Sunday, February 23, 2014

Thursday February 20, 2014

Thursday   February 20, 2014

We awoke to another beautiful day here in Belize. It's warm, but we seem to have Somebody watching over us and keeping those breezes blowing. This has probably been the nicest consistent weather we've had down here in a while.

Thursday is Chapel day at Holy Cross School. Stephanie was able to help out with the different age groups during the morning. The younger children were so sweet to watch as they tried be still and attentive to the leaders. They bowed their heads and folded their hands to pray and waved their arms with the motions to songs. Stephanie started to tell them the story of the Prodigal Son, but they called out to her with the things that they remembered about the parable. Such a blessing to be able watch these little ones learning about God in such a joyful manner.

Stephanie awaits the children for Chapel

Arriving for Chapel

Miss Diane leading the kids in prayer

Little hands in prayer

Miss Witty leads a song
Encouraging the motions to song with the little ones
The kids love to sing along
Stephanie begins her lesson
Stephanie listens to the childrens' responses

Timothy helped out in the kitchen again and then headed to a class room to assist the teacher. Pam also worked in her classroom and helped take that group to chapel. Poor Joyce has been working on getting some of the medical records and other files up to date and in order. She said that data entry is definitely not her thing. Ginny continued working on her history project after losing much of her work. Mr. Aaron has been out so Mike has been the master of the computer lab! When Mr. Aaron is not here the lab door is locked so students and teachers can't access the lab. We have been trained to always use the main door to lab and not to use the door by the office, important rule. Well, with the main door locked, we had to change direction and use the office side door. Lots of confusion since everyone wasn't here when the new directions were given out. It's very hard for us to learn new ways of doing things around here so there were a lot of extra steps as everyone tried to remember which door was open and which was not!
Timothy in the kitchen, again

Our master of the computer lab

The bike shop was busy again today. The guys have needed a lot of different parts for these Belizean bikes. Many trips have been made to the hardware store. Thank goodness that we have had a golf cart to get back and forth and thank goodness that Peter was able to obtain a bridge pass for us from the Mayor's office. I finally got a picture of the little boy with the "new, used bike" and one of him with his heroes.

The "New Used Bike"
The proud owner of the bike and his best buds

Dr. Jim and his group headed out again early this morning. John, Kristen and Sandra accompanied him today. Glenda, the Health Care Worker, took them to see some newborns and other children who needed checks. They also stopped in to see some people who had diabetic issues. In the afternoon, Kristen and Dr. Jim took care of more of the students at Holy Cross.
Dr. Jim checks a patient

Kristen checked blood sugars

Last night was our free dinner night and so we did some socializing on the porch before we all went in different directions. Some wanted a quick meal, so they could get to the bar to watch the basketball game!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wednesday February 19, 2014

Wednesday  February 19

Another beautiful day here in San Pedro. It has gotten a bit warmer,so it felt a bit more like the place we have visited in the past, whew! Today has been a bit different than our usual days here at Holy Cross. We were fewer in numbers at the school today because Peter, Stephanie, Joyce and John made a trip over to Belize city to meet with Bishop Wright. Things seemed very different with fewer volunteers floating around.

The four who went on the trip to Belize City took the water taxi. Because of the time of day that they went over, it was not crowded, so their ride was comfortable and not too wet. Coming back to San Pedro in the afternoon was a little different. The boat was crowded and they got less appealing seats, so they felt the bumpiness of the ride and got a bit wet! They had an appointment with Bishop Phillip Wright, the bishop of Belize. They discussed how he looked at the future of Holy Cross School and further development of the church's presence on San Pedro and in San Mateo. Bishop Wright felt that the pastoral mission would be the next item on the agenda for the area. He would like to build some sort of House of Worship and a small apartment for a priest to make regular visits to the island. The Bishop wanted the priest to have a developing role within the community by coming to the island on Saturday so he could spend some time with the people, worship with them on Sunday and then have a bit more time with the students before he would go back to Belize City on Monday. He felt that the process would develop slowly and hopefully reach a point where a full time priest would be needed in order to support the community. The group then went to see the Cathedral, St. John the Baptist. They attended a service in a small side chapel at the Cathedral with the Bishop presiding and Stephanie assisting him at Holy Communion. All said that it was a very special time to celebrate a spiritual side to this mission trip. The group had lunch and returned to San Pedro.
St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Belize City

St. Lukers with the Bishop of Belize 

Meanwhile, back at Holy Cross most everyone was busy and working hard. Poor Adam was back at Ruby's not feeling well today. Dr. Jim, Pam, Sandra and Timothy were our San Mateo visitors this morning. At one house where they stopped the mother thought her little boy had "snakes". Dr. Jim quickly realized that she meant worms which he did have. Glenda, the Community Heath Worker, will supply the medicine for treatment. They also returned to check on the twins again, there are also two older siblings in the family.  Dr. Jim examined all of the children and weighed them.  Next stop was a recheck of a little boy who was seen the day before. He had fallen and severely hurt his leg and had been treated at the hospital. Multiple incisions had been made to relieve pressure in his leg. The incisions had become infected and Dr. Jim had prescribed antibiotic cream for his wounds. Upon recheck, the antibiotic was already doing it's job and the incisions had begun improving. Visiting patients in San Mateo can be a very overwhelming experience. We see such sad conditions and it is heartbreaking. People are living with so few basic services ( like clean water and electricity) and we can only help so much. Some of these families are just so grateful to have a roof over their heads and you see the spirit of God everywhere. This trip and especially going out into San Mateo to really be with some of the families of Holy Cross kids certainly gives everyone pause, what are our priorities, where do we use our time and talents and how do we spend our money. " Matthew 25:40" is where we should look very intently.

Dr. Jim checking the twins

The rest of us stayed back at Holy Cross and attended to different jobs. Kristen was again seeing young patients here at the school. Timothy was helping a teacher and helping the kitchen staff again. Boy, they really love her in that kitchen. Bob and Scott were again busy in bicycle land Ginny and Kathy were in the computer lab, harassing Mike.

Bike repair tools
Mr. Freddie gets in on the bike action
Adam's Finished project, cover for the slide

Some of us are sponsoring a girl to attend high school next year. She is a very bright student and a hard worker according to her teacher and others who know her. Her name is Ashanti and she lives in San Mateo. Her mother was one the original ladies who worked to get the sewing room started and we've been told that her Mom will stay on Ashanti's tail to work  hard. Ashanti thinks that she would like to be a marine biologist.

Ashanti in her class

 Very small group for lunch today. We may have lingered just a little bit, but the room was needed for Jim to see patients and we had to leave. Pam worked with the sewing room ladies and Timothy washed dishes and then worked in a class room, in fact she got back to Ruby's very late because she was doing some after school tutoring with a few of the students. Ginny and Kathy were back to the computer lab. Ginny continued working on her revision of the school history, which has turned out to be a more complicated project than she anticipated. This blogger was most distressed this afternoon, as the almost complete blog for yesterday disappeared from her computer. Mike searched every possible place to see if it was hiding somewhere, but to no avail. The blog went MIA and I had to completely start over. I was not happy.
Afternoon office calls for Dr.Jim

Sandra in the classroom

Afternoon exercise
After school cutie!
They look so innocent!!
But someday, Gambler's Anonymous
Back to Ruby's for some of us! Others work awfully late. Peter said that we are not as punctual and disciplined about arriving on time for evening devotional as Group1 (we work and play on Belize time), but that we work much later in the day at the school than they do. So all of you stragglers, quit earlier, we are in Belize! Headed out to Caliente for dinner and DanDe's for dessert. Be back tomorrow!



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tuesday February 18,2014

Tuesday    February 18,2014

God has been very kind to our team so far. We have had temperatures in the 80's, low humidity and beautiful blue skies. We awoke this morning to a beautiful sunrise I have been told. I would not know because my eyes are hardly open that early. The walkers headed out and the golf car riders chugged on in our awful cart to arrive for breakfast on time. We all got our assignments and headed off to work

Dr. Jim headed out to San Mateo early, they like to go before it gets too hot. Stephanie and Sandra went with him this morning. They made several home visits. This was the first time for Stephanie to go inside one of the homes there. Although she sort of  knew what to expect, she said that she was shocked and had a hard time absorbing all that she saw. The abject poverty of some of these people is something that is difficult to comprehend, but when you go into the homes and meet the people of the community they welcome you with smiles and true appreciation. They visited a pair of two year old  twins today that Dr.Jim has been visiting since they were born. As always, people come looking for Dr. Jim when they hear he is in the neighborhood. His compassion and concern for the people of San Mateo is well known and his yearly visits are always looked forward to.

Dr.Jim's Outdoor Clinic

He looks a little nervous

She is checking out Dr. Jim's scope

Bob and Scott had a very interesting day in the bike shop. After some negotiations they got a list of some deserving kids to get the bikes repaired or tuned up.They also got an apprentice, one of the older kids from the school. One little boy brought his bike in for repair. The guys weren't sure that it was going to be possible to do much for the bike as it was in horrible condition. The bike broke when they tried to work on it and Bob and Scott were worried about what to do. The little boy was expecting his repaired back back as soon as school ended for the day. So Bob and the apprentice headed to a bike shop in San Pedro. There they negotiated a bargain for a "new, used bike",since there were no parts to fix the boy's bike. When the boy came after school to pick up his bike, he saw the mess that was his old bike and looked pretty sad. The guys explained to him that they had some problems trying to fix his bike. They asked if he wanted his old bike back or this "new, old bike". Needless to say, he accepted the new bike without a second thought. Scott and Bob felt pretty good about the outcome of them breaking the kid's bike. I think it's true when we say God will provide! I will try to get a picture of the boy with his bike.

A little meeting about the bicycle repair work

Little guy got his bike repaired

Scott with one of the repaired bikes and it's owner

Test ride for one of the repairs

 Timothy has become the official afternoon dishwasher with the kitchen staff. She and Pam have spent a lot of time in there and the kitchen staff love them for their work. Kristen saw a lot of children that the teachers had asked to be seen. A few kids had to be referred to specialists. Kristen also was checking blood sugars of the adult staff and taught them how to check their sugar levels at home. Some of us went back to the classrooms to assist the teachers again. Adam worked on the playground equipment and the job was completed. Kathy and Ginny were still working on computer projects and will always be eternally grateful to Mike. He helped them whenever they had issues which was very often. He is our computer lab hero. He and Mr. Aaron repaired and put the printer back together, the teachers are thrilled! Afternoon brought both Dr.Peter and Dr. Jim seeing patients at Holy Cross. We all had a very full day today and were rewarded with a wonderful dinner at Fogon. Pam had taken everyone's order in advance to help speed things up with such a large party and then Joyce took the order for Key Lime Pie, so good! Back to Ruby's where some of us had to listen to a group of young people party and talk about some things that we would rather not have heard until the wee hours of the morning.

Kitchen staff making tortillas

 Now cooking the tortillas

Mike, Stephanie and Timothy waiting to eat those tortillas

Eat and enjoy

Joyce cleaning tables after we ate

Kids waiting to see Kristen
Dr. Peter talking with a patient and her Dad
Dinner at Fogon

The rest of the table

Meant to take a picture before being devoured, forgot when I saw it, great Key Lime Pie!