It was a bittersweet final week in Dangriga. Teaching at St. Augustine and St. Matthews was a great success as we taught almost all of our lessons to the standard 4, 5 and 6 classes.
Erica and Emily at St. Augustine had the opportunity to teach our new mental health and gang violence lessons, which was exciting for them as these are both brand new lessons that we implemented this year. Both lessons sparked a lot of conversation, and we were pleased that our new style of discussion based teaching was well received. Over the week, we continued building our relationships with the teachers and children at St. Augustine, and it was hard to say our final goodbyes.
Kathleen and Alex had a great week at St. Matthews. The sexual responsibility lesson with the standard 5s and 6s was a huge success, sparking lots of great questions. Puberty jeopardy with the standards 3-5 became a fierce competition, and many more beautiful and unique snowflakes were made by the standard 2s. They made some awesome connections with the kids after playing football, volleyball and duck duck goose during breaks, and again, it was difficult to say goodbye.
Many kids at the schools in which we taught, performed at the Festival of Arts on Tuesday and Wednesday night. The festival is a competition between schools within the district, with the finals being held on Friday and the winners from there performing in Belize City for the national competition. Our students had amazing performances, with some moving on to the gold showcase for all of Stann Creek on Friday. We wish them all the best and hope that some made it onto Belize City!
The Health and Family Life Education coordinator, Mr. Mejia, went above and beyond to integrate us into the community, even inviting us to the grand opening of the Stann Creek Food Program. This government-funded program has started in Dangriga, feeding over 200 children in need. It has plans to expand to the rest of Stann Creek, eventually providing other much needed health care such as daily vitamins and important vaccinations. It was an honor to be invited to the grand opening of the program, and also exciting to finally meet the Honorable Minister of Education, Mr. Patrick Faber (whose picture we had seen in all the classrooms we had taught in the previous 2 weeks)!
Having the Secondary project around was a nice change, we even got to see more of what they do, helping them run a BFLA open house day on the Friday and a games day on the Saturday. It was really nice for them to get out of the classroom and get to interact with the kids in an active outdoor setting. Turns out our basketball and football (aka soccer) skills weren’t as great as we thought!
On Sunday we said our goodbyes to both the Secondary project and our amazing project director Kayla, as the 4 of us got on a bus headed to Orange Walk. The drive north was quite beautiful, and we noticed that Orange Walk town is a more urban setting than Dangriga. Additionally, we have found that the northern part of Belize has a much more Mestizo influence, allowing us to hone our Spanish skills. Although we miss the traditional Belizean beans and rice that we ate every night in Dangriga, we have thoroughly enjoyed trying the tacos, burritos, sapicon and ceviche.
This week Erica and Alex are “enjoying” the very early morning bus ride to San Lazarro school, in a village just outside of Orange Walk town. The school is peaceful, the children are respectful, and so far they have been responsive to the puberty and sexual responsibility lessons. The teachers have showed great interest in the material presented, and have been incredibly supportive of their activities.
Emily and Kathleen are teaching this week in San Pablo Community School, located in another small village just outside of Orange Walk town. Although this week is “education week” and they will not have the opportunity to teach full days as they have other activities planned, they have had lots of time with the older standards, teaching puberty and mental health. They look forward to teaching sexual responsibility tomorrow, as well as participating in the kite making competition on Thursday.
Our sunburns from Dangriga have finally peeled off, and we’ve now started getting orange in Orange Walk. Until next time, primary out.
Sending our love,
Veggie Tales, Keeper of the Tube, Ab Ripper Al, and Grams
Guess who is who!
We attached some links to videos from the Festival of Arts! One is of Guilisi Primary School performing a traditional Garifuna dance to Garifuna drums (pictured). The other is of Christ the King Anglican School performing their drum line entry in the musical category.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RODiCbwQ_Go –Guilisi Primary
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77OqsgvDVgg –Christ the King