Breakfast this morning was a combination of scrambled eggs, beans, papayas, and friend jacks (a kind of deep fried dough). We spent the morning getting to know everyone a little better and beginning our mentor groups. The mentor groups are a kind of way to discuss goals, expectations, and our home lives with a smaller group. A short break later and we sat down for lunch. Our lunch consisted of delicious rice and grilled chicken with sauce and a cabbage salad. Everyone went up for seconds :). After lunch we headed for the Belize Zoo! It was not like most zoos, since all of their animals were native to Belize. We split into groups and got an interactive tour with a staff member. Some of us had the opportunity to feed toucans, parrots, tapirs (the Belizean nation animal), and everyone held the boa constrictor! A majority of the animals were rescues such as the jaguar, pelicans, harpy eagle and others were taken from being illegally kept as pets. We came back to came around 4:30 and took some free time where people showered, played volleyball, and sat on the bridge enjoying their surroundings. Right before dinner we played some group games then proceeded to eat a wonderful meal including pasta, grilled chicken, steamed vegetables and for desert some banana bread. In the evening, we had two group speakers from the school we will be working with. The vice principal and one of the teachers sat with us for about an hour and talked about the curriculum, Belizean school standards, the melting pot of cultures and introduced their school. Our plan for tomorrow is the head into the school for the first time and prep the classrooms for our individual age groups. Later in the day, we’ll be hiking around some Mayan ruins.
Special hello to Macey and Sophia!! 🙂 <3
Francesca C. and Emily M.
At the crack of dawn we awoke to the sound of a loud bird chirping, sausage frying, and shuffling on the pebble pathways. Mentors encouraged us to eat a hardy breakfast to prepare ourselves for the busy day ahead. Following breakfast we hopped on our bus and to St Joseph’s, the school we will be teaching over the course of our trip. There we helped clean and set up our classrooms, moving desks and getting our materials ready for the next day. Next stop was the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich. We hopped on the bus where we had chicken sandwiches for lunch.When we arrived at our destination we immediately noticed the brightly colored shops and the river we would be crossing by ferry. Some of us were lucky enough to get a chance to steer the ferry across. Then we trekked up a mile to meet our tour guide. After a short distance we had finally come the breathtaking beauty that is Xunantunich. After a few quick pictures our guide began delving into the history of the magnificent structures and the civilization behind them. His enthusiasm attracted the attention to all the rich culture of the Mayans. Then we climbed up the king’s palace, the tallest of the buildings. The view from the top was too beautiful for words [insert inspirational song here]. Once we had captured more than a few pictures, we headed back to the ground to explore more of what the site had to offer. We learned the story and purpose behind each building, and were even taught about an ancient Mayan game with associations to the gods and ancient rituals. In relation to the Mayan culture and ways of survival we were each given the opportunity to feast on the flesh of the termites. It was explained that termites are an abundance source of food full of protein and can be used in dire circumstances as a natural bug spray. After a full informational day at Xunantunich we purchased at some of the local gift shops and rode ferry back to the bus. We arrived back at home arrived back at home base to eat a dinner consisting of beans and rice with stewed beef. Following dinner we had guest speaker named Emily Martinez. She is a member of numerous leadership and educational organizations. Her discussion inspired us to adopt a new way of thinking and to appreciate multiculturalism and its relevance in the world. Martinez’s mantra of “Peace, Love, Hope, Joy” wasn’t the only lesson she imparted onto us. She said, “If you don’t know yourself then someone else will define you.” Her lessons boosted our energy for the final task of the day which was to create lesson plans for the first day of summer camp. We can’t wait to meet the kids tomorrow and learn from them, as they will from us.
Shoutout to Momma Marquis, Paul, Grace, Amanda and Nona.
Today we started our day a little earlier than the last few days. We had breakfast at 7:30 (biscuits, ham, and fruit) and then headed over for our first day of teaching! All the GLA students were split into small groups and assigned to different age groups ranging from Infant One to Standard 5 (kindergarten to 7th grade). School started at 9 o’clock and we welcomed 60 students into our clean and decorated classrooms. The GLA students were in charge with coming up with our own lesson plans to teach to our grades. For example, Delaney and Valentina, who taught Infant One, did character building arts and crafts, introduction games, and duck duck goose. Others such as Shelby, Franny, Jenny, and Ashley in Standard Three decorated handprint name tags, spelling contests, and played educational games. After a 30-minute recess and afternoon classes, the school was dismissed at 12. We packed up and headed back to base for a quick lunch and regrouping then boarded the bus and returned to the school. Once there we painted the bathrooms and set up white boards in classrooms that previously had blackboards. After a few hours of redecorating, we returned to base for dinner and lesson planning. We are ready for a long day of fun tomorrow!
Shoutout to Devin. Hope your teeth are feeling better! (Ily mom/mami and dad/papi).
Day five has for sure been wiiild!!
S/O: Mama Lo, hope the Hawaii beaches are treating you well. You deserve the best.
This Sunday morning some of the team woke up at five o’clock to watch the sunrise on the dock. Even though it was quite cloudy, the sunrise was unforgettably beautiful and it was so relaxing. The rest of the group met at eight o’clock for breakfast at Amor y Cafe (Love and Coffee) which we all love!! The food is so yummy and the cafe is right in the middle of town. After breakfast, some of us went shopping for some souvenirs and to experience more of the culture , while the rest of the group went for a swim in the ocean. Once we checked out of the hotel and said our sad farewell to the air conditioning, we chilled on the dock before lunch. At noon we all hulled all of our belongings to a lunch spot right on the beach were we had some chicken, rice and plantains, muy bueno! Finally it was time to leave Caye Caulker and we headed back to Belize City on a water taxi, dodging the rain. Once we docked back on mainland, we made our way back to home base. After some unpacking, showers and relaxing time, we played a game before dinner. After a dinner of spaghetti, a little taste of home food, we prepped for our busy week at the school. We all can’t wait for this week ahead. Halfway through the trip!!
-Ashley G. and Shelby R.
We woke up and ate breakfast at 7:30 as usual. We had beans, eggs, and toast for breakfast. We then returned to our dorms to get prepared to teach. Our handsome bus driver, Windell, drove us to the school to begin the week. We had a student arrive to school on a horse. Overall, it was a pretty calm day. We did not have students run away like last week. After a successful day, we returned to home base and consumed some phenomenal empanadas. After lunch, we split into two groups and did separate activities. One group went to “Cheers” to eat the traditional American cuisine of saturated fat. They ate cheddar bacon burgers and milkshakes. The other group participated in a cooking class. They made the traditional Belizean meal of chicken, rice, and beans. After two consecutive meals, we ate dinner. For dinner, we ate the food that was made by the cooking class. After dinner, we had a group jeopardy game and planned for the big day of education tomorrow. We hope tomorrow goes as well as today did.
Evan and Alex
After waking up to a loud bird, we all headed to the dining hall for a scrumptious breakfast. After devouring our meal we headed to the school for another fun filled day of working with the children. After service we hopped on the bus and had a sack lunch of quesadillas (shoutout to the odd numbers for the tortillas) We endured a long bus ride to San Ignacio where we split into two groups and overlooked a pure Mayan chocolate demonstration YUM! We also went into a large cage with forty iguanas where we proceeded to put them on our bodies and even our heads. After a quick stop at the grocery store we had a nice chicken and tamale dinner There was also carrot cake which made everyone line up again and dive in for seconds. We then traveled up to the classroom for an intriguing game of Rock Paper Scissors shoot. Everyone got super into the game and we were all cheering each other on enthusiastically 🙂 We then prepped for another strong, rewarding, day of service
Shoutout to Kona, Olive, Mr Chips, Trapper Joe and Oreo
Love you Edie mom and Pam mom thanks for being the best
Also shout out to our dads.
You are cool too
Also shoutout to all the other parents reading this
Also shout out to Jennifer Jackson, we miss you!
Hugs and Kisses XOXOXOXO, Eva and
We started our day off with a delicious breakfast of fried jacks and scrambled eggs. We headed off to service around 8:15 to enjoy the last day with the kids. Each class enjoyed their separate party. Then we got together for a water balloon fight. We gave out letters and hugs as we said our final goodbyes. After we headed to a hot sauce factory! We enjoyed a tour of the factory and a tasting of Marie Sharps best hot sauces. We enjoyed the two-hour scenic route back to our home base. Next came the leader of the day activity where we sat in a circle and complimented each other. We enjoyed chicken tacos for dinner and headed back upstairs to rap up. We had a discussion about our service and the time spent in Belize.