Update on our Lives - House Renovations and Furlough
I love Belize, but there’s nothing like a Pennsylvania summer evening. We are enjoying a few weeks Stateside to visit family and friends. The weeks leading up to our trip were a little crazy. Let me tell you about it. But first, a few pictures of Piper…
This may be just a birth certificate to you, but it represents a combined wait time of five hours at the vital statistics office. After Piper’s birth, we needed to register her. When she was three days old, Davy and I went to the vital statistics office, located inside the government hospital, to register her. After one week we could apply for her birth certificate (after I had to wait two hours for my turn, I was really wondering why I couldn’t register Piper and apply for a birth certificate all in one!). They told us the birth certificate should be ready in two weeks. We were quite eager to get it so we could apply for her passport.
When I went to see if the birth certificate was ready (another hour and a half of waiting), they said, “No, I’m sorry, we haven’t gotten any birth certificates back for over a month.”
I said, “I have to have her birth certificate. We’re traveling soon and need a passport.”
The vital statistics employee said he’d call to Belize City and see what he could do. He was able to get it shipped to Orange Walk a few days later and let me pick it up at his house. I was so grateful for his help!
As soon as we had the birth certificate, we made an appointment with the US embassy to get a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and a passport. We had to find documents that proved that we had lived in the US for at least five years. For the past several years, we’ve been trying to get our Belizean residency, which requires proving that we’ve lived in Belize long enough. It felt strange to have to prove that we’d lived in the States.
I picked up the passport the day before we left on furlough, which was close enough, but the US embassy had acted confident that it would come in time, so I hadn’t wasted any energy worrying about it.
Meanwhile, at home, house renovations were underway. They are doing an addition to the back of the house, a new roof, and drywall inside to replace the old celotex. They will do most of it while we are in the States, but they replaced the roof awhile. That worked out fine until we got a heavy rain shower while the roof was off. Nothing a mop, rag, and washing machine couldn’t fix, but I’ll admit it was a little overwhelming to watching rain dripping through the ceiling over everything!
All the banging on the roof worked on my postpartum nerves, so my maid, Judith, and I took all five children to town for tacos, a favorite Orange Walk breakfast. Besides Ash wanting to drink from everyone’s soft drinks while his mouth was full of taco, it didn’t go too bad.
We needed to have everything out of the house before we left. I was quite grateful for help to get everything put into boxes.
Four grubby children playing church the night before we left.
And our long-awaited trip arrived. It’s been almost two years since we left Belize. Ash was eight weeks old the last time. Someone must have been praying, because traveling went quite smoothly. Piper is not my most content baby, but she did OK. I love my ErgoBaby wrap (affiliate link) for traveling through airports. It’s almost too hot to use in Belize, but the perfect snuggliness for a cold airplane.
Ash was our noisiest traveler, hollering “Airplane” out the window over and over.
We were hardly out of our house a day and the workers had it gutted.
And now we are enjoying time at Grandma’s house and squeezing in as many visits with friends and relations as we can. And eating as much ice cream as we can without expanding our waistlines :)