Thursday, July 29, 2010


We received the final addition to our team this week. Amanda flew in on Tuesday night and jumped right into the action. She will be the last addition to the third wave and we are loving her. She is ecstatic about her time here and said she felt like a little child looking out the bus window en route to our house. She has already had an amazing first work day building adobe stoves in rural villages! Welcome Amanda!

Leadership Seminars

Help International’s leadership seminars received national attention this week! Belize National Television interviewed volunteers, recorded segments of the seminars, and created a five-minute news segment on help international’s creation and involvement in the leadership classes. The classes have received very strong attendance through out the week in both San Ignacio and Belmopan (combined attendance has been around 25-30). This week volunteers taught classes on how to develop important leadership characteristics, how to sculpt healthy perceptions within a person or organization, and public speaking training. This week we also had the opportunity to hear from a very special guest speaker by the name of Kaila who was Belize’s entrepreneur of the year award winner in 2009. The speech was both inspirational and motivational to all participants and volunteers involved.

Participants of the seminar have been very involved and excited about the skills they are learning. Volunteers have been very pleased with the eagerness of the participants and each meeting has been both very educational and motivating. Help Volunteers that were involved in the seminar classes this week were: Calvin, Cydnee, Whitney , Cory, and NaTaya.

George Price Center Literacy & Conflict Resolution

This week at the George Price Centre we had a training meeting to discuss the lesson plans and activities for the Conflict Resolution camp. We talked about the outline for the 2 weeks and divvied up responsibilities for teaching and facilitating activities. We also discussed ways to encourage participation and a reward system to reinforce principles learned during the camp. We are anticipating an amazing next two weeks working with the teens in Belmopan and will keep the updates coming.

Rural Health

This week the Rural Health team hit a few walls. At the beginning of the week we learned that we ran out of test strips for the blood glucose machine and had some trouble getting more so we spent a day looking around from pharmacy to pharmacy for strips that would fit our machine. With no luck, we ended up at a restaurant and were able to talk to the waitress about diabetes and she let us take her blood pressure and glucose levels. We were able to direct her to a doctors office that will be opening up in a week which is offering free prescriptions and check-ups opening day. Later on that day we made more phone calls to a contact in Belize City to get more strips to allow us to finish up Georgeville. We finally received more strips then we could have imagined, finished Georgeville and moved to a new location. This week we have been working in a town called San Antonio and it’s going really well. It’s interesting to see how each village is so different. San Antonio is more of a self-sustaining town where most families have their own gardens and exercise regularly. It is a pretty large town so we may be there for the next week or two, but the good thing is that we have enough strips!

Octavia Waight

This week we had an amazing opportunity to meet with a nurse who spends a few days a week doing physical therapy exercises with each individual resident. She encouraged us to come and help her, so on Wednesday, Bryant and Krysta spent the morning working with several of the residents on simple yet efficient exercises. Everything from assisting in walking, weight lifting, and muscle strengthening exercises. This new project will be a great help to the Octavia weight staff and plus the elderly love our encouragement. In accordance to the physical therapy project, we are still continuing our weekly visits just to bond with the residents. We often play bingo, read, and talk to them. They are a joy to be around and we look forward to helping out the staff and residents in anyway possible in the near future.

Square Foot Gardening

This last week we were able to finish all six frames for the Square Foot Gardening project at the school in Succotz, and recruited some eager little helpers along the way! We finished constructing and raising the chicken-wire fence and the plants look like they’ll be ready to produce around the time school starts up.

Adobe stoves

The adobe stoves project took off in Arenal this week! With six enthusiastic families, the first being the village leader, we were able to begin construction of the bases of four different stoves around the village! We received so much help from everyone, and by the end of our first day, some of the villagers were taking construction into their own hands. Self-sustaining! Goal met! Construction was a blast, and we got mighty muddy along the way…


This week at the hospital we dug more trenches at the dialysis center for the sewage system. We also filled the 4-foot hole we dug with broken cinder blocks. We helped with electrical wiring, putting insulation in the ceiling and putting up the ceiling tiles. There was a lot of trash blown around the hospital grounds so we also cleaned that up. It is always a party at the dialysis center with Ignacio, DH & Wilhelm. Love it!

Ballers for Life

Bryant and Krysta are working on a new project down at the basketball courts! Who says you can’t have fun while working? They will be assisting in coaching a local basketball camp for the next two weeks. There are three different age group classes and it is taught in two-hour waves. Bryant and Krysta are having just as much fun as the children and Bryant ‘B’ was able to donate two Basketball nets to the court.

Weekend Adventures

This past weekend we all split up and took different adventures. A group of us went to Hopkins beach, another to Tobacco Reef and another group chilled here in San Ignacio.

The Tobacco Reef crew stayed for a night on the smallest island in the world, snorkeled, saw manatee's and Bryant caught two barracudas.

The Hopkins crew ran into some luck by running into Calv's high school friend. They ended up staying at his house for free and loving life on the beach.

The crew who stayed at home got some peace and rest while the crazy ones were away. They ended up going to a resort and the saturday market and indulging in some delicious Cayo Chocolate.

T-pain has the luxury this weekend of hanging out with her boyfriend! He flew in today from the states to pay a little visit!

Ray, Cyd, Kayci and Whit also left for a weekend break in Orange Walk on a Jungle River adventure. I bet we will have some amazing pics and stories from them when they return.

Until then, stay posted.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Our Goodbyes and Good Times

It has been quite a change since Second wave left us yesterday. The house is much quieter and some of us are walking around like zombies trying to find our place again. Although we miss Shawnee, Mary, Chris, Sarah, Kristin, Lisa, Melissa, Jake and Wendy, the projects must go on. Below is one of the last group photos we took together. Our final night we had Sister K over for dinner (that she cooked) and gave her a talent show. She has been a wonderful part of Belize and we wanted to show are gratitude toward her for taking care of us like her own children. She also made the most delicious 'last meal' for the ones going home and we all enjoyed Banana Cream Pie. We also enjoyed having the Dixon's come down and visit our projects with us. Below are some pictures from the talent show and some tearful goodbyes.

The HELP must go on!

Leadership Seminars

This week the leadership seminars kicked off with a well-attended orientation meeting. Young adults from San Ignacio, Belmopan, and Belize City attended the meeting. At the orientation meeting HELP volunteers and seminar participants had the opportunity to get to know one another, generate course expectations, and discuss course curriculum. Participants appeared to be very excited about the curriculum and look forward to learning important leadership tools to help them find better jobs and create movements for positive change within their community. Participants appeared to be very energetic, respectful, and dedicated to learning. This Friday we will hold another orientation for a different section of the Leadership Seminars that will take place in San Ignacio. We are very excited to continue to watch this project develop over the course of the next month. This next week we plan to have classes discussing Public Speaking, how to create healthy perceptions within an organization or business, and the development of important leadership qualities.

Octavia Waight

Bryant and Calvin took over as leads of Octavia Waight . This week volunteers who had free time from their projects enjoyed going to the local old folks home to play games, talk, sing songs, pass out water and cookies, and perform food drop offs to elderly through out the community. Volunteers love visiting Octavia Waight and have valued the relationships that have been formed with the elderly community. Every time volunteers go to visit, we are welcomed with great warmth and spend the mornings laughing and sharing stories from our lives.

George Price Center Literacy & Conflict Resolution

So the first chapter of the Conflict Resolution and Literacy camp has ended. We had a lot of fun working with the children in Belmopan and were sad to say goodbye. But we are very happy to begin working with an older age group for Conflict Resolution during the weeks of August. Stephanie has taken over as lead for Conflict and has a team of 3 people helping with the two-week camp. It will be interesting working with an older group and molding the lesson plans to fit their needs. The classes begin August 2nd and run through the 13th. Also, Whitney has taken over as lead for Literacy camp at the George Price Center. We are very fortunate to have such an awesome connection with the Georpge Price Centre and hope to continue enriching the relationship between the originations.

Rural Health

The new project leads for Rural Health are Bryant and Nikki. We are working with Health Care Partners Limited in Belize City and complete our projects under their direction. Last week a couple volunteers went door to door in rural villages to test peoples blood glucose and blood pressure and also advise people how to remain at healthy levels. Some good news for the locals is the promotion of a new family health care clinic that will be opening here in San Ignacio in the up coming week.The goals we have for this week are to finish testing the village of Georgeville. Once we finish Georgeville, we will have successfully completed work in two villages. We will then wait to receive our next village assignment and continue our work.

Square Foot Gardening

One project that has been moving forward is Square foot Gardening. Katy and Alyssa have taken over as leads on this project. This week their goals were to build a Square Foot Garden plot (with multiple frames) at the school in Succotz to help supplement their food program with extra veggies, increasing the health and balance in the diet of the students. Their hope in doing at a school is that the children will be educated on gardening so that they can take the method and apply it to a small family garden at their own homes. So far we have constructed all but one frame area for the gardens, and planted almost all of the tomato, cabbage, and pepper plants, and dug a trench around entire garden area to help drainage during the rainy season. As the week comes to a close we will finish construction of garden plots, raise chicken wire fence with supports, and begin work on educational flip chart for the school.

Also…after the long and exhausting construction of the first day, many of our group joined the locals for a friendly game of soccer in the rain!


The last week and a half we have been helping build the dialysis center that should be finished by the end of August. We have been pouring cement and digging trenches for the sewer system and inside we have been scraping paint, painting and putting up the ceiling. We are going back more this week to finish up the sewer system. It is a blast and the workers are helping us learn Spanish! The lunches are good too.

Wrapping up...

As we rotate a new group of volunteers we are wrapping up and saying goodbye to some of our projects. We will no longer be working at Cornerstone teaching english and computer classes, and the camp for children ended today. We have also letting go of our beloved Soilet. We finished the one out in Duck Run 3 which brings us to a total of 3 running Soilets in the country of Belize. In the future Santair will be building a Soilet in Belize City after they make some changes to it. The orphanage is also something we will not be working on anymore. The children at King Henry will actually be transferring to a new facility in the next month or two. Maybe after the move we will continue to go there to teach and play with the children.

Last Weekend with second wave!

Some of the new wavers went to Xunantunich, which are Mayan ruins out in the village of Succotz. While they were there it started to down pour, but they said it was worth it!

Just down the road from Succotz a couple of us decided to go to the Benque Fair. It turned out that none of the rides were open and all they were playing was loud disco/hip-hop music. It was interesting. On our walk back to the bus stop we got caught up in the same rain storm.

On the other side of Cayo, some of the group went to a natural water slide preserve called Mountain Pine Ridge. They had a blast hiking through the jungle down to the river. It turns out that they too got caught in the rain of Belize.

The Second Wave was a great time and we will miss everyone who was here very much. They changed many lives and moved many people. They made a significant contribution in Cayo District and in return they were changed to. Belize will miss you, and we will miss you everyday.

Our Family