Everyone was excited about getting to Holy Cross and getting to work. While most of the group walked along the beach, some took a taxi. A sudden downpour made the riders happy they were in a taxi! We were greeted by a delicious breakfast prepared by Ms. Rosalia and her kitchen crew. After breakfast, Lydia Brown, the volunteer coordinator introduced the group to Holy Cross and gave a tour of the campus. We learned of several ways Holy Cross can be supported from a distance -- scholarships for high school students, donations, jewelry made by the students.
After Lydia oriented us to the school and our "assignments" for the day, we scattered to our various tasks. Peter and Lydia had done a good bit of pre-planning so we were able to be involved and productive almost immediately.
Mr. Aaron had computer tasks for John that he anticipated would take most of the week. John estimates he will finish on Tuesday. Great work, John! The "surround sound" speakers were mounted, wired and working in the computer lab.
Joanne and Timothy spent much of the day sorting the files and creating new ones to record the heights and weights of the children. As has been the case before, there are names on the roster that don't match up with the files and vice versa. They will continue sorting things out tomorrow.
Joyce took medical referral forms to each teacher, explaining that Dr. Jim and Dr. Peter would see students with health issues next week. She also measured heights and weights and did check-ups of all the preschoolers with Sue's assistance.
Dick helped Lydia with the volunteer data base, translating hand-written email addresses to an Excel spreadsheet. Staying in touch with volunteers is vital to Holy Cross, so this was valuable work.
Sandra and Elaine will each be assisting a classroom teacher all week. Mr. Bob taught a math lesson in Standard VI, once again helping prepare them for the high-stakes state exam.
Adam spent the day outside building wooden benches for the library. He'll continue his project until Mr. Freddie sends him off to another task.
Jan worked in the office sorting mountains of Valentines goodies that had been donated for Friday's fair. She sorted and put away the supplies we brought down. More of that on Tuesday too.
Peter was everywhere. He answered questions, supervised, advised, and reminded everyone to drink lots of water.
The school was buzzing all morning in anticipation of the arrival of Francis and Vernon Wilson, founders of Holy Cross. They arrived in the early afternoon and were greeted by all. They will be on campus until Wednesday when they return to Panama. Vernon is concentrating his time in Belize on moving forward his plans for a high school.
The walk back to Ruby's after school did not include rain showers. It did, however, include a pleasant surprise for John, Bob, Joanne and Jan --- we ran into Helen White and her son Jay. (Helen's husband Michael is a former rector of St. Luke's) They were with a mission team from Savannah that had been in Belize City doing dental work and had come to the island for a little recreation before returning home. We hope they will be able to drop by Holy Cross on Tuesday.
We gathered on the upper deck of Ruby's for our evening devotional led by Elaine. Dinner was in honor of Clara, whose birthday was today. Clara has celebrated her birthday with the team in Belize for the last several years, and we missed having her with us. That, however, did not slow down our celebration of her birthday. We ate dinner at Wild Mango, her favorite restaurant; we toasted her; we told "Clara stories"; and we laughed a lot.
We have kept tabs on the weather in Durham, hoping everyone is safe and warm in whatever winter weather you have in the next few days. We miss you and again thank you for your prayers and support.