Sunday, December 6, 2009
Day 4 and 5 were days spent in the villages. We worked with the children on arts and crafts projects...making "googly people" and had them draw and color their favorite things about Belize, and we had the older kids write letters to the students back in St. Louis telling them about life in Belize. We also brought them sidewalk chalk and bubbles and they had a great time playing with them. We also took pictures of each kid with our digital cameras and printed the pictures so each child could keep a photo of themselves...this is the first time many of the children have ever seen a picture of themselves....some don't even have mirrors and had no idea what they looked like!
The kids in our village loved to pick us flowers (which are gorgeous there)...they made me a "wedding bouquet" and asked that I come back to Belize and get married in the village...so sweet!
At lunch, Joanne and I visited one of the homes of the villagers, and the mother invited us over for lunch the next day (quite an honor)...as we were accepting the invite...her young son came into the house carrying a dead bird of some sorts and his mom took the bird and put it on the table. Later, one of the teachers told us it was a pigeon...and likely our lunch the next day! They boys of the village will set up traps to catch birds for meals.
The Doherty family made the very long trek to the villages of Delores and Oxtahas, which we spent time in last year. Delores had started an organic garden and the kids maintained the garden and did much of the farming. In Oxtahas....the school children were still using the rain gauge we had brought them last year....we were impressed.
The construction team worked on the foundation of the church, and poured concrete and added two layers of cinder block to the foundation.
Anne Schappe, a nurse, and Rebecca, a doctor, spent some time at the Health Clinic...it was only four rooms, and the most high tech machine they had there was an EKG machine. They seen 35 patients in 6 hours. The doctors at the clinic are from the US and are on a rotation program.
In our village, we visited a house with a corn mill where members of the village ground fresh boiled corn to make massa for their tortillas.
On Wednesday evening, we were invited to Dorla's home. Dorla runs the socio-economic group in Belize. She made us a lovely meal of fish balls, Kahune stew, tamales, fresh tortillas and split pea tortilla soup...it was a feast. We also had cashew wine...and even the wine drinkers of the group (Carol!) were not big fans...it had a strange taste, but we tried it!
When returning the the convent, we noticed another unexpected visitor on the front steps of the convent...this time it was a snake, not a tarantula...and yes, I screamed again! It was black with yellow stripes and scary!
Also on Wednesday, Fr. Dick presented us with solidarity rings...they are made from the kahune nut and are worn on the ring finger on the right hand as a sign of compassion for the poor.