This week in Belize...
This week in the leadership seminars HELP volunteers taught about public speaking and creating “synergy” within team environments. Volunteers were very impressed with the speeches that participants prepared for the seminar classes and the desires expressed by participants to hold true to leadership values and principles. The meetings were very inspiring. The teamwork seminar was full of fun team building activities and reflective discussions. The confidence of participants appears to increase at each meeting. Volunteers feel that many participants are really breaking out of their shell and rising to meet the challenges of these seminar classes.
This week we continued to work with Dorthee , the nurse that runs the physical therapy at Octavia Waight. Help volunteers Krysta and Bryant have now pretty much mastered the routines of each resident. Dorthee has been kind enough to share with us the stories of each resident, which will help us work with each resident in a manner that is suitable and comfortable for them. Getting to know the old folks has been a blessing in disguise and we love to help them keep their strength. After long mornings of PT, we continue to visit and play games with the residents. This week we got a lot of the guys and gals to play with a beach ball and a parachute! Who said old folks cant still be kids at heart?
George Price Center Literacy & Conflict Resolution
This week we started two camps at the George Price Center. Conflict Resolution is for kids ages 12-15. The last few days we’ve been talking about what conflict is, different types of conflict (interpersonal, intragroup, etc…), and communication (such as body language). We do a lot of role-plays to help the kids understand and apply the concepts.
Literacy is for kids ages 5-9. We have 4 groups of children, each group at a different reading level. Some of the kids don’t know how to read at all, and are learning to recognize the letters and the sounds they make. Another group is quite advanced, and we do spelling tests with them. The other two groups are somewhere in between, and we practice sounding out words and reading short stories. They were all a little wild the first day, but they’ve gotten so much better—very attentive and willing to follow directions. We also play games to help with writing. We had each child make an acronym for their name so they could practice spelling and finding words that start with a certain letter.
This week in Rural Health a team went out to San Antonio. We ran out of sheets to give out to the people so we ended up writing it in someone’s diary. We made it through a couple more streets and walked up about 100 hills, but we found that most of the people in San Antonio are related and that high blood pressure runs in the family. We also had a nice treat from a lady in the village that made us the most delicious RICE AND BEANS ever made on the planet. We cannot stop raving about them. We are waiting to get a new booklet to write information down in and we will be back in San Antonio!
Krysta and Amanda started a music class this week since many of the locals expressed high interest in the area. The majority of the class was youth, ranging in a variety of ages from 11 and up with a few women as well. The class was a great success for day one. The kids had a lot of fun as we used simple games and explanations to teach basic musical concepts. We used the chapel’s hymnbooks as textbooks and left them with their own copy of blank sheet music to fill in with the things that we had learned that day. They are excited to come back and show us what they’ve composed next week. Next week we are planning on going over the actual keyboard and how what they learned this week correlates with finding notes on the piano.
Square Foot Gardening
Square foot gardening this week consisted of checking the progress of the garden in Succotz, making a flip chart manual to take around to villages and construct a garden for our amazing cook Sister Kay. The garden is Succotz is coming along beautifully and sprouting little seedlings so we set off for Sister Kay’s. We scrounged up some wood at our very first square foot garden site and struggled to saw and nail the frame together. After that unexpected struggle we decided to dig the garden… but to our surprise that turned out to be harder than making the frame. We hit rocks, remote controls, ceramic butterflies and much more. It was strenuous, but worth it in the end. The last thing to do is put up the chicken wire. Let’s hope that we don’t underestimate the work that will take!
Katie, Kayci, Nataya, Amanda, Nicki, and Bryant went to Arenal today where we completed two of the four sadobe stoves. The process included laying out the cans and filling the stove with mud. We made walls, husked corn, mashed mud and now we have to wait for it to dry. We thought we would get all four filled today, but it turns out we ran out of mud. This is something we did not think would happen in a village surrounded by dirt. Teams of us are going back tomorrow to finish the remaining stoves. We will then have to wait for the cans to set and dry. We will be back in two weeks to remove the cans and put in chimneys. Now we have to find out where to get the chimneys.
Ballers for Life
No updates- It rained all week.
HELP gave birth to a new program this week: Nutrition Education. Alyssa, Shayna, and Calvin created a survey to measure the locals’ interest in nutrition and then distributed it with Stephanie. After an overwhelming response of great interest, Alyssa, Shayna, and Nicki were pumped to create a class. Hours of research, a power point, and a brochure later, those three were prepared to teach their class. Many people helped spread the word, but when it came down to it the three teachers waiting…and waiting….and waiting….but no one came. Team morale was boosted later that night, though, when the three went to a karate class to teach the children about nutrition. Goals for the week are to put together a power point, brochure, and class.
Random Week and Weekend Adventures!!
Calvin and Taya may have jumped into a river with their clothes on this week in Belmopan. They do not regret this decision.
Some of the crew went to Mountain Pine Ridge this last weekend... or at least attempted to until our car broke down and we got lost. Oh well, made for great stories.
Jungle River Crew. They went to Orange Walk for the weekend and had a blast!