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.
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.
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.
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.
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.