Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Team Memories of Belize 2010

Some Team Memories

Below are some favorite pictures sent by team members from or 2010 Mission Trip.

The Palace Theatre now greets you as you come across the bridge. It is as yet unopened. Mr. Gordo's house (Freddy's Dad) is in the forefront. We used to eat our meals there in the early days. Had to watch your step getting to the tables, but the view was stunning.

Ah, and there to the left is Holy Cross Anglican School.

The kids keep us coming back year after year!

All dressed up for the Valentine's Fair! What a day!

Kids patiently (?) waiting for their vision screening.

Dr. Peter examining the cooks in the kitchen. Their first encounter was when the scales came out! Most had not been on one for years.

Pam Spatola's skills in Spanish were invaluable this year, particularly with the adults and the very young students, most of whom spoke very little English.

Cleaning up the endless pots, pans and dishes from lunch!

Mr. Freddy sharing the story of the Mahogany tree ( in white planter) planted by the children with Mr. John.

Miss Rosalia, Freddy's wife and head of the kitchen, and her crew of five produce wonders every day. They feed over 525 students, all staff and any volunteers who are around a wonderful nutritious lunch as well as a liquid breakfast supplement along with a carbohydrate of some kind for the students who qualify and then a nutritious fruit snack mid morning. The Anglican schools are the only schools in Belize that have feeding programs. All other students are released for the lunch break to go to their homes. For many Holy Cross students, this is the only food they consume during the day.

The jacks come out before school while the students are waiting to go to their classrooms. Note the bagels for breakfast and the glass of liquid supplement on the table behind...part of the feeding program for those in need. The boys play marbles in the sand beside the school until school begins.

Ah our fearless leader waiting for more sand on the deck. Note all that new land beyond the deck....tons of sand into the swamp made that possible.....all shoveled off the deck into a wheelbarrow and then moved to the edge. There's lots more land behind the tool shed to the right. Some sore shoulders from this activity!

The view from the deck at Ruby's provided us a good vantage point to watch the Guatemalan women who came each day to sell their wonderful weavings. Some had small children with them and some sold with their husband, particularly on the weekends when the men were not working on construction jobs.

Destiny's Mother's House. We met Destiny four year's ago when we first came to Holy Cross. and have followed her history since then. It's been a sad tale from the beginning of illness, neglect and unheaval. This is where Dr. Jim, Sandra and Kim (a visiting Social Worker) made the video on the blog. Note the board pathway leading to the house.

Dr. Jim examines Destiny two days after his home visit and treatment. She came to the school to be seen at the clinic on the porch.

More Memories

More pictures from the 2010 Mission Trip

The morning checkin by email!

Standard VI students traditionally make and sell cupcakes at the Valentine's Fair. Then to increase their profits, they sell raffle tickets for special ones they make.

Most evenings we met at 6:00 for a short service of Compline, or other evening prayer and then reflections on the day. A wonderful way to share the little things that happened during the day.

Standard III students practicing their keyboarding skills in the computer lab.

What a great commute to work!!

David the welder working on his security fence. This fence is going nowhere!

Administering Communion to each other on our first Sunday with Team 1. We celebrated with the Minnesota group that was visiting for the weekend after working in Punto Gordo.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Home Again.

Saturday morning we got up bright and early, grabbed some food from the little Ruby's shop and headed for the 8:00 water taxi. The sun was out for one more beautiful day as we headed for the airport. Philip was at the dock to meet us and took us to the Cathedral so the "newbies" could see it. Fortunately, the cleaning crew was there polishing the wood so it was open. After a brief stop we headed to the airport and home. The trip back was uneventful and we arrived safely at about 10:45 pm.

It was a very successful trip. Being able to break Jan in a little was a real plus for us! While we had alot of fun, we also got alot accomplished. New construction, new land created, new books cataloged in the library and hours of tutoring one on one combined with a huge effort medically that saw heights and weights done on almost 500 students, vision tests on almost 300, medical screenings on over 200 and acute care on many dozens of students, teachers, staff and outside community folks. Special thanks to Marie for a great coordinating job to make all that medical stuff happen! We completed data entry and reorganized the medical records for the whole school. But the best part was the time and love we were able to share with those wonderful kids and each other. That, plus just a whole lot of fun, good food and drink, wonderful reflections with stories and happenings of the day and sunrise on the deck at Ruby's will bring us back next year for more!

Our thanks to all of you who bought those Beans and Rice dinners, purchased poinsettias, gave generous donations of money and supplies and said prayers for us while we were there. We were able to deliver over 1200 pounds of school and medical supplies through your gifts!

Reservations are made for 2011....maybe next year will be the year YOU are in our pictures!

Watch for one more blog with a selection of favorite pictures from team members. Meanwhile, keep up with what's happening in Belize by visitiing Deacon Jan's blog at www.janinbelize.blogspot.com.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentines Fair!

Team 2 took our Team picture in the quiet before the Valentine's Fair started in full force! What a crazy day! It was really fun though and they were raking in the dough for Holy Cross! Each teacher had a booth of somekind where they sold things to the students as well as community members who came to visit. Lots of games, food and music! Chaos reigned!
This was the Valentine's bulletin board on the porch. The older classes were given hearts and asked to complete the sentence "I like Holy Cross because....." There were some wonderful, heartwarming answers.
This table by Miss Laura and Standard V was the one that sold out first. Each of those little gold and silver packages contained a surprise. They went like hotcakes.
Peter, Sandra, Joyce, Marie and Pam had a great time face painting all morning. There were dragons, rainbows, snakes, hearts, dolphins (was that really a dolphin??) and other creatures wandering the arms and faces of the happy kids!

A local tour guide came to give the children a ride in the bicycle rickshaw. The kids loved it.

While everyone else was having fun, the sand men were still creating new land......
the painters were finishing the exterior of the classroom using the newly completed catwalk

and others were painting the interior of the just constructed pantry! The data entry folks were working hard to get the last of the information onto the spreadsheet and the files neatly organized and in the file cabinet. The chaos ended at noon and we had a quiet lunch and began to wrap things up. We headed home at various time during the afternoon, some with a stop of Deacon Jan's on the way back to Ruby's. We had our final Reflections on the deck as the sun was disappearing and then headed to the Sunset Grill for dinner. What a great week!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Almost got it all done!

Crazy busy day today! Got alot done! Between Chapels and Computer and Library Schedules, we didn't get all of the vision tests done, but the Duke kids will finish the couple of classes in March! Saw lots of kids though! Destiny came to visit today for Dr. Jim to do a recheck on her after his treatment yesterday. The boys from Minnesota finished cleaning and painted the wall behind the library.
The drumming club met after school. They're getting pretty good! It's a program Miss Kim started before she left. It's a great behavior motivator! Check out the short video at the bottom of this entry.
Jim H wired the pantry on the porch behind the kitchen. Bob and others worked on enclosing it so probably work on shelves tomorrow.
Lionel came to visit with his jewelry and several of us bought some. He does such a nice job and is such a great kid, it's hard not to support him. Had a pick your choice dinner tonight and many ended up at the Wild Mango! Peter's trivia game was quite a hit. Ask him about it when you see him. All in all a very successful day! Tomorrow is the Valentine's Fair so should be a CRAZY day! Jean and crew will be working hard to finish data entry and filing for the medical records, some of the guys will paint walls and Peter, Marie, Jan, Joyce will be painting faces :-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Visiting Destiny in her home

We saw Destiny on Tuesday in her home. She is 9 years old, weighs 40 lbs, and obviously has Cystic Fibrosis but has never received treatment. Destiny's temperature was 101.6 and had pneumonia in both lungs. Her mom did not want to take her to the hospital. I gave her antibiotics and Ibuprofen, and by Thursday she was much better when we saw her again. There is no way to test for Cystic Fibrosis in all of Belize. I left several more rounds of antibiotics for Destiny with a careworker; this won't be Destiny's last pneumonia.

Happy Birthday to You!

Birthday's galore today! We started the day out with a Birthday Bun for Mr. Freddy, the Facilities Manager (Chief Construction Officer!) that we've worked with every since we came to Holy Cross. Then the cooks made a cake for Clara for lunch and then we again celebrated her birthday with a cake and singing at the Chicken Drop at Caliente's. Great fun!

Joanne had the little ones enthralled with a story before school started. Began with one and had a crowd before long.

The sand men kept up their good work creating new land by the computer room. This space will be used for a vocational training center for carpentry--ever expanding!
We ran four eye stations today as well as the Dr./Nurse screenings--even the construction guys got involved! Got through all of the little Infant I kids. They had never had eye screenings before so it was a slow process, but fun.
The catwalk deck is completed and Jim Hooker is working on the railings. There is a group of dentists and spouses here from Minnesota. One of the spouses is Alan, a really great guy. He has been working with the construction guys. He's a farmer and runs a landscape business. He's taken a great interest in the septic system they are considering installing and spent alot of time studying it yesterday. He'll be a wonderful consultant as he's installed other very similar systems. Another of God's blessings for Holy Cross! He and John have been working together cleaning and painting the wall behind the library...in the swamp. Interesting scaffolding but can't get to a place to take a picture without my hip boots!

Dr. Jim went with Sandra and Kim into town to visit some folks. They took some short videos. We're going to try to install some of them so keep checking back. They show some of the reality these Holy Cross students are living in!

All in all it was a VERY productive day and great night at the Chicken Drop. We ate on the lower deck this time and found it much better! Nice breeze, great company, and another great rum cake with a candle!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Can It Get Any Hotter or More Humid???

THE 2009 RECORDS HAVE BEEN FOUND! Kim found them when she went digging..in the top draw of the desk in the office! Hurray! And even better news is that the Holy Cross soccer team beat St. Peters 5-0! See the comment for more details!

The wind yesterday blew every ounce of breeze out of here and it was still, humid and HOT from the beginning of the day! The medical team got going early and we saw alot of kids today. Had four eye stations going so most everyone did eyes at some point! Got almost all the heights and weights finished up and lots of screenings. Bob and Jim have the deck surface completed - HOT! and John cleaned the mildew off the back wall of the library-ugh! Ron worked on smoothing new door pulls and everyone else was pretty out straight baking on the porch with kids!

Soccer game today at 2:00. Bob, Ron and Kathy headed down about 1:50 to be our contingent. The 6th graders were selling raffle tickets for free cupcakes at the Valentine's Fair on Friday as well as for soccer jersey's so they're learning the art of fundraising early!

Despite the heat we got alot done! Looking forward to a cooler day tomorrow!

The internet has been running very slow to non-existant for the last couple of days. Pictures tomorrow, if it's better. Right now it would take ages to put them up!

All is well in Belize! Elvi's for dinner tonight!

Monday, February 8, 2010

What a great day of work!!

Today was an awesome day of work! We were almost blown to school today! It stayed cloudy for a good part of the day and the breeze kept up so it was a great day to work! The medical team got the clinic running and had kids in there by about 10:30. Joanne is working the check in desk, Pam is the runner to get the kids, Clara and Ginny and Kathy and various others did vision screenings, Nurse Joyce, Dr. Peter and Dr. Jim did Medical evaluations, Marie treated acute cases, Jean unpacked all the suitcases and worked on the medical records and everyone kicked in as needed. The construction crew of Bob and Jim continued work on the deck built last week-- now they're adding a railing. Ron and John moved sand to create new land next to the computer room--ALOT of SAND! The sun came out in the afternoon so it got hot. Headed home about 3 as the kids were long gone and everyone was pretty tired. Met at 6 and headed to the Jerk Pit for dinner. Great start!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Free Sunday

St. Luke's folks were all over San Pedro today...walking, biking, golf carting. It was a totally free day until 5:00. Dr. Jim went to the school to meet with Kim, a social worker here from Univ of Mississippi he worked with last year; Dr. Peter and Sandra biked to up north of the bridge; Clara Joyce, Ron and Kathy rented a golf cart and headed north and south; Bob and Ginny shopped; Jean and John walked up north and everyone relaxed for the rest of the day. We gathered at 5 and headed to Jan's place for a Super Bowl Party! It was quite the success! Great time had by all. Home early enough to be rested for tomorrow! Be sure to check out the blog entry on Saturday by Team 2. It follow's John H-C's return home entry!

Adios from Team-O Primo

We enjoyed our time in San Pedro. Attached is a picture of 2 motley crews: Team-O Primo and the Holy Cross Anglican School soccer team. Good Luck to the Team 2 Crew!