Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 3 - Wednesday

In honor of Johnny Cakes...we miss you and Ruby's cafe misses you!
We're wondering if we need to change your moniker to Stew & Q though?

This was breakfast Wednesday. Black beans appear in all whole beans in sauce, yesterday was a mash to go with the tortillas. The papaya has been to die for and the eggs generally have some sort of meat sliced into them. The volunteer food at school is delicious and seemingly endless as most of the time if the platter is empty there is more available. It's a great deal for 5 breakfasts and full lunches we pay $20 a week.

Another hot morning for the guys, but good progress is being made. Dan was again here to assist. They worked for several hours and then came in out of the sun...just too hot and there were lots of other things that needed to be done.
John and Jan hit the deck with their scale and ruler to finish up the heights and weights. They accomplished that feat early in the afternoon. We've only got the few students who were absent to complete! Great cooperation from the teachers and the students.

The classes are smaller this year as dictated by the powers that be so only 450 kids are attending right now. The atmosphere is very conducive to learning, and the teaching staff is becoming much more professional with a few teachers who have finished Bachelor's degrees and others taking online courses toward a degree. There are some wonderful role models now for the younger teachers. And as always, Miss Grace, the Principal and Miss Tasher, the Assistant Principal, keep right on top of things. Miss Grace is an "in your face" strong disciplinarian but always ends that brief talk with a hug.
Miss James with her Standard III students. She's one with a
Bachelor's Degree and wants to start on a Master's Degree.

St. Luke's folks are not the only volunteers here this week. The Dentists are working all week. They have three volunteer dentists and Mark, a dentist who lives here that organizes the groups that come down, plus volunteer assistants. They wanted Holly back...another one we miss this year.
Pulling teeth...a few tears.

A happy camper now that is over. They each get a new toothbrush, toothpaste and
floss and then get to go to the goodie box and pick out what they would like.

There is a whole other side of life at Holy Cross. Most days the school gets visitors interested in the school. Lydia has taken over the role of tour guide in many cases, but when Francis is here and the group is one that has had contact with her, she generally does the talk.

This particular group is from the University of Gainesville in Georgia. The gal in the dress has brought student teachers down here for the past four years. This visit she brought other staff members who would like to get more involved in Holy Cross. Francis did the initial talk, and then John got tapped to do the San Mateo tour.

The TV station also visited today for a taping about the Computer Room. They also caught Jim and Ted working in the water garden so they were on the local news last night (though we didn't see them). At some point today or tomorrow the Head of the Anglican Schools will be visiting. Today we unpacked four huge bags of shoes, school supplies and books that a tourist dropped off this morning.

Another great lunch--fish today, then off to afternoon chores. Mr. Bob again did math tutoring, this time one on one. Mr. Ted did the same trying to work with conversion of mixed numbers to fractions. The basic math skills need practice but Jan said the Country dictates what will be taught each week, and it allows little time for the drills needed to cultivate those skills and very few of the students get that at home. Another of those "what can you do?" problems.
Mr. Jones had his class in the library this afternoon to do some research. Right now the classes are not visiting the library every week but hopefully that will begin again soon. They are short two teachers so it's making it difficult for the use of the computer room and the library as everyone is involved in the classroom. The head office is the one who hires teachers, and it's in the works but is taking a long time.
Our Mr. Bob is everywhere - being a man of many skills! After tutoring he headed for the computer room to work on entering heights and weights so we have all the info together for the medical team next week.
Joanne was at another computer filling in gaps in info from prior years, and Mr. Ted working on ideas for teaching fractions. What a great group we have with us!
Deacon Jan joined Bob after she finished teaching her religion classes. They crunched a lot of numbers.

After wrapping up our various tasks we headed home. As we were leaving the soccer teams were doing their warm ups for practice. They will begin playing other teams in a couple of weeks. Mr. Freddie is still coaching the team, and our uniforms have been passed down to the younger players.
We headed for the beach and dropped by Reef Adventures to make reservations for the Saturday Trip to the National Park and Marine Reserve for Team 2. This sweet lady was nearby waiting for the fishing boats to return and clean their catch.
After various errands we all arrived back at Ruby's for the cleanup and refreshment time before showers and reflection time. We then headed to Elvi's for dinner and then on to ice cream. The boys headed back to the TV bar next door for the Duke game. They came home much happier tonight!

Yet another great day in Belize!

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