Weh di go ann?
Yup you guessed it. Belize secondary is now fluent in Creole. Honestly, we may never return to Canada (sorry moms… PS Happy Mothers Day!). In all seriousness though, the past week has been absolutely terrific. Buckle up, because this blog post is going to be a doozy!
Jesse and Mario had another exciting week teaching at Toledo Community College. The week was dedicated to teaching about substance abuse and healthy sexual relationships, which stimulated interesting and interactive discussion. In addition, we had the opportunity to spend one more class with the Women in Leadership Group at TCC on Thursday. We had a constructive discussion about female empowerment, independence, and healthy romantic relationships as we explored various challenges that young women face in their teen years. We couldn’t be happier with the passion and creativity demonstrated by the students of TCC, and are sad to say goodbye.
We were pleasantly surprised with a wonderful farewell celebration on Friday, courtesy of the life-skills teachers at TCC. We were treated to a delicious lunch, a beautiful card and a plethora of good wishes (in creole, of course) written on balloons scattered all around the office (see Figures 1 & 2). We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to the life-skills department and wish them all the best in their future endeavours. The young men and women of TCC are lucky to have such outstanding role models.
Kathleen and James also had their second and final week at Corazon Creek Technical High School. The week brought us many more teaching opportunities as we discussed topics of substance use, values and attitudes, peer pressure, and goal setting. In addition to the goal setting lesson, we provided an information session for the 2nd form (grade 10) students regarding their upcoming department selections. As they enter 3rd and 4th forms, they are expected to specialize and select a stream out of General, Business, or Science departments. It was a great opportunity to help them think about their future careers or studies, and to determine a stream that would best guide them to the respective goals.
The highlight of the week was definitely the Friday. We were invited by the 1 Valley students to participate in their Physical Education class while we were on break, and so headed out to the local village field to play some football (soccer). Not only that, we had an opportunity to run some team building activities with the teachers during their weekly staff social! It was great to see all the teachers getting engaged in the activities and leaving for the weekend with some smiles. At the end of the social, the staff surprised us with a ‘farewell meal’ of tamales (a traditional Mayan dish made of corn that resembles mash potatoes, with chicken stuffed inside – delicious!) and watermelon juice. As well, many of the staff took turns to leave us with kind remarks about the past two weeks and invitations to return which really warmed our hearts.
Teaching staff in action.
We ended off our two weeks in PG on a high note with a big football game at the local field! Mr. Franklin, a teacher at TCC helped to host and brought loud speakers and a referee to ref the game! Primary and secondary students alike came out to play and get active with the peer educators. It was was an amazing day with the students and other members of the community- we’ve got the farmers tans to show for it! Mr. Franklin loved the idea so much, he is going to continue facilitating football matches at the field every Saturday to provide the kids with a healthy outlet for their stress and lots of fun memories with friends! Straight!! (Means ‘good’ )
Today we said our goodbyes to Punta Gorda and hopped on the bus to Dangriga. At the Dangriga bus station, we had to say our farewell to Georgia, our Secondary Project Director, who is carrying on to meet Meaghan (our other Project Director) in Belize City to fly back home on Monday. We feel sad to see Georgia go and we will keep her in our hearts the rest of our initiative, but we are also excited to carry on and take full charge of the Belize initiative as our own. Farewell and safe travels Georgia and Meg! We will see you back in Kingston.
Tomorrow we are back in the classrooms for some more QHO action. Kathleen and James will be at Ecumenical High School, while Mario and Jesse will be making their way to Georgetown Technical High. Stay tuned to find out more about what happens to the Dream Team in week 3!
Si yoo lata!
P.s. The boys are eating up all the peanut butter at an alarming rate.