Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two Weeks Left!! and here's what we're doing about it...

Teresa, a.k.a. T-Pain, Left this week (well last week now) and left us all in tears. It will be a quiet, lonley, less funny and abbreviated house without her. However, we will all be following her shortly. Peace out T-Pain.

Leadership Seminars

This week of leadership was very beneficial for the students. On Monday, Whitney and Raymon taught about communication skills and incorporated some conflict resolution into the lesson. They did a few activities where the students had to close their eyes, they couldn’t talk, and they had to create a square with string. They also had to line up in a certain order with no verbal communication. It was very beneficial and brought a lot of discussion the class. On Wednesday, Cydnee had NaTaya team teach with her. NaTaya taught an awesome lesson about resumes. The students were able to write up a draft of a resume and learn the purpose and benefits. Cydnee took over the last part of class and went into detail about the interview process. They did mock interviews with each student to give them some real life experience. It was a lot of fun and they all did excellent.

Octavia Waight

This week we had quite the experience at Octavia Waight. Of course we love all the residents, but here we just have a few updates from our favorites. Camilla, who is 102, surprises us each day with her willingness and determination to do her exercises. Every time when riding the stationary bike she tells us she is riding all the way to Guatemala! Another resident, Nicolas, also has quite the determination to walk every time we come to help him. We have shared some pretty interesting, ‘only at an old folks home’ situations together and sometimes all you can do is laugh it off. To end the week we visited with all the residents and checked the blood pressure. Its always fun to meet a new resident and rally everyone up to play BINGO!

Computer Class

The computer class is a project that a couple second waivers passed on to our current team. Calvin and Krysta are the leads and go every Thursday to Cornerstone to teach a couple students typing skills and programs like Excell and Microsoft Word. Calvin surprised us all with his overwhelming knowledge of Excel and made sure the children were well versed in the program. The children love learning from us and we enjoy teaching them more and more each time. It’s a good thing we are a computer savvy generation in America and it is also good to know we can use our skills and talents for more than Facebook or mundane schoolwork. Long live computer classes!!

George Price Center Literacy & Conflict Resolution

This week was the second and final week of the Literacy and Conflict Resolution camps. At the conflict resolution camp, the kids have been writing their own newscast on a conflict situation to be filmed and viewed at the end of the week. We discussed how to diffuse anger and introduced the process of mediation.

At literacy, the children have been working hard on spelling and reading. The smaller ones are pro at sounding out words and recognizing letters, and the older kids are cranking through the chapter books. They have also been practicing for their presentations on Friday for their parents. Some are drawing, some are singing, and some are reading from a book. For arts and crafts, we’ve drawn pictures, learned how to do origami, and played letter bingo. Today we did a picture scavenger hunt, and they loved that.

Rural Health

This week we only did the rural health campaign one day. We spent the day in San Antonio and were able to test blood pressure and glucose for quite a few people. The population is mostly Mayan and they seem to be pretty healthy. There were a few individuals with very high blood pressure or diabetes that we talked to about medication and ways to control it. We also learned a few Mayan phrases so it was really fun to get to know the people there. It was an incredibly hot day and we were more than happy to eat a few ideals while we were out.

Music Class

This week for music class was really exciting. The kids learn so fast and are so excited about everything we taught them. We focused on applying the ability to reading notes off a page to finding them on an actual keyboard. We were very surprised at how well they picked it up. For learning material we printed out a picture of a blank keyboard from the internet and had them learn each of the notes’ names and write them in. Their homework for this week is to memorize the 7 different musical notes and where they can be found on a keyboard.

Square Foot Gardening

No Updates

Adobe stoves

Teresa, Shayna, Katy, Cayci and Krysta had the pleasure to go to Arenal this past week where they were able to finish building the four-adobe stoves bult in that village. The mud used to make the stoves dries slowly, so we will not be here to see the finished product. However, in the upcoming week we will return to Arenal to check on the stoves and also to put in the most important part, the chimneys. It is always am amazing time in Arenal because the people share so much with us. They show their gratitude many ways but the most common form is in food, and we have no complaints there.

Amanda and NaTaya have taken up a new location for Adobe Stoves this week. While they were ordering their usual weekly tortillas they noticed that the hut the women cook in is continually filled with smoke. Due to the fact that they couldn’t even breathe while ordering they inquired to see if the women were interested in the Idea of an Adobe Stove. After translating and explaining everything to them, the women were eager to have one. Amanda and NaTaya set off that day to find materials to use such as grass, dirt, cinder blocks and tools. After much discussion, research, and many sketches we decided that this adobe stove would be different. Instead of using the traditional red dirt and cinderblock route, they decided to construct the stove out of new dirt that dries over night and to build onto an existing stove structure. Some doubt this method but they have already successfully laid the first two burners and inclines. Monday we will be going back to the site and seeing if the mud dried well enough, make a few adjustments and place a chimney on it. Monday will be a defining day for the stove and we will learn whether or not their efforts will be in vain.

Ballers for Life

Last week was the concluding chapter of Ballers for Life. Bryant and NaTaya were invited to attend the tournament for Ballers for Life in Belize City. The best 10 players were chosen from each age group to compete in the tournament. They rode on the bus with the team to Belize City and participated in the event with the team. Each district wore a different color to distinguish them. The first two, younger, teams lost in the last seconds, however the older team won and moved on to the second round. We were grateful to participate in an event that promotes children-teens physical activities and giving them something constructive to do with their time. Although camp has ended, we still see all the kids on the courts at night and they still bring their ‘game’.

Nutrition Education

In preparation for more home visits, Nicki and Alyssa created a more efficient lesson plan. Amanda and Alyssa had a successful day of home visits, changing peoples’ lives one vegetable at a time. They were also able to create visuals for said visits. Nicki joined the duo the next day for more home visits and a class that Amanda taught in Spanish to the Relief Society ladies.

Succotz School

Katie and Kayci started work at a new project in Succotz. No, it is not to late to start new projects especially with these project leads. A group of volunteers started on Monday and went into it with an open mind. The classes are every day from 9 am -11am and 1pm -2pm with two different age groups attending each session. The camp is running for two weeks and each day they teach a new subject. They are focusing on Math, Music, Reading, Crafts and Sports. We were amazed at how many children showed up, because the advertising for it was merely a piece of paper filled with information on the corner store's wall. The first day was kind of ruff with some confusion on age groups and placing the kids in their level of learning, but as the week went on the children settled and they came to grow to love the volunteers and the subjects we taught. We will finish up next week and we hope to memorize all 160 names of the children. Keep your fingers crossed.

Cerebral Palsy

While checking blood pressure and glucose levels in Georgeville, we ran into a boy who had Cerebral Palsy and a mother who did not know how to get him help. So one of our volunteers had his family send us some books on it so we could help them out. Below are some pictures of Bryant and Krysta taking the family the information on his condition. The mother was very grateful to have them come back and give her some information on how to help her child that she otherwise would have struggled to obtain.

Random Fun Times in our house are as follows:

sometimes you have to make due.I can't even explain this one..What we crave every night!! She found her best friend in Belize

NaTaya's Mother and sister came to visit for the weekend. They enjoyed the shops, hitch-hiking (Safely) and some Mayan ruins. It was a pleasant occasion.

Katie may have fallen in the gutter. We try to get her help , but you know what they say. You have to want to help yourself before others can help you. We are all here for you Katie, whenever you are ready.Raymons usual pass time: TacklingPlease ladies, keep the braids in. Raymon may or may not have cut his head open on barbed wire while going about his daily routine of walking. This picture is so strange, he is bleeding out of his head and he is still smiling.Our little man prince with his band-aid bow

Kory had to break into our house the other week, because we forgot the key. Turns out it was very easy... almost too easy...

Weekend get away at Hopkins beach. OH the joy of relaxation.


  1. This may or may not be my favorite blog post yet. Just sayin'.

  2. : ) because we have some amazing photos this time, FROM your CAM! I love it when I see you in the blog Whit!