I awoke very excitedly because I knew today was the day that the crew would start installing the septic system on our beach lot here in Maya Beach, Belize, Central America. After gulping way too much Belize coffee, I jumped into “The Bull” and headed over to the lot, some 5 minutes from my rental cabana.
Of course, I needed to park my new baby in the shade 😉
So as a previous owner of homes with septics in the U.S., and knowing much more than anyone should about them, I expected to see a big hole being excavated and a truck with a big cement tank waiting to be lifted into the hole below. So color me “WTF” when I arrive and find this lone worker, standing in a hole about 2 ft deep with a shovel! I ask him “are you digging this septic tank hole with that little shovel”? and he smiles and says “si senior”. Now let me set the stage, with this guy and his shovel, in the full sun, with a temp about 85 degrees F., digging one monster fu*king hole!
Damn! I’ll tell you what, he’s full of smiles, working hard and happy for the work! Nice guy.
So I ask him how far down he has to go and he replies about 3 1/2 to 4 feet depending on when he hits water?
So he continues digging for the rest of the day, and I’m not kidding. I went back over to the lot later in the afternoon and he was still digging. Around 5 pm when I returned, he was gone and the hole was exactly 3 1/2 feet deep, with 6 inches of water in it. And that’s not all! Next, to the hole, I see the workers have built a rebar steel cage to put those employees that don’t work hard enough, or want to take a break! In all seriousness, I have no idea what this thing is, but laying next to it is a flat top for it made of rebar. Its all the size of the hole.
Creating my septic tank and field! Remember, the average worker in Belize makes $2.50 per hour!
So I arrive this morning to find about ten guys, standing around the hole and steel jail, with shovels, making cement on the ground and shoveling it into the cage that now has formed around the bottom. It appears that these guys are actually making my septic tank from scratch! Well, I’ll be whoop-assed by a bunch of neglected spider monkeys if that isn’t pretty awesome.
So I go in for a dip in my “Caribbean Lap Pool”, and after watching these guys working this hard in the sun and heat, head back to the Cabana for a tall cool one.
Took this photo of our lot this morning during my swim time, in crystal clear warm water.
So let me tell you how utilities work here in Belize, at least here in Maya Beach. I’m lucky that my Realtor that helped me find and purchase my beach lot knew everything about the area. When I was looking by myself back in November of 2015 for a lot to purchase, Donna told me there was no water available to homes north of the Plantation. You had to have it delivered or live on rain water collection. Here in Maya Beach, we have access to public/private water supply from the Plantation Resort, where the water supply ends. So I went to the front desk of the resort and asked for the “water girl” ;). After filling out paperwork, paying $300 BZ ($150 U.S), and agreeing to pay the $30 a month ($15 U.S.) for my water, they would install the meter and water within 3 days.
I just have to say, having water is extremely important here in Belize, just as is bug spray!
That thing on the left (no pun), that’s the pedestal I’m talking about.
So next I already had what they call a “pedestal ” built by my then “General Contractor” Kevin Brodsky to run my electric too, and then to my two houses. Lucky for me, Kevin knows the guys at the power company and he contacted them about bringing in power to my pedestal. The process will take a bit more finesse because they actually need to bring in an electric pole and place it at my front corner, then run the power line to it from across the street.
My last “utility” is what I like to refer to as my “Life Support”, the internet. Lucky for me when I arrived this time, I had brought a new phone to use just in Belize, with Belize phone and internet service on it. I proceeded to the local BTL office in Placencia and purchased a sim card and minutes for my new “unlocked” phone. While there I see this poster with “Price Slashed” internet fees. I ask the guy if this wireless service is available to homes in Maya Beach. I look at my sandals to see if I stepped in something, because he says, not for another 2 weeks! Ya baby! As soon as my Cabana is delivered and set up with all these great utilities, in comes the bel installation technician.
So now you know the “rest of the story” about getting utilities to your new home in Belize, well, at least here in the Placencia Peninsula that is. I’m sure that if I had decided to live on an island off the coast of Placencia, things might be a little more difficult. I joke not, I did look at a couple islands for sale off the coast, but Marsha would have no part of it, lucky for me.
Stay tuned for my continues posting, to include the arrival of the Cabana this Friday, a shopping trip to Dangriga for bathroom tiles, then on to Belmopan for major appliances and assorted hardware. Should be pretty interesting. Plus I will give you some updates of new bars and restaurants along the way because let’s understand, that’s what a buddy is for anyway?
Cheers and no worries,