Secondary takes on the big city 

The secondary team had a wonderful first week in Belize City and were very busy learning our schedule, figuring out the ropes of the city, and lesson planning for the 3 schools we are teaching at, which include the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), Sadie Vernon and Maud Williams. 
All 4 of us have been teaching at the YWCA and are really enjoying our time with the girls. We had the opportunity to teach lessons on communication, sensitive issues, conflict, discrimination, abuse, and bullying this week. The girls have enjoyed the games and have been asking some great questions. It was an amazing first week as we began to learn all the girls names and get to know them more personally. Furthermore, we were invited back to the YWCA this weekend to help them prepare for their showcase taking place this Thursday! We have taken a leadership role in creatively designing the personal development and youth group corner of the showcase, with the main theme of youth empowerment. This Saturday was filled with many arts and crafts, designing posters and painting some cool tires! Stay tuned for photos from the showcase next week! 

Samara and Siobhan had an awesome first week teaching at Sadie Vernon! We are teaching all the Form 1 and Form 2 classes, as well as one Form 3 class. We are seeing each class 3 times a week and have started to learn many kids names as we become familiar faces on the school grounds! As well, Mr. Jacobs, the school counsellor, has been helpful, supportive, and encouraging of all our lessons and provides us with full autonomy in the classroom. The students have been so welcoming and the classroom environment has been very positive. Our lessons from this week included an introductory lesson on communication, sensitive issues, conflict and discrimination, followed by some more heavy lessons on healthy sexual relationships, consent, contraceptives, and types and symptoms of STIs. We also gave some great male and female condom demonstrations and played some interactive games including a new fun and exciting relay race!! The fastest team to complete the race took 2 minutes and 47 seconds (pictured below)! Finally, we have also been conversing one on one with a few students after school to discuss conflict resolution, leadership and goal setting. It was a busy and exciting first week and we are excited to be back in the classroom!!

Nicole and Peter began teaching at Maud Williams High School this week. The staff and students have been amazing to work with. The counsellor, Mrs. Stacey Crawford, has been so supportive and helpful. We are teaching all the form 1 and 2 classes at the school (grades 9 and 10). This week we taught lessons of peer pressure, abuse, healthy sexual relationships, STI’s, consent and contraceptives. The students are so outgoing, they participate a lot in class and ask thoughtful questions! We played boys vs girls jeopardy in our classes this week and the students loved it. We are enjoying working at a smaller school because we have started to learn lots of the students names and hope to get to know even more this coming week! 

Yesterday we had the chance to attend a cultural fair in the city, with lots of local food and music. Today is a holiday and we are busy lesson planning for the upcoming week. We love being in Belize City – there’s great energy and it’s always busy! Our mornings and free time have become much more exciting with the discovery of a coffee maker at our guest house and a guitar! There is also a bakery and fruit market close to us which we love. Finally, we would like to send our love to all our friends and family back in Canada. We miss everyone!

Happily Caffeinated (thank you instant coffee),

Siobhan, Nicole, Samara and Peter

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