Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction

~~ Part 2 of 2 ~~

This post is part 2 of a two part series talking about construction in Belize and other Countries. If you haven’t yet, read part 1 of 2.

HARDWOOD HOUSE COATING AND MAINTENANCE ~ Coating the wood will help preserve its colors and beauty. Outside walls in the sun, if not coated with a UV protectant stain, will quickly turn grey. Before coating, clean off dust and debris and make sure that all pencil marks are removed. This may sound stupid, but a friend of ours was not there when they coated his house and now he has permanent measurement on his balcony walls, right at eye level too! Since the inside of our house has 16’ ceilings and is quite large, we opted for coating using a spray gun. We were lucky with the guy we hired as he did an excellent job. The first coat was applied in the morning and the second coat a couple of hours later in the afternoon. If we had done this by hand, it would have taken several days. Being in the jungle and having a wood house, fighting bugs is part of the routine. So before coating I also recommend spraying all wood surfaces (inside and out) with an anti bug (termites, worms etc.) chemical such as Dursban, which is easily available and comes in many types for different applications. Once your house is completed, regular spraying is recommended (monthly or less depending on the season) to prevent any bugs from moving in. These chemicals also help keep out other bugs such as scorpions and spiders.

GUTTERS & DRAIN PIPES ~ As stated in part 1 of 2 ~ Plumbing topic, inclination/grade is a concept many guys do not grasp. So check the grade throughout with a level. Also the joints/connections must be sealed with silicone, which if you don’t tell them, there are good chances will not bother do. Due to the high volume of water when you get a good tropical downpour, ensure that the gutters’ drains are large enough to handle that volume.

TOOLS & EQUIPMENT ~ Carelessness is big and can get costly. Check the oil in your generator yourself as it is not unusual that they let that go dry. Also, using the wrong fuel (regular or diesel) in engines, or the correct mix of fuel/oil as for the weed trimmer is another thing to keep your eyes on. A bad habit most have is to leave things lying around, and often in the rain. And last but not least, breaking things. Be ready to fix a lot of stuff or ensure you have a good repair man in your area to help with those!

DAILY INSPECTION ~ Inspect daily, or as often as possible so that problems can be rectified in time, without having to undo too much to fix the mistake. You must also ‘see for yourself’ and not take their word as lying is second nature for many!

PAYING THE WORKERS & CONTRACTORS ~ If you are planning on building, I am sure you have done research and have heard a few stories, some not too good. When it comes down to money transactions with financially struggling people, it is always risky. But when dealing with a reputable company, it is quite safe. When hiring and paying workers by yourself it is another story. As you probably read somewhere, it is advised not to pay your workers until the job is completed and that makes sense. Here‘s one that happen to me. I had a guy on a contract that would take about 8 days and we agreed on $70 per day. I gave him one day pay in advance and paid for the supplies. At the end of his fourth day he asked to be paid for the days he worked so far. So I replied that we agreed that he would get paid at the end of the job. Then he started whining about how the rich gringos don’t care, that he has a wife and kids and needs to buy food and so on. So I gave in and paid him for 3 days. Once the money was in his hand, he then announced to me that for him to complete the job his daily rate would now be $100! So I just told him to get the %*^&# out of here and to never set foot on my property again! You will run into these types of situations and they are not fun to deal with. Unfortunately, many of them do not understand the concept of long term employment, possible references to other people who plan on building, being true to their word, and respecting their employers. Also, when hiring workers directly, not through a contractor or company, make sure Social Security gets paid. It’s the law, as it should be, and it is very important for the future of the country. For more information on Social Security in Belize, visit the Social Security Board website. It is a very well built website that includes all information you need, procedures, forms, and more.

In closing, a big struggle with workers is communication. Even though Belize is an English speaking country, many workers (from Guatemala and Honduras for example) do not speak English (or some do when convenient!), and Spanish is almost as widespread. But even without a language barrier, establishing a rapport with your worker is still hard to achieve sometimes. Mix a bunch of masculine gender Gringos and Latinos, egos are high! Those I have seen succeeding in developing a good relationship are the ones who can listen as well as talk. It has to be 2 way communications in order to exchange ideas and knowledge. The Gringo has the technological knowledge, and many ideas. The Latino has knowledge of the country and its custom and probably has many ideas that you ought to listen to! Listen to your workers’ suggestions as it might just be the answer you were looking for. Then it’s easy for you to build upon his idea, while inquiring for more suggestions. And when you are of different countries and cultures, you learn even more. It’s a great combination, but not necessarily an easy one! With mutual respect, you can learn so much from each other.

I am sure there are hundreds of other things to look out for and that anyone who’s ever built in Belize (or in any similar country) have a few good stories of their own! Please share them in the ‘comments’ section.

TropiCat

Other Posts:

1 ~ Living Comfortably In The Jungle Of Central America!
2 ~ Producing And Storing Your Own Electricity, You Have The Power To!
3 ~ Building Off-Grid In The Jungle, Fun But Challenging
4 ~ Easy Broadband Satellite Internet Access
5 ~ Water Supply Considerations, Off-Grid In The Jungle
6 ~ The Domestic Cats’ Life In The Jungle
7 ~ The Belize Mennonite’s Lifestyle
8 ~ How To Live As An Expat In A Foreign Country
9 ~ The Invasion Of The Flood Flies
10 ~ Living in Paradise! But, Where Is It?
11 ~ Solar Panel Placement & Sun Chart Creator
12 ~ Health Issues When Living Abroad
13 ~ Telecommunication Challenges In A 3rd World Country
14 ~ Fleas & Ticks In The Jungle
15 ~ The Dangers Of The Black Poisonwood Tree
16 ~ To Buy Or To Rent When Moving Abroad
17 ~ Home Schooling When Living Abroad
18 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 1 of 2


To Buy Or To Rent When Moving Abroad

When you move to another country, there can be one of two ways of doing so. It is that you are moving with a company (employment relocation) or that you are doing it yourself, on your own, or with your family (such as retirement).

In the case of employment relocation, more often than not, your traveling and moving, expenses are covered by the company and your lodging is acquired by them as well. So it is not a concern for you. But when making the move on your own, to buy or to rent deserves your full attention.

It is a very good idea to visit the country you have chosen at least twice before moving. The first time, go for fun; explore and look at everything, talk to people, discover as much as you can. If you are not sure of the area you would like to settle in, then you rent. But if you know exactly what you want and where, research both rentals and real estate. Thanks to the internet, research is quite easy, although it is time consuming. There are many online resources such as:

~ Forums geared to specific countries, or ‘expat’ forums where all countries are discussed. There are many out there but not all are good. When entering a forum, look for the stats, which will tell you the number of members, visitors etc. Next find out if the forum is active (lots of posters and daily interactions) by reading through the threads menu and specific threads.

~ Real estate and rental websites (hundreds, if not thousands, to browse through!)

~ Government website to look up ownership, immigration and other laws

~ Blogs (like this one) from people living abroad, or who have lived abroad, and share their experiences. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to use the ‘comment’ field. Bloggers love corresponding with their readers!

~ Tourist/vacation related websites have lots of info about the country in general.

Before you buy, here are some things you need to know, or be able to answer:

► Real estate market. What kind of prices am I looking at.
► Laws (different countries mean different laws)
► Expat ownership laws (which in some countries may vary from laws that apply to locals)
► Purchasing procedures, requirements and time frame. What are the extra fees beyond and above the property price itself.
► Do I use a realtor, a real estate broker, an attorney… It is very important to find someone you can trust with your transaction and money. Ask for references.
► Political and economical state of the country. Semi to long term investment value.
► Will I have clear title of my property?
► Am I allowed to remain in the country for as long as I own? What are the immigration laws and different programs for expats?

Once you are familiar with those points, it is then time for your second visit to meet with the contacts you have made during your research and view the properties that have peeked your interest. You can then safely make your purchase and feel confident about it.

TropiCat

Other Posts:

1 ~ Living Comfortably In The Jungle Of Central America!
2 ~ Producing And Storing Your Own Electricity, You Have The Power To!
3 ~ Building Off-Grid In The Jungle, Fun But Challenging
4 ~ Easy Broadband Satellite Internet Access
5 ~ Water Supply Considerations, Off-Grid In The Jungle
6 ~ The Domestic Cats’ Life In The Jungle
7 ~ The Belize Mennonite’s Lifestyle
8 ~ How To Live As An Expat In A Foreign Country
9 ~ The Invasion Of The Flood Flies
10 ~ Living in Paradise! But, Where Is It?
11 ~ Solar Panel Placement & Sun Chart Creator
12 ~ Health Issues When Living Abroad
13 ~ Telecommunication Challenges In A 3rd World Country
14 ~ Fleas & Ticks In The Jungle
15 ~ The Dangers Of The Black Poisonwood Tree
16 ~ Home Schooling When Living Abroad
17 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 1 of 2
18 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 2

Telecommunication Challenges In A 3rd World Country

Here follows from my previous post, Health Issues when Living Abroad, reason #1 for selling. So reason #2; the inability of having proper telephone/fax services, and toll free numbers.

A professional business requires good, dependable, and affordable telecommunication services. And all better if they can provide toll free numbers from USA & Canada.

Phone/internet service in Belize is provided by Belize Telemedia Ltd. (BTL), and in many areas there are not even any services, including cell phone signal. BTL is the exclusive telecommunication provider of Belize, and when a business has a monopoly it is usually not economically wise for the people of the country. Competition brings controlled regulations, openness, quality of services and competitive prices. So in the case of BTL, they can do, and charge, whatever they want. BTL long distance rates are currently some of the highest in the world. Depending on the time of day and the plan you are on, calling to the USA cost between .43¢ to $1.26 per minute. Calling to Canada between .25¢ to $1.08 and to the UK between .35¢ to $1.59. That is one issue that greatly affect doing business in Belize, or in any similar countries, making it difficult and sometimes not viable.

But when you are off-grid and have a reliable internet access, there are several good options such as Skype or Gizmo, and new technology like Magic Jack. Most of them work quite well, but obviously, not like a good old land line! We have experienced a few and are using Skype full time. Here are some things that you are able to do:

-Skype to Skype chat (type and voice). As long as both parties have downloaded Skype, this service is free, in real time, and very reliable. This would be the best quality.

-Video/webcam chat

-Incoming phone call/number. You can currently choose a phone number from 21 countries. When someone calls you, they are actually calling the country of your number and it rings on your computer wherever you are in the world. In our case, in the middle of the Belize jungle!

-Conference calling. Once with a relative in Abu Dhabi (UAE) and 2 in Calgary we had a conference Skype voice chat with web cams where we could all see each other. Trish in the UAE carried her laptop around and gave us a tour of her house! It was awesome, and free!

-Land Line Calling. This feature allows you to call any landline (or mobile phone) in the world, from your computer, at very affordable rates. The rate is based on where you are calling, not where you are calling from. The plan we are on cost US $3.00 per month and provides unlimited calls to USA and Canada. Calling the UK cost a mere .02¢ per minute! Unfortunately this service can sometimes be spotty and really depends on your internet connection speed and quality. I believe there can be factors on the land line end that also affect the quality.


2 samples of a Skype window

Those are just a few things you can do. There are many more features available. One downside is that toll free numbers are not available.

Unfortunately, those that get their internet connection through BTL are unable to use most of those VoIP services as they have been blocked. So in addition to charging horrendous amounts of money, they also stop you from other amazing, more affordable, options. There are many other countries, such as the UAE and China that block those VoIP services. If that isn’t a form of dictatorship, I don’t know what is!

So Skype through satellite internet is awesome to talk with friends and family! For business, unless those you are communicating with are colleagues that already know you and your business, it can work okay. But unfortunately it is not suitable for conducting business dealings with unfamiliar people and building new contacts as there is a slight delay in the transmission. Similar to a VHF radio, only one person can talk at a time, otherwise it disrupts the connection and neither person will be able to fully hear what the other one is saying. So when you’re talking to that person with whom it is already tough to get a word in, this makes it even more difficult!

TropiCat

Other Posts:

1 ~ Living Comfortably In The Jungle Of Central America!
2 ~ Producing And Storing Your Own Electricity, You Have The Power To!
3 ~ Building Off-Grid In The Jungle, Fun But Challenging
4 ~ Easy Broadband Satellite Internet Access
5 ~ Water Supply Considerations, Off-Grid In The Jungle
6 ~ The Domestic Cats’ Life In The Jungle
7 ~ The Belize Mennonite’s Lifestyle
8 ~ How To Live As An Expat In A Foreign Country
9 ~ The Invasion Of The Flood Flies
10 ~ Living in Paradise! But, Where Is It?
11 ~ Solar Panel Placement & Sun Chart Creator
12 ~ Health Issues When Living Abroad
13 ~ Fleas & Ticks In The Jungle
14 ~ The Dangers Of The Black Poisonwood Tree
15 ~ To Buy Or To Rent When Moving Abroad
16 ~ Home Schooling When Living Abroad
17 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 1 of 2
18 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 2

The Invasion Of The Flood Flies

At the first rain, following a drought, the flood flies invade! Those ‘flood flies’, which look a lot like ants, are ‘winged termites’. They are about ½” to 1” long and have 2 sets of wings.

This is a phenomenon that occurs a few times a year. This year it happened on May 29th, when tropical storm Arthur brought a deluge on Belize. The last time it rained here at Barton Creek was on March 5th. Everything, including the jungle, was very dry, dry enough that a lot of wildlife were lower in the mountains, nearer the creek.

On that day, the rain started in the early afternoon, and it came down hard! But it felt so good as you could feel the dust being washed off everything such as the trees, the rocks, the truck, the house… it smelled so clean. But, in the early evening, at dusk, the little pests arrived!

Here’s a very good video by Calvary Chapel Murrieta. After clicking on the link, then click on ‘flood flies’.

Since we had already experienced this invasion, we were aware and got ready for it. We made sure all screens were tightly in place and used masking tape around the windows’ handles where there are small gaps. We also closed the door early. But even with all that, those annoying bugs still found their way in. Within minutes we had a few hundreds in the house, but it was very minimal compare to what you can have if not prepared. They fly around lights and people, bump into you, crawl on your skin and are extremely irritating. Fortunately, they do not bite or sting! After just a few hours, they drop their wings, and start crawling all over the place…

CRAWLING ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER AFTER IT’S LOST ITS WINGS

… on the floors, furniture, ceiling fans, just about everywhere. The next day, all are dead, and it is then cleaning time! That is also quite exasperating as those wings are very small and light and therefore a nightmare to sweep.

HUNDREDS (THOUSANDS?) OF LITTLE WINGS EVERYWHERE!

But the best is that our water tanks are now full with the best water source when living off-grid. And the worst on this occasion is that some parts of Belize got hurt really bad and are still in the process of cleaning and rebuilding.

TropiCat

Other Posts:

1 ~ Living Comfortably In The Jungle Of Central America!
2 ~ Producing And Storing Your Own Electricity, You Have The Power To!
3 ~ Building Off-Grid In The Jungle, Fun But Challenging
4 ~ Easy Broadband Satellite Internet Access
5 ~ Water Supply Considerations, Off-Grid In The Jungle
6 ~ The Domestic Cats’ Life In The Jungle
7 ~ The Belize Mennonite’s Lifestyle
8 ~ How To Live As An Expat In A Foreign Country
9 ~ Living in Paradise! But… Where Is It?
10 ~ Solar Panels Placement & Sun Chart Creator
11 ~ Health Issues When Living Abroad
12 ~ Telecommunication Challenges In A 3rd World Country
13 ~ Fleas & Ticks In The Jungle
14 ~ The Dangers Of The Black Poisonwood Tree
15 ~ To Buy Or To Rent When Moving Abroad
16 ~ Home Schooling When Living Abroad
17 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 1 of 2
18 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 2

How To Live As An Expat In A Foreign Country

After having lived as an expat for the last 22 years in 5 different countries, I am starting to get the idea!

There are rules expats should always live by, no matter where they’re from and where they now live. Those rules are simple and basic but so very important. First, picture the expats that live in your own town or city and ask yourself what you expect of them.

-Learn the language
-Respect the culture(s)
-Do not criticize (as you would think of an expat in your city that dislikes and criticizes everything… if you don’t like it, then leave!)
-Adapt (you don’t have to lose your own culture, but there are times when you must adapt or back off. As an example for me, I live in a Mennonite community, therefore when I walk on the road or go to my neighbors’ house, I cover myself below the knees, below the elbows and no cleavage…
-Be open minded whether it is cuisine, traditions etc.
-Be aware of the laws and respect them
-Be aware of the way you make yourself portrayed

Then, simply apply those rules to yourself!

As an expat you will stand out. You can be disliked quickly (remember, there is no second chance to make a “first impression”) and it can be hard to recover. So approach your new life slowly, be reserved, listen and observe more than speak at first. This will help you understand the people and their culture, and will prevent you to judge too quickly.

Depending on where you are moving to, the language is often the most difficult thing to conquer. If you only speak English and are not inclined to learn, then it would be wise to choose an English speaking country. But if you wish to learn a language, immersion beats any school, books, CDs etc. Immersion is, as far as I’m concerned, the best way to learn. You need to be patient at first as it will be slow going. But once you are starting to be able to communicate you will learn faster and faster. Again, don’t get discourage as it will slow at first, which is totally normal.

Your main tool is your dictionary. Start by making a thorough list of keywords (I suggest about 50 to start with) and learn them. So if you are going to build a house for example, your list should include such words as; hammer, saw, pliers, wrench, pick ax, screwdriver, nails, screws, feet, inches, wood, cement… To learn these words, set a reasonable goal for yourself. You can start with 5 words per day and adjust as you go.

You also need a list of the main verbs; have, doing, to be, need, looking for, how much, going, to go…

You then integrate a verb with a word. Let’s take “need” and “hammer”. With only those 2 words you can safely go to a hardware store and ask for a hammer!

As time goes, you learn more words from the people around you and eventually, by listening, you can start making sentences. Shyness is the biggest deterrent and you should not be. You will make mistakes for sure (it is impossible not to), but the local people will appreciate your efforts and will eventually become your best teachers! And what better way to make friends than those people who are enthralled to help and coach you.

And remember that every day is a new learning experience, especially in a foreign country!

TropiCat

Other Posts:

1 ~ Living Comfortably In The Jungle Of Central America!
2 ~ Producing And Storing Your Own Electricity, You Have The Power To!
3 ~ Building Off-Grid In The Jungle, Fun But Challenging
4 ~ Easy Broadband Satellite Internet Access
5 ~ Water Supply Considerations, Off-Grid In The Jungle
6 ~ The Domestic Cats’ Life In The Jungle
7 ~ The Belize Mennonite’s Lifestyle
8 ~ The Invasion Of The Flood Flies
9 ~ Living in Paradise! But… Where Is It?
10 ~ Solar Panels Placement & Sun Chart Creator
11 ~ Health Issues When Living Abroad
12 ~ Telecommunication Challenges In A 3rd World Country
13 ~ Fleas & Ticks In The Jungle
14 ~ The Dangers Of The Black Poisonwood Tree
15 ~ To Buy Or To Rent When Moving Abroad
16 ~ Home Schooling When Living Abroad
17 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 1 of 2
18 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 2

Water Supply Considerations, Off-Grid In The Jungle

The jungle provides different sources of water. Those sources are; rain, natural springs, wells, rivers and creeks. In the jungle, where water is usually plentiful, you most likely have access to more than one source. Your water supply will also vary with the seasons.

Rain water is one of the best. It is a much softer water than well or spring, which can have a high content of minerals. For us, being situated in the Mountain Pine Ridge area, minerals are in abundance. Rain water washes and rinses very nicely. The rain water is collected by simply having gutters run to a holding tank. By adding a very small amount of bleach (approximately 5 oz. bleach per 1,000 gallons of water), it is drinkable water. During rainy season, you are in heaven. But come dry season, you want (and need) a second source…

Most mountainous jungles have several natural springs, or it is usually not too deep to find a water source and dig a well. A good spring can provide water year round. Our spring fortunately does not dry out! The best thing to do is isolate your spring to prevent wild life from contaminating it and add some fish which will eat mosquitoes and their larva or bacteria in the water. If you are lucky enough to have a spring above your holding tank, than all you have to do is install a pvc line and gravity will take care of filling up your tank. If not, as in our case, you need to run a line from the spring to your tank and use a water pump. You can get an electric or gas water pump, depending on your situation (is there an available power supply near your spring?). Keep in mind that a gas water pump is much more versatile.

Well water is basically the same type as the spring. This water is usually good to drink. But due to the high content of minerals, we prefer consuming it in a limited quantity. For cooking (soup, pasta…) and for coffee it is perfect. When working outside and drinking 1 to 2 gallons a day, we prefer bottled water. One other disadvantage with high mineral content is a build up in your shower, sinks and toilet. If you don’t stay on top of it, it can become a real chore to remove. The only problem with a well if you don’t already have one is, to figure out where to dig! We were lucky as there was already an 18’ hand dug one on our land. If you don’t have one, hopefully there’s an old water witch or wizard with a magic stick in your neighborhood!

Creeks and rivers are an abundant source of water although some, especially creeks, can dry out during a very dry season. Being well aware of what is upstream on the creeks and rivers is very important. As they are widely used by people and animals, so there will be lots of foreign matters introduced to this body. When it rains, the run off from the hills and mountains make this water murky, caused by mud and along with that will be logs and/or fallen trees and anything else that is loose in the underbrush. It is basically, one of mother natures cleaning mechanisms. In our situation, with a creek that hasn’t dried out as far as anyone can remember, it is very good water (with basic filtration) for most everything, except for consumption.

A good idea is to install one of those basic ‘under the sink’ water filter somewhere along your supply line.

Having all 4 sources as we do, and being set up to pump from all of them, makes life much more pleasant. In conclusion; your best water is from the rain, then it’s a spring or well. And if all else fails… the creek or river!

TropiCat

Other Posts:

1 ~ Living Comfortably In The Jungle Of Central America!
2 ~ Producing And Storing Your Own Electricity, You Have The Power To!
3 ~ Building Off-Grid In The Jungle, Fun But Challenging
4 ~ Easy Broadband Satellite Internet Access
5 ~ The Domestic Cats’ Life In The Jungle
6 ~ The Belize Mennonite’s Lifestyle
7 ~ How To Live As An Expat In A Foreign Country
8 ~ The Invasion Of The Flood Flies
9 ~ Living in Paradise! But… Where Is It?
10 ~ Solar Panel Placement & Sun Chart Creator
11 ~ Health Issues When Living Abroad
12 ~ Telecommunication Challenges In A 3rd World Country
13 ~ Fleas & Ticks In The Jungle
14 ~ The Dangers Of The Black Poisonwood Tree
15 ~ To Buy Or To Rent When Moving Abroad
16 ~ Home Schooling When Living Abroad
17 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 1 of 2
18 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 2

Easy Broadband Satellite Internet Access

This blog can be written in only 6 words; Go see Harry in Spanish Lookout!

Ok, maybe I can elaborate a bit more on this internet access!

There are not too many installers in Belize, or in any other undeveloped 3rd world countries! So your first step is to locate them and find out what brand, system, equipment and provider they carry. They might only carry one, so your choice will probably have been made for you! Our choices were between different sizes of Hughes satellite dish and modems. As technology improves so rapidly we went for the latest model which was the HN7000S modem with a .94m dish.

The installation of the dish is most important. It is attach to the roof so it has to be done professionally. Once installed, it must be precisely aligned and secured to the proper satellite. We had Harry and his brother do it all. Both of them on the roof, one at the dish and the other one sitting down with his laptop. In no time they had homed in to the satellite and secured the dish. That was in November 2006 and we’ve never had any major problems since. When the rain is really intense you may lose connections, but it is for a short amount of time and very rare.

The speed is totally acceptable. There are 2 type of speeds; Download (to receive data) and Upload (to send data). Here are some speed comparisons:

Dial Up: Download – 40 Kbps to 48 Kbps / Upload – 36 Kbps
Cable: Download – 4 Mbps to 15 Mbps / Upload – 384 Kbps to 1.5 Mbps
DSL: Download – 768 Kbps to 6 Mbps / Upload – 128 Kbps to 768 Kbps
Satellite: Download – 512 Kbps to 1 Mbps / Upload – 128 Kbps to 256 Kbps

Through our provider, Hughes.net in the USA, we subscribe to the middle package which gives us a speed of : Download – 800 Kbps to 1 Mbps / Upload – 200 Kbps to 256 Kbps.

This speed is sufficient for our usage requirements. At most and at the same time, we had 4 computers working on the internet with one connected to Skype making phone calls to the USA and getting a clear connection. The connection through Skype is not always clear, but Skype to Skype calls are usually far better. Skype to land line or cell phone sometimes has delays and tends to break up or off. But overall, it is acceptable enough when chatting with friends and family. To conduct business it is not the best. But for the fact of being in the middle of the jungle and being able to phone home is quite amazing and fun!

And prices for both connection and call rates through a VOIP provider is much cheaper than the local phone company, and more often than not, more reliable.

TropiCat

Other Posts:

1 ~ Living Comfortably In The Jungle Of Central America!
2 ~ Producing And Storing Your Own Electricity, You Have The Power To!
3 ~ Building Off-Grid In The Jungle, Fun But Challenging
4 ~ Water Supply Considerations, Off-Grid In The Jungle
5 ~ The Domestic Cats’ Life In The Jungle
6 ~ The Belize Mennonite’s Lifestyle
7 ~ How To Live As An Expat In A Foreign Country
8 ~ The Invasion Of The Flood Flies
9 ~ Living in Paradise! But, Where Is It?
10 ~ Solar Panel Placement & Sun Chart Creator
11 ~ Health Issues When Living Abroad
12 ~ Telecommunication Challenges In A 3rd World Country
13 ~ Fleas & Ticks In The Jungle
14 ~ The Dangers Of The Black Poisonwood Tree
15 ~ To Buy Or To Rent When Moving Abroad
16 ~ Home Schooling When Living Abroad
17 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 1 of 2
18 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 2