Monday, July 6, 2009


Minister of Education in Belize, Patrick Faber


The big news this week in my Santa Elena Town ( very small place in the foothills of the Belize Alps ) was that one of the local district area representatives, Hon. Salvador Fernandez and the Education Minister, Patrick Faber visited our local library. The Cabinet Minister is quoted as saying the NATIONAL LIBRARY SERVICE BUDGET has been increased this budget year by $200,000. ( $100,000 usa )
How much of that will actually reach our local library we do not know. There are a lot of libraries around the country to share with? I don’t know how many? Our library works mostly on donations. The library needs books and book shelves. I have friends that occasionally come to Belize and bring me a dozen books or so, that I read and donate to the public library afterwards. Patrick Faber is hoping that our two librarians, Mrs. Wagner and Beatrice can re-juvenate the library computer system with new computers to help students in local schools learn to interact with the internet. That is a tall order as I well know. My own computers at my business are ten years old and I have been trying to replace them with new ones from the USA, but while I could buy a $400 usa computer up there in Texas, or Miami, I cannot get it here. It used to be we could get somebody coming down to bring stuff like a computer as airline baggage, but nowadays the airlines have really cut back on baggage allowances and I’ve been trying to get my computers replaced for several years. I end up replacing monitors with 6 year old blackened screen, second hand discard junk and CPU’s, wherever I can find a bargain around our twin towns. All my stuff is a hodge podge of ancient relics. I end up paying more for junk, than the price for new in Florida or Texas. The idea that the Santa Elena Public library could create a new public computer system and network is unlikely with a few dollars from our community share of an additional $200,000 bz for the national library budget. I am not sure but I believe our public library only has one working computer any more, that is left from years ago, they once had a network of six computers or so. National funds, only pay the salaries of two librarians at the rate of $300 bz a week, or $150 usa per week on which they must live with their families. Any library supplies are usually bought with cake sales, raffles and donations. I love my local library though. I’m a reading addict and even read books I hate. I figure it is better than reading labels on food packages. Without my library I would go beserk. Mind you a lot of fiction books are a hundred years old and certainly many interesting ones have been published around 1940 or so. This is life in Belize. I love it!

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