We can’t believe how fast two weeks have gone by. It’s starting to feel like home here in Corozal and it’s going to be so hard to say good bye. We have gotten to know a lot of the local community members and were even invited into the home of Mrs. Young, the Standard 6 teacher at Ranchito Government School. We learned so much about the culture in Belize from Mrs.Young and her daughters Ayla and Jenieki. Ayla will be going to high school next year and Jenieki just finished her first year of school at Memorial University in Newfoundland. Jeneickie explained that she knew how it felt to be away from family in another country and wanted to give us a sense of a home away from home. We had a great evening swapping stories about Belize and Canada and enjoying some homemade dip and nachos.
The primary crew with Ayla and Jeneiki This week Laura and Vlad had the opportunity to teach the Standard 6 classes after they finished their PSE’s (Primary School Exams). They focused on teaching puberty and substance abuse. Vlad and Laura were also able to revisit the Standard 4’s and 5’s to answer any questions they had from last week and teach them stress and goal setting. On Wednesday the school put on a wonderful celebration displaying all the different cultures in Belize through the wonders of dance. They were very impressed with the amount of talent the students displayed and learned a lot about the history of Belize. The students further demonstrated their talent and skill at their semi-final football match on Thursday afternoon. Laura and Vlad were in the crowd cheering on the San Narcisso Black Hawks. On the final day of school Laura and Vlad said good bye to everyone at San Narcisso at their morning assembly. The school was very appreciative to have them there and Laura and Vlad were very grateful for the opportunity to spend two weeks at such an amazing school. They will miss the staff and students greatly.
At Ranchito Government School this week Laura and I focused on some more sensitive topics including abuse and healthy relationships, drugs and substance abuse and depression and suicide prevention as requested by the teachers. The students were very engaged in all the lessons and asked a lot of good questions in our anonymous question box. On Wednesday some of the students in our standard 4, 5 and 6 classes traveled to Belize city to participate in a business competition. The students sold homemade bracelets, marshmallow treats and head bands and ended up placing second in the competition. They were very proud and excited to come back to school the next day and tell Laura and I all about their experience. On the last day of school we played trivia in all of our classes and tested the students on all the subjects we had taught them so far. It was great friendly competition especially for the standard 4’s and 5’s who played boys versus girls. Laura and I were very impressed with all the knowledge our students had gained over the past two weeks. Friday also meant that the day had come for the highly anticipated dance off with our standard 6’s. Laura, Meg and I performed a dance to the song “Wake me up” by Avicii and the kids couldn’t control their laughter (probably because our dance moves were so awesome). Then the standard 6’s got up and showed us how to really dance to some soca music. They taught us some new moves but it was clear who the better dancers were (not us). The standard 6’s also brought in some cookies and pop to celebrate our last day and gave us t-shirts to remember them by. We ended off the day playing girls vs. boys in football. Laura and I also gave each of the classes we taught in handmade thank you cards and took some final class pictures. The teachers were very thankful to have us in their classrooms for the past two weeks teaching our health curriculum on a variety of topics. Laura and I could not have asked for a better experience and it was very hard to say final goodbyes to all the students, but we both know that we will never forget our time at Ranchito Governement school.
Although we are sad to leave beautiful Corozal we are also excited to meet the students and staff at St.Lukes where all four of us will be teaching together for our first week in Belize city. Heading to Belize city also means that we will be saying good bye to our awesome program director Meg. It’s time for the students to become the masters and I am sure we will do well with all the guidance Meg has given us so far. We also want to give a shout out to all our wonderful mothers for Mother’s Day. Linda, Stella, Jan, Leslie and Manuela you are all beautiful and amazing and we love you so much. Until next Sabado (Saturday), Karina, Laura C., Laura M. And Vlad.