Saturday, August 21, 2010

Taya, Kory and Steph no more :(

Last week we lost some more of our team to America and the luxuries thereof. Kory left on Sunday with Stefanie and NaTaya following the next day. We will miss them dearly, but there is still much to do. The best part of leaving is the delicious breakfast Sister Kay makes for you the morning of.

A handful of days left in Belize but more than a handful of workers to complete the job.

Adobe Stoves

Adobe Stoves this week was really an eye opener. Our first stove designed by Taya and Amanda was dry and ready for testing it with a fire. Well with much enthusiasm, we had little success. The fires were being smothered due to the lack of oxygen. So through trial and error, Krysta, Amanda, Bryant, and President Lemus worked hard to solve the problem. We had to redesign, tear down and build up the stove several times. On the bright side, this mud dries amazingly fast. With this to our benefit we were able to work and wait only an hour or so to continue. Finally, we came to a solution that worked. We decided to build another chimney for the larger stove to help prevent smoke back up. We also enlarged the openings to where more oxygen could funnel through. A few more adjustments need to be made but the good news is that it will be fully functional before we leave! This project would not have been possible without the help of many minds finding solutions and not just giving up! As for the stoves in Arenal, they are still drying and some of the team will be heading out there to check on it later this week.

The team also went back to Arenal and installed the chimneys on some houses. The stoves are not in use quite yet, but they are fully constructed.

Music class

Music class this week was a little smaller in size but great in the fact that the children got more one on one time. This week we introduced them to the piano keyboard and how the notes on the staff correlate. They now have all the knowledge on how to read and write music, all they need to do is practice. Each week before starting class we quiz them on what they remember from the previous week. It is so cool to see the kids shouting over one another to try to say what they learned. We have one more week to wrap up music basics and guaranteed it will be!

Computer Class

This week in computer class we taught about microsoft excel and created a variety of excel spreadsheets. Although the student was at points overwhelmed at the amount of things excel allows you to do, we assured him that remembering the basics is the most important part. We also worked on proper typing and how to use special tools, such as flow charting, in Microsoft word.


This week we had a lot of successful nutrition moments. A lot of home visits were made by Alyssa, Amanda, Nicki, Calvin, and Bryant. Amanda also gave a fabulous class in Spanish to the members of the Spanish Branch.


This week we wrapped things up at the Hospital. Although the Dialysis Center is not entirely complete, it is only about two weeks from opening. This week we finished the insulation, tiling the ceiling, filling a sewer hole with rocks, and digging trenches for water pipes. It was a lot of work, but all for a good cause. For our last day, the fellows we have been working with, invited us to a lunch at their favorite restaurant, Benny’s Kitchen. It was delicious and it's where Amanda and Krysta got to try Cow Hoof Soup. They admitted to it not being that bad! This was the perfect reward for all of our hard work on this amazing project. We appreciate La Loma Luz for allowing us to be a part of their team.

Octavia Waight

Octavia waight has continued to be a place of comfort and learning. Each time we visit the residents feel more comfortable in talking, joking, and visiting with us. We have completely learned the tricks to getting residents to cooperate in exercising. Usually all it takes is a little bribing with a banana. Although some days are not good days for all the residents, most of them have shown improvement and endurance in their exercise routines. Checking blood pressure on the residents is always fun because we get to joke with them about eating too many sweets! Not only have our relations with the residents grown stronger, but with the staff as well. They are so appreciative of the work we do and they often offer us some of their delicious meals!


This week in the leadership seminar volunteers taught about resumes, interviewing, and how to hold effective and efficient meetings. The last class we had a class discussion on the topic “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” In this discussion participants brought up problems that they see in their schools, community, country, and in the world as a whole. We talked about each problem that was brought up and then we talked about things that can be done to fight the problem. We then taught about the idea of “the power of one.” In this discussion we also talked about influential leaders who were able to create positive change in the world and common characteristics these leaders held to help these changes come about. It was an inspiring last class to end the leadership seminar. Volunteers and participants alike felt a stronger resolve to help fight the problems they see in the world.

Succotz summer school

This week was our second and final week at the Succotz summer school. In addition to working on Math, Literacy, and Art, we also worked on special presentations to present to the children’s parents on Thursday. The presentations went well and it was very fulfilling to see the children show their parents what they had been working on. After all of the children left, the village leaders had a huge lunch prepared for all of the volunteers and we were able to spend time talking to the leaders. It was the perfect end to a wonderful project!

Square Foot Gardening

No current updates

George Price Literacy and Conflict Resolution

We wrapped up the Literacy program and the Conflict Resolution camp last Friday. It was a good end to the programs as the parents came for presentations at the end of each. At conflict resolution, the parents watched a “news cast” that the students created. They each wrote a script for a piece of a news cast: sports, local news, world news and entertainment, involving a conflict. The HELP team edited the video and it turned out great. The literacy kids read poems, stories and sang songs for their parents. Raymon and Whitney were also interviewed for a local Belize news station concerning the literacy camp.

Weekend adventures!!


Raymon, Whitney, and Kayci had an adventure of their own at ATM. In this ancient cave used by Mayans for sacred ceremonies, they swam, hiked, and viewed skeletal remains. It was exciting!

Caye Caulker!!

This weekend Amanda, Steph, NaTaya, Alyssa, Krysta, Nicki, Shayna, and Bryant made the trek to the beautiful Caye Caulker! We spent two marvelous days in the sun and crystal clear water. We spent our time relaxing, snorkeling, and fishing! Krysta Nicki and Shayna even saw dolphins! Bry and Amanda got to go fly fishing while the rest of the group just soaked up the sun! Great friends and a Great time!

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