THE STORY BEHIND WRITING 'IN THE TREES'

EXTRACTS FROM MY TRAVEL JOURNAL

Entries in 3) Caye Caulker (6)

Monday
Jun062011

15th FEBRUARY - BLACK ROCK LODGE

I felt really sad saying goodbye to Luciana.  She was such a good hostess and her lovely apartment and garden became our home.  After a week, I felt as if I belonged.  Partly, I guess, this was because of what I went through losing Dad, but partly I suspect it was reluctance on my part to get on the road again.  At Belize City I worried we’d get the wrong bus, then that it would go without us.  Then at San Ignacio, as soon as we’d been dropped off, I worried that the jungle lodge people would fail to pick us up....

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Wednesday
May112011

13th February - Last Day on Caye Caulker

Awoken this morning by a bird which sounded like a broom sweeping a yard.   Get up.  Head with journal for hammock outside.  What haven’t I written about yet?  Tomorrow we’ll be leaving, so what about Caye Caulker do I still need to record?

1. Luciana. It’s only early but she’s already disappearing on her bike.  I wonder if she’s taking anybody diving.  Once I’ve left here I’m going to kick myself for not asking to go too.  What’s her story, I wonder - an Italian in Caye Caulker.   ‘Hola,’ she calls out with her friendly wave and a smile.  ‘Hola’.  She’s like a little bird herself.  An exotic bird with wild black hair and a tiny, nut-brown body which is always on the go.  

2. The village – that’s something I haven’t mentioned yet....

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Friday
Apr292011

11th February - Night of Birds

Every day there’s a fresh hibiscus flower in our apartment.  Luciana picks them from her garden.  It makes a difference to finally be able to start naming things.  Thanks to her I now can pick out the papaya tree, the banana tree, the coco plum and the coconut palm.  I know the poisonwood and, right next to it, the tree Luciana calls the ‘give and take’ because it administers the antidote to the poisonwood’s ill effects. 

Here in Luciana’s sandy garden are hibiscus bushes full of humming-birds - tiny dots of emerald and coral.  Here’s the tropical almond with its clusters of huge oval leaves, which parrots love apparently [the almonds, I mean].  When they were blown over to Caye Caulker in the last hurricane, they didn’t eat the seeds.  They ate the fleshy skin.   There are parrots in the garden now, and an iguana sunning on a pile of blocks.

Luciana told me about a night of birds which she was once witness to....

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