The Primary Team has had a memorable first week in beautiful Punta Gorda. As the students of St. Peter Claver returned to class after Easter break this past Monday, all four primary Peer Educators joined them in the classroom to discuss some relevant health topics in the community.
Jenna and Jeff spent the week teaching lessons daily in three Standard 5 classes and one Standard 6 class. They covered topics of puberty, sexual responsibility, HIV/AIDS, peer influence, and ended the week with a lesson on stress. They modelled big smiles as they got out their jitters and put the lessons that they have been working on for several months to work for the first time in a classroom setting. The students received the material well and had fun with the activities Jenna and Jeff had planned, especially the ones that were outside in the warm Belezian sunshine! In particular, the students had lots of questions about the changes that come along with puberty and ways to deal with them. However, it was obvious by the end of the lesson that the students were much more comfortable with the material as they mastered the very competitive and thrilling game of Puberty Jeopardy!
Ali and Hilary spent the week teaching in the same school as Jeff and Jenna, but with Standard 3, 4 and 6 classes! With the Standard 6 classes, the girls covered topics of puberty, sexual responsibility, peer influence and finished the week with an HIV/AIDS lesson. All the Standard 6 classes were great to work with, especially one class in particular made up of mostly boys who really enjoyed the activities and had lots of interesting and brave questions. On Tuesday, Ali and Hilary taught a beginner nutrition lesson to standard 3’s and 4’s, which covered the Caribbean food groups, healthy active living, and it ended with a fun relay activity outside. The morning started off great, with lots of engagement and enthusiasm from all the students; however, by the afternoon, with the extreme heat and full day of work with the younger classes, the only way we could catch the kids attention was by singing them, on their request, the Canadian national anthem Belize-style (the kids were dancing and clapping). Overall, we learned a lot during our first week of teaching and hope the students did, too!
Jeff, Jenna, Ali, Hilary, and our PD Erica organized a games day this Saturday for any kids who were interested in the community. Jeff organized a big game of football (soccer) which the boys jumped right into, while the girls had fun chatting, skipping rope, and getting their nails and faces painted by Erica. Not before long, Ali and Jenna had a dance competition going, which led into lessons from our own students at St. Peter Claver on how to “Punta”. The girls gave their best efforts, but were left with an uproar of giggles from the kids. They hope to improve their dancing skills by the time that they leave Belize in 6 weeks time! Hilary took charge of an activity which resulted in a beautiful mural decorated by the kids on everything that they had learned about this week, and it was hung on the wall at the school (see picture attached).
A highlight of the week for the Primary Team would undoubtedly be the fresh produce and tortillas at the town market everyday at lunch time, which proved to be key to staying energized in the 43 degree C heat. One of the most purchased treats of the week was fresh green mango, which was sold along the street in tiny plastic bags with a bit of salt and Cajun pepper added to them for some extra flavour. We do not think that we could have started our route in a friendlier town; everybody that we have met has been more than welcoming and helpful in all regards. With one week of classes down in Punta Gorda, the primary Peer Educators are happy to be getting into the flow of life on project while gearing up for the next stop- Jenna and Jeff will be teaching in Big Falls next week while Hilary and Ali will be off to San Antonio, both of which are villages in the Toledo district.
A big shoutout to our Standard 6 students who are writing their important P.S.E. Exam on Monday!
Sending warm vibes to our family and friends back in Canada!
The Primary Crew
Red Cheeks, Hildawg, Renaldo, Jen-ay & Momma Rico