Hello from Belize City!
So much has happened since our arrival in Belize City on Sunday. We started the week by visiting the YWCA to introduce ourselves to the girls that we teach for 2 hours every morning. The school is vocation-based and girls of all backgrounds follow courses in cosmetology, cooking and aesthetics. This amazing group has girls ranging from 10 to 18 years of age and is creative, talkative and full of energy. We look forward to another week and a half of activities and lively discussions.
Sarah and Braden are teaching at Excelsior High School in both the life skills classes and an after school peer leadership program. The school counselor Mrs. Jenkins has been beyond helpful in organizing students and working with our busy schedule. The peer educators selected for this program have expressed concern for the student body and are interested in learning how to address some of the issues that trouble their school. Being interactive has been a great way to keep students interested: getting a class full of students breathing through straws to do a minute of jumping jacks both got our students active and demonstrated the long-term damage that smoking can do to our lungs. Other topics covered include bullying, conflict, respect and substance abuse.
Meanwhile, Taylor and Dave have been keeping busy at Maud Williams High School. A school where QHO had great success last year, Maud Williams has prepared a special group of form 2s for a leadership class where discussions have focused primarily on healthy relationships and responsible sexual practices. We are only disappointed that Friday is a holiday and we won’t get a full 5 days with these bright young minds! The condom relay remains a favourite, and it has been a pleasure to share with students some of the concepts they have not seen in school before, such as the difference between HIV and AIDS, the risks associated with sex and how to make responsible choices.
On top of our time at school, we are working as closely with the BFLA as ever. QHO, the BFLA and Anglican Cathedral College worked together this week to organize a booth presenting the myths and challenges associated with teenage pregnancy. On Friday, we will be at the BFLA to help them launch their latest initiative. KISS (Keeping it Sexy and Safe) is a program designed to educate youth about healthy sexuality and invite them to come to the BFLA’s state of the art youth space, where they can relax, talk to counselors, play games and feel safe and comfortable around like-minded youth.
It’s hard to imagine so much has happened in a short three days. We will keep you posted on our upcoming teaching and initiatives (which may or may not include a guest spot on Belizean TV!).
Sweaty as ever,
Salty, 110, Ladyburp & Swoob