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From the Rainforests of Belize

Latest News

BelizeHank returns! 
Sadly this site was down for more than seven years after a hacker took over control and BelizeHank was too busy recovering from Hurricane Katrina, saving elephants (www.elephantcare.org),  and building a house (blog coming soon)
to take time to recover the site.

BelizeHank and Susan Mikota DVM
remain together and at the helm of Elephant Care International (ECI).  We are now living on sixteen acres, two hills, high on a bluff overlooking the Little Buffalo River in southern middle Tennessee.  BelizeHank has just finished, well almost finished--at least we are now living in it, a cozy, open design, passive solar, woodstove heated, super-insulated house, largely constructed using very old and re-cycled materials.  Our at-least twice before used brick floors have an "ID" brick, last made in Nashville in 1882.  Our staircase and most door trim was made from 250 year-old white oak, salvaged after an 1846 building burned in Kentucky.  Our four-inch envelope of rigid insulation was factory rejected from Corning!  Even our eight-inch SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels made of a sandwich of wood and foam insulation) used for just one level of our R-60 floors were bought second-hand through Craigslist.

Our doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, cooking pots, major pieces of furniture, and many other items (for which we paid more than $20,000) were bought from Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores, proceeds of which are used to construct owner-construction-participated new homes for less fortunate people.  So, in a way, we feel we built two homes for the price of one!

BelizeHank and Susan designed the house with final input from two architectural acquaintances  BelizeHank did about half of the construction, using minimal hired help, but had very timely and valued assistance from his brothers Bruce and Noel, who had a knack of showing up when most needed.  The total, ongoing project, has taken some four years.

Susan has been mostly handling our elephant projects, especially our elephant TB Initiative and our Nepal Elephant Healthcare and Tuberculosis Surveillance Program, a daunting task.  Read more here.

What's New & Coming   has the latest updates


Living Palm Museum...
Tranquility of Art...
Ancient Maya Cultures..

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