Day 1 – July 7, 2017
Woohoo! 28 of our students arrived today excited and already making new friends. They arrived to a beautiful Belizean day after a nice lunch from the home base (Alecia’s fabulous homemade empanadas) we headed down the road to where we will make our home for the next two weeks. We stopped at “the mall” in the capital city of Belize, Belmopan for some essential snacks and any toiletries that may have been forgotten. After of dinner and a safety talk we called an early night to let the students get settled into their cabins and get some much needed rest after a long day of traveling.
Day 2 – July 8, 2017
This morning we slept in a bit and for breakfast we had fruit and eggs and meat. After breakfast we went on a hike, with a bush guide named Will, around TREES. On the hike Will talked about the Mayan civilization and along with some of the group snacked on some live termites. We cooled off in the swimming hole with lunch waiting for us back at the dining hall. For lunch we had pizza and cabbage coleslaw and fruit punch. After lunch we had time to hang out around the base before we split into mentor groups. In our mentor groups we got to know each other and took some time to journal. Then a Belizean woman came and spoke to us about culture and her life’s work. It was a very interesting and motivational speech and she was very nice. For dinner we had noodles and garlic bread with brownies for dessert. Following dinner we played some bonding games and worked on prayer flags. It was an amazing full first day here in Belize at TREES.
Alexis and Addie
Day 3 – July 9, 2017
This morning we started off the day at 8, and ate a yummy breakfast of waffles and fruit. Then we embarked on a journey to Blue Hole National Park where we hiked into some neat caves. We did some exploring in there and then we took a short bus ride to another part of the park where we swam in a swimming hole titled the “blue hole” even though it was a bit green. Then we went back to home base for lunch, black bean soup and cabbage salad. After lunch, we met with the lovely Dr. Minerva who went over the curriculum at the school with us. Then we took a short bus ride to the beautiful school where we set up our classrooms and got to meet the principal and some local littles. We then returned home to a yummy dinner of chicken and beans and rice. We ended the day with some planning for our upcoming week with the kids and a lively game of Belize jeopardy. We are excited for the week to come!
Adia and Georgia 🙂
Today we woke up around 7 and it was hard because we did so much yesterday that we’re all EXHAUSTED!! But we woke up and went to breakfast and ate fry jacks,beans, and eggs. We left around 8 to go to the school and we were all so excited to meet the kids and help out. It was really awesome to see how determined they were to learn and they had so much fun it really made all of us hopeful for a life changing week. They weren’t all English speaking so there was a language barrier but nothing that couldn’t be overcome. We left the school around 12:30 and had lunch. We ate keesh (they call it egg pie here) and cabbage slaw. After, half of the group went off to tour the chocolate factory and the other half stayed back and helped Alicia (aka the BEST COOK EVER) make dinner for everyone. For dinner we had coconut rice😍, salad, pork stew, and really delicious fried plantains (I made them.) For dessert we had lime pie and brownies. We discussed our plans for tomorrow after dinner and had group therapy. Now we are all headed to bed and ready to see what tomorrow brings! (Ps: we love u Melton and Halmy families)
– Love from Belize,
Sophia and Mattie
July 11, 2017
This morning we woke up at 7 and made our way up to breakfast at 7:30. We had a delicious breakfast of tortillas, beans, eggs, and lots of fruit. (THANKS ALICIA!!) After breakfast, we headed to the school to prepare for our second day of service. It was amazing to see how many more kids showed up and all were excited to learn. After a hard, yet rewarding day of teaching, we had a packed lunch and headed off to the Belize Zoo. At the Zoo, we saw a variety of animals, all whom were rescued and are native to Belize. Some of us even held a boa constrictor as is poured rain. After the zoo, we headed to a local store to stock up on pop tarts and bug spray since, all of us have countless bug bites. During the stop we also got to watch Keri attempt to run across the street in flip flops 😂.Then we went back to the base and had dinner. For dinner we had rice, pork, salad, and fried plantains. After dinner, we played a game called “ha” and then discussed our teaching plans for tomorrow. We can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings, and how many new bug bites we all get! 💙🇧🇿 (PS: We love you Bressler and Madison families!)
With love from Belize- Sydney and Paige
We woke up bright and early to the fresh Belizean jungle at 7:00 for a 7:30 feast. Alicia served us fresh tortillas, beans, eggs, fruit, and juice. We left at 8 for our 3rd day of service with 82 enthusiastic kids. The number of kids continues to grow each day. They excelled in both Hangman and freeze dance. 💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽 We stopped at the local market for more treats to cool us down (it feels like you’re melting before 9 am here 😪🤒.) Then, we hopped back on the party bus and returned to home base for a quick and delicious lunch that consisted of taquitos (?) with homemade salsa and salad. Then after a little bit of down time we headed back over to the school for a little renovation of the school playground. We painted the wood structure with blue, red and yellow paint to brighten up the school yard. Little did we know, we had more paint on us than on the structure. We all left a small impression on the structure to make it our own. Some of the local kids even came over to assist us and add a youthful flare. On the way home it was a race to get to the showers and wash off the rainbow remains. Even after a hose shower, a chemical shower, and regular shower there is still paint stuck to our bodies. We had dinner at 6:30 (30 minutes later than normal so everyone could shower). We had chicken, beans, rice, and steamed vegetables. It poured rain while we played a game of charades. After dinner we watched a compelling Ted Talk that provoked a meaningful conversation. Finally, we planned for day 4 of service and activities. Now, we are sitting in the pouring rain thinking about our lovely families, the Roberts and the Johnston’s. We miss you both A TON!
Clara & Myah
This morning we started our day with the most amazing French toast breakfast made by our most amazing cook, Alecia. We arrived at the school at 8:00 and were greeted by some our wonderful students, it’s amazing to see how many children arrive earlier than they are supposed to- they are so eager to learn! Today was another hot and humid day, but we all enjoyed teaching, playing and swinging with the students. After our work at the camp we headed back to home base for a lunch of split pea tortillas, chips and salsa and fried Belizean pretzels. At 2:00 our group split again; evens staying at home base for a cooking class and odds headed to the chocolate factory. The chocolate factory was very interesting as well as the people who worked there. We learned a lot about the Mayan culture and the art and history of chocolate making! After the odds got back we had the leader of the day activity where we all wrote nice things about one another of pieces of paper. Once we all finished everyone had a piece of paper that had a nice message from every GLA member! For dinner, the evens had prepared a delicious meal of fried fish, plantain balls, coconut soup and coconut rice! Today was Alexis’ 16th birthday so we finished our day with birthday cake! Just another amazing day in Belize!! ( we send extra love to the family members of Sarah M. And Briana G.)
Sarah Mackowski and Briana Garrison❤️
July 14, 2017
The day started at 7:30 with fried jacks, beans, salami, and fresh fruit. All prepared by the well appreciated Alecia. Then we hopped on the bus and arrived at the school for service. Some of the children were gone because of a field trip, so it was a more of a relaxed day. This allowed us to have some one on one time with the kids. They also got a lot of free time outside for activities, and seem to be opening up more to us. We made a brief ice cream stop on the way back to home base. The ice cream was locally made and tasted amazing. At lunch, we had a tortilla filled with mild chicken and cheese, and purple cabbage slaw, and plantain chips. We took a 45 minute bus ride to a local hot sauce factory, founded by a women named Marie Sharp. Her sauces are shipped worldwide, found in the U.S, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, and other countries around the world. We were able to see the process of making the hot sauce and packaging it, and some of us even watched a film about Marie Sharp’s company. We got to sample many bottles, and most of us bought some to bring home. Afterwards, we headed back for dinner at home base. We had pasta with a delicious meat veggie sauce, lettuce salad, and garlic bread. We finished the day with a fun interactive group activity where we shared stories (made up or real experiences), which let us get to know each other better. Excited to visit the local markets tomorrow, but sad we can’t sleep in (lots of love to our favorite Canadian moms- Karina and Yannie) miss u tons!
Luna Li and Jackie Riddell