in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number twenty in the UK Singles Chart.