Sunday, November 22, 2009

More pics from Day 3

Day 3 of 2009 Trip

Monday, January 5 was day 3 of our trip and our first day to visit the villages where we would spend our week.

The day started on an interesting note for my roommate Joanne and me...we were getting ready that morning and had a surprise guest outside of our window in our room...a tarantula the size of a hand (not kidding!). We did what most girls would do...we screamed, then we took our camera and took photos of the furry little thing. Then, Dave, another team member came to the rescue and tapped on the window until the tarantula fell to the ground. The rest of the trip Joanne and I checked every nook of our room for spiders!

I was still feeling quite sick on Monday, so I stayed behind at the convent while the rest of the group headed out...but they came back with some great are a few:

  • The corn crops are planted in the shape of a cross, so that God will bless the crops...pretty good planning!
  • The construction team who worked to build a church in one of the villages had some pretty strong rain showers and had to wear their ponchos and even wait out the rain in the van. Then had to dig a trench to drain water the foundation of the church.

  • Several of our team members visited villages to vaccinate pigs to de-worm them...some of these pigs weighed 250-400 lbs!

  • And much of the team spent time at schools in the villages meeting and working with the children. Some of our team went to a village called Blue Creek where they are lucky enough to have minimal electricity and two computers...this is a larger village and not so remote. Other team members visited San Lucas, where our team has been several times. A funny story about some of the children here...when they learned Fr. Don was a priest...they were very amazed and impressed and asked him if he knows how to sing the "Holy, Holy, Holy"...very cute. And, the last village we worked with was Santa Teresa, another village we have previously worked of the students quickly took to Joanne and brought her tropical flowers from the village.

The drive to the villages can be pretty bumpy because the roads are not Mike got a little creative and used a volleyball we brought for the kids to keep his head from hitting the ceiling of the van. As you drive through the villages, you will often see women doing their laundry, dishes and even bathing in a nearby river or stream.

I stayed at the convent and stuffed hygiene bags all day to bring to the schools later in the week. The bags were stuffed with the items many of you donated. A big huge THANKS!

Later that evening, we went into Punta Gorda to make a few phone calls and update the blog....and I finally got to call and talk to my Doug.

Later in the evening, we packed suitcases full of supplies to take to the villages.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More Pics From Day 2

More pictures from Day 2...for a recap of Day 2...please read the next post!

Day 2 of 2009 Trip

Sunday, Jan. 4, two of our trip.

After breakfast (at 8am), we started our day with Mass in a village called San Antonio. San Antonio is a larger village, so the church was bigger and made of concrete looked like a cathedral compared to some of the churches in the villages. The church was decorated for Christmas...they even hung garland on the crucifix that made us laugh. Fr. Murray, a missionary priests said Mass (he is also from St. Louis). Although this is a larger village and a nicer church, there was still only an outhouse as a bathroom.

After Mass, we drove to a nearby village called Crique Jute...All Saints had raised money for the metal blinds that were being used at the village church through the Shopping As Jesus Would program.

Then we headed to the visit some of the Mayan ruins. This particular one has a legend of a crystal skull buried there. I had to take pics, as my beloved Doug is a big Indiana Jones fan. The young girls of the village were set up selling their items. They will say things like "Please miss, buy from me, I need money for my family." You want to buy from each of them, because they are so sweet. We started splitting up so we could each buy from each one of the girls...however, Ann Lacker and I seem to be the biggest suckers and can't seem to say no to any of many bracelets later...

One particular lady had her baby wrapped in a swing hanging from a stick that was stuck in the ground...we are asked to take a picture of the baby, and the mother said yes...but for a tip! Smart business woman,

After the Mayan Ruins, we headed to a local tiki bar to visit our friend who runs the bar...we met her last year. Then it was back to the convent for dinner. After dinner, we headed to Punta Gorda to enjoy an evening of culture to celebrate the Garifuna culture and dance. Local Belizeans of Garifuna descent (Carib and West Africa descent) put on a show of traditional dance using drums and maracas. Very nice evening and they had many of our team members up dancing along with them.

A few additional notes from the day...Fr. Don was sporting his Bob Marley t-shirt! And, the church at the convent was celebrating the Epiphany and we could hear the kids in the choir singing Little Drummer Boy...which was interesting to hear considering it was 90-degrees outside!

Monday, November 16, 2009

First Day of 2009 Trip - Travel Day

The first day of our 2009 most of the first days of the mission trips is a travel day. We are quite a site at the airports...20 of us loaded down with 40 pieces of 60 pieces of luggage and backpacks...trying to get checked in, show our passports, make it through security and lastly get on the plane.

Once we finally arrived in Belize, we boarded a bus and made the 5 hour trip to the Toldeo district. We stopped along the way and had lunch at a restaurant called Amigos...and then we were on our way.

Once we arrived at the convent where we were staying, it was time to unload, unpack and settle into our rooms. It is quite an exhausting day of travel, but one filled with lots of anticipation for the week ahead.

Almost that time!

Hello friends of All Saints & Belize,

It is almost that time again...our next team will be leaving for Belize in a few months...January 2010. We have some team members returning, and some new people as well. Probably about now they are collecting supplies, making their list of items they'll need to pack and getting all of their vaccinations. Exciting stuff!

I will not be joining the group for 2010...and I am both sad and happy about it. sad, because I have gone for the past two years and it is such an amazing experience and I'd love to see all of my Belize friends. But, I am happy because the reason I am not attending is that I am getting married in 2010! beloved proposed over Labor Day weekend, and we are very, very excited. I didnt think I could swing both a 10-day trek to Belize, while planning a wedding...on top of a new I freed my spot up for another lucky person to enjoy the trip.

So, since I wont be making the trip...I still wanted to be able to share the experience through the blog. I an going to recap last year's trip...complete with photos...and hopefully work with someone on the new team to maintain the blog while they are there in January.

So, please continue to follow the blog and enjoy the experience.

Prayers to all,