Saturday, February 10, 2018

Friday 9Feb18

Friday was the team's last day at Holy Cross - the two weeks passed very quickly. A highlight of Friday was an activity that we weren't sure we could pull off: a Skype video conference between a class at Holy Cross and one in Raleigh. Peggy Freer, a member of some earlier St. Luke's mission teams working at Holy Cross, wrote the school song not only for Holy Cross, but also for the school in Raleigh where she teaches music. Classes from the two schools met via video conference to sing their respective songs and to get to know each other in general.

Here's the view from Holy Cross.

And here are the kids at Peggy's school in Raleigh, learning about Holy Cross before the start of the Skype conference.

Jim made a final visit to see Ashanti, her mom, and baby Melanie. After spending time walking through medical matters with Ashanti, her mom, and Melanie's dad Izzy, Jim ended by taking a family portrait of three generations of the family.

Nancy W. finished her week at the school working in one of the Infant I classrooms. Some of the kids took advantage of "casual Friday" to wear their regular clothes. Others came dressed in the same uniforms they wear the rest of the week.

As he was leaving Holy Cross on the last day, Jim thought to get a picture of himself with someone we interacted with every day: Mr. Francis, the school's security guard. Mr. Francis is literally the gatekeeper at the main entrance to the school, letting students, staff, and volunteers onto the school grounds. As we come back year after year, Mr. Francis is the first familiar face we see as we walk or ride up to the school.

Every workday at the school ends with a team meeting back at the hotel, to reflect on the day and to have a brief devotional before we head off to dinner. On the team's last day, Nancy W. used this as an opportunity to reflect on the entire trip. Her reflection took the form of a poem followed by a prayer.


Fry jacks
Johnny cakes
Kitchen ladies 

Cats, and one in particular,  [Note for those not there: cat decided cafeteria floor was litter box.]
But many fewer rats

Swamp into school
Incredible children and teachers

Miracles every day
Remember Valdimir standing tall

Rocky’s Taxi
And Mr. Lima in the morning
Almost a miracle to find
a reliable taxi on the island

New babies
School children
And sometimes their parents
The right questions
Dr. Jim figures it out
The teachers want to make sure
Dr. Jim agrees with their doc

Family challenges
Peer pressure
Katie, Tonya, and Kim
Getting kids to talk
And sometimes their parents

Hard work
Always hot
Itchy legs
Swatting bugs

Finding the right place to be
The little kids want help,
And attention, of course.

Math is tricky when
The question doesn’t ask for the sum,
but shapes and arrows and
Explanations seemed to help.
They said it made sense.
Tomorrow I’ll see if it stuck.

Skyping with NC kids was fun
For Std III
Next year we need to prep
Some better questions

I’ll leave the big kids
To Mr. Bob and Wendy C.

Great food
DandE’s - soursop in a cup
or chocolate with a chocolate bullseye
Chocochino & a chocolate chip cookie
Orange Fanta & Fanta soda water
Coconut shrimp at Caliente
Lime & garlic lobster at El Fagon
Audrey’s lion fish

Weekend adventures
Mexico Rocks
Lera ziplined

Church and the Baboon Sanctuary
Where howler monkeys are protected
Not a baboon in the place

My little ones loved the picture
Of mommy and baby howler
After they wrote their sentences
About the howler monkey.

The Mr. Bob hat:

Will I find mine when I pack? NO - Darn it!
I would have enjoyed wearing it
But it’s not spent five minutes on my head

Audrey’s favorite - the water taxi
Will Wendy T. get to snorkel? YES!
And on a beautiful day, too

Palm trees
Belize breeze

Soaring birds
Little yellow warblers
Pelicans sitting on posts

Amazing sky
Gorgeous sea
Sailboats passing
Or anchored, at night,
Like ghosts on the water

Connections and relationships
Treasured friends
Let’s do this again next year!

Let us pray.

Holy God, we thank you for this time away from our normal. We ask that you remind us that our normal isn’t everyone’s.

Be with baby Catalina and her mother Rachel. Be with the people of San Mateo and the people of Holy Cross Anglican School. Keep us connected in an ever-growing relationship. Keep us connected to our fellow team members, too.

Help us as a team to grow in our abilities to help and show us ways to draw others into this vital ministry. Thank you, God, for the joys we share and the burdens we help to bear, just a little.

Take us safely home tomorrow and bring us back next year with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Bless the food we will eat soon and us to the loving service. In the name of the One who is Love Incarnate, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

We'll use Nancy's reflection to close the blog for our 2018 trip. We'll see you in 2019!

NOTE: If you've been reading the blog daily, you should go back to this year's first post on January 25 and read through it again. We have made quite a few updates to previous posts as we've located more photos on different team members' phones.

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