There are not many sources of income for the local islanders, so they try to earn as much as they can from the little bit of tourism that the island enjoys. Things like restaurants and modern conveniences are not cheap. Because of this, Kim has given us some tricks to live like the locals do and to shop where they do. We have found a warehouse that will deliver cases of beer to the house for about $1 per beer, and Bill found some of the best shrimp I've ever tasted for about $4 per pound. I won't be drinking Vodka while I'm here, as it runs about $35 for a small bottle, but I have found Rum to be very affordable ($8) and a nice, tropical alternative. Bill is happy to ration his bottle of Sapphire Gin that he purchased in the duty free store at the Houston airport.
We have only eaten one meal at a restaurant and it was the incredible meal at Rose's on our first night. Bill is having so much fun looking for local items to cook at home. We are still waiting to run into the fishermen as they come in on their boats to try to negotiate some fresh fish, but Kim assures us that it will happen, if we are patient. We carry our empty egg cartons to Chan's market in the morning and buy fresh eggs supplied by a local farmer, and I assure you - they are the best eggs we've ever eaten! The kids have fallen in love with the sweet white bread that we buy from the Caye Caulker bakery (probably because they've never been given white bread). They are able to make themselves toast with peanut butter and think they are cooking!
Yesterday's meals were wonderful: beans with local cilantro, onion and avocado for lunch, and homemade tortilla soup (using freshly made tortillas and local chicken) and grilled shrimp for dinner. Not bad! We are going to try Glenda's, a favorite of many of the locals, for breakfast today. We are very excited.
It is amazing how shedding some our possessions and baggage has freed us to live differently. Little by little, we are discovering that we don't need much to make us feel happy and fulfilled - we need only the company of each other and the possibilities that it provides. As we keep reminding Henry and Caroline: We aren't on vacation - this is our life now.