Wednesday July 18, 2018
A stormy day in Belize didn’t stop all 32 students from joining us today in Belize! After everyone arrived we made the scenic journey back to home base, where we were able to settle in and get the basic lay of the land. After a delicious dinner of rice, beans, and stewed beef, it was off to bed in our cozy jungle cabañas. Tomorrow it will be a full day of orientation, getting to know each other and learning more about our time together!
Love from Belize!
Thursday July 19, 2018
Hi everyone! We’re having so much fun in Belize already and can’t wait to share our experiences with you on here! Yesterday was our first full day in Belize and we started with orientation, then met with Dr. Minerva to learn about what we’d be doing in our schools. After that we explored the swimming hole that is on Home base, and ended the day with dinner and an inspiring speech from Mrs. Emily Martinez. The day was filled with bonding time and we’re all already growing close. We can’t wait for the rest of this amazing experience!
Libby, Christina, and Bella
Friday July 20, 2018
Hey family and friends! Today we were off to a kinda early start at a 7:45 breakfast full of pancakes and bacon. We quickly ate breakfast then hopped into the rumbling bus on our way to service!!
Our first time at service was a very exciting day. First, we played soccer, duck-duck-goose, and swings with the kids, who ranged from 2 to 12 years old. Then, groups of three were assigned a grade and also a classroom. Most rooms were pretty messy and unorganized, so we spent the rest of the time fixing up our new room. After that, we said our goodbyes to the locals and were off to the Belize Zoo, which is an hour drive.
The zoo is in the Savannah part of Belize, so we got a change of scenery. At the zoo all of the animals here are rescues, and they are also native to Belize. After looking at all the animals we hopped back on the bus and headed to the dock to catch the ferry. The ferry ride was beautiful with bright turquoise blue water wherever you looked.
After a short walk from the ferry dock, we reached our final destination- Tropical Paradise Hotel. We all got settled in to our rooms of two or three. We walked 5 minutes to Roy’s for dinner. The options were Whole Fish, Veggie Curry, Chicken Curry, or Jerk Chicken. One girl didn’t sign up for a meal so the mentors decided she’d get a whole fish. Everyone got their first cold drink of the trip at dinner which were so refreshing- juice or soda. After dinner, we walked to Scoopdis, a local ice cream shack.
They had the best creamy home made ice cream- coconut and Belizean fudge were the best! Then we walked back to the hotel for the night. We formed a huge circle and gave props/shoutouts to people from the past couple days. All of us were excited we got AC for the next two nights so we enjoyed it while it lasted. We got a break from bugs in our showers too:) Hopefully you heard from us either text, FaceTime or call!
-Jack, Grace, and Victoria
Saturday July 21, 2018
Hello GLA family & friends!
The students had yet another jam packed today here on the beautiful Island of Caye Caulker in Belize!
Students began the day with a leisurely walk to Amor Cafe. A student & staff favorite, many started their busy days with a selection of fresh waffles and eggs. Immediately after breakfast the group walked to the dock, where students either boarded a small speed boat or catamaran to begin the snorkeling excursion. Each student stopped at a total of 3 snorkeling spots where they were able to experience a variety of Caribbean Sea life. An assortment of fish, sharks (don’t worry, nurse sharks!), sting rays, and even a manatee, students enjoyed a day exploring the depths of many Belizean reefs.
Snorkeling wrapped at approximately 4:00 PM where students then were able to relax in their air conditioned rooms and prepare for another dinner in the heart of Caye Caulker. Dinner was enjoyed at Roy’s where many daring students took the challenge of enjoying a whole fish for supper!!(eyeball and all!). Students enjoyed ice cream at a local shop once again and then returned to the resort for debriefing. With a variance of activities, students were able to bond and reflect on the days adventures.
Another day for the books where students were kept busy and sun kissed on this day of underwater adventure!
Bon Voyage Caye Caulker!
-Cate & Alyssa
Sunday July 22, 2018
Hey guys it’s day 5 aka 07/22/18 and we started the day off with some delicious breakfast at Amor y Cafe. We then broke off into our individual mentor groups and continued to shop and relax. At 11:30 We all sat down and had chicken quesadillas. Unfortunately we had to leave the beautiful Caye Caulker on a nice water taxi ride to Belize City. From there it was a three hour journey back to home base, with a quick stop at the supermarket so we could buy food and drinks. Once we arrived at home base we ate dinner and spent the rest of the night preparing for our service the following day. After a hectic few days we finally settled in back at home and got some good rest. We all look forward to the rest of the week helping the children. Signing off
~ Lucy and Devyn
Monday July 23, 2018
Today was our first real day of service!! Our breakfast was healthy and consisted of eggs and biscuits. After breakfast we loaded up the bus and went to St. Margaret’s Community School for service. Devyan, Isabella, and Lucy got to stay on the bus and pick up kids to bring them to service. School began at 9:00 and the groups were split up into six sections because we had fewer kids than expected. After service, we came back to T.R.E.E.S. and had enchiladas for lunch.
Right after lunch we had a Mayan workshop where a presentation of current Mayan culture was given by Ms. Garcia. After the presentation there were two different crafts which included making beaded bracelets and “Belize” bracelets. Then we had a break which was followed by the leaders of the day games. Dinner was next, and included pork stew or coconut stew. Lastly was our mentor groups where we talked about our first day of service and planned for the following day of service.
-Khari & Maggie
Hi everyone! we started off our day at with a trip to St. Margaret’s school! It was our second day of true service so we were still getting to know the kids. After we finished service we went to a unique and amazing ice cream/dairy store close to TREES. Are our afternoon was filled with traditional Belizean dances. We then all went outside of our comfort zones and had the time of our lives! The evening was relaxing and filled with talks with our mentor groups, reflecting on service for the day.
-Mikki, Ani, & Jenna
Wednesday July 25, 2018
Today was our third day of service at St. Margret’s. We got to know our kids better and figured out our teaching styles. Today was definitely easier and we were able to understand the atmosphere of the school. After lunch, we went to Marie Sharps’s hot sauce factory. We loaded up on every kind of sauce imaginable including spicy jams, and got meet Marie Sharp herself: a eighty year old woman who started the company from her own kitchen. The dinner may have been the most exciting part yet, spaghetti and garlic bread. We are all eager to get back to service tomorrow and attend open mic night!
-by Luke & Audrey
Friday July 27, 2018
Today we had our fourth official day of service and it went super well! The amount of kids that come to school has grown each day. Right after we dropped kids off after school we stopped for ice cream and had lunch and just a little free time before going back for a talk about ethical photography and an early but delicious dinner of comfort food. We had Mac and cheese, wings, and garlic bread. As soon as we were done we set off again to go to an open mic night at a library in Dangriga. There were mostly local performers either singing or reading poetry but a few people from our group stepped up to the challenge too, presenting skits, poems, and songs. After a late night and lots of fun, it was time to head back to home base for the night.
Carli and Mackenzie
(This is Carli and yes I’m okay, mom)
Saturday July 28, 2018
Hi GLA family and friends!
We had another early start to our day with a 7:30am breakfast of spinach eggs, toast, and pineapple. We all hopped on the bus to begin service at 9am. Sadly, today was our last day of service. We taught from 9-12, and this included teaching math, English, simple games, and playing soccer during break. At the end of service, we got to bring our phones out and take pictures with some of our students that we got to know and have some pictures that we could treasure forever. Afterwards, we took the bus back to T.R.E.E.S., while dropping off some kids on the way back. For lunch, we had vegetable tacos, watermelon, and some lemonade. Shortly after, we split into two groups and half of us went to the Blue Hole while the other half took a cooking class.
At the cooking class, students made coconut milk from freshly ground coconuts, and put in vegetables such as onions, peppers, and plantains to make a soup. Students also made fresh pineapple juice, and they took turns mashing plantains to make a mashed potato-like dish. They also made brownies with frosting, which were definitely a favorite. While half of the group went to a cooking class, the other half of us went to the local Blue Hole! The water was beautifully clear, and I️t was a great trip filled with lots of swimming, sightseeing and pictures! Once we finished up at the the Blue Hole, we headed back to T.R.E.E.S. for the dinner that our cooking class made for the whole group! I️t was a delicious Belizean classic: coconut soup with mashed plantains, along with tons of other types of veggies! We also had homemade brownies for dessert with chocolate frosting which was very tasty!
Needless to say, the cooking class did a great job as our dinner was super yummy! After dinner we had our evening activity which was a bonding activity. Each person got a piece of paper to write their names on, and then would hand it around the circle and everyone else would write anonymous compliments or funny memories with the person. Once everyone had written something nice on the paper, the person whose sheet it was got I️t back. The responses were all so sweet and definitely brought our group a little closer together! After that we headed back to the bunks for a bit of chill time before bed check. I️t was another amazing day in Belize, and we all can’t wait to see what the activities have in store for us tomorrow!!
-Emily & Kathryn