Today is a more positive post than yesterday.
We finally began work today. After a quick breakfast of eggs, toast, and fruit we walked over to the tool shed near St. Peter Claver Church. Frankie, the town “manager,” meet us there. He has worked with RJHS before on our service trips here. He told us we would be painting one of the school buildings today. The school has many different buildings like we would have wings. The one we were painting was Infant III, which is the Belizean version of Kindergarten. The boys had some trouble with understanding how to paint at first. There is a lot of splatter on the ground today, but they started to get the hang of it by the afternoon. We were using oil based paint which was another hard concept for the students to understand how it was different from most of the paints in the states. We were using white and green and you will know where the splotches on my boots came from next time you see me. Also our the green paint we started with was different from the green paint we got later (except the hardware store owner thought otherwise, see my title).
Frankie is an amazing man who can fix almost everything. While we were painting he finished putting back together a truck, whose radiator blew. He has a big family and one of his granddaughters went to the school we were working at. He has a lot of interesting insight into the local culture. He lives out of town, about 6 miles, and says it is cheaper there since you can grow what you need instead of buying it. Want a coconut, just cut it off the tree, need some cilantro, pick it from the garden. It is pretty cool idea that rarely gets used in the states.
During the breaks in the day the students hung around us, while we worked. There were really curious about everything we were doing. They kept trying to touch the paint and really wanted to help us paint (although we couldn’t since they were in uniforms and they weren’t supposed to get paint on it). At the end of the day they started wrestling with the boys. I took my camera out, to take some photos of everyone together and started to get a flock of kids following me. I let them use the camera and while a lot of the photos are of each other and weird angles, one of the boys started to understand how it works and started to be able to use it without my help. I will post some of them when some more time. But they started to mob me like you see in a lot of movies of going to 3rd world countries.
After we finished for the day, some of the boys went swimming and when walking on the rocks one of the boys cut his foot. I was glad I happened to be carrying the first aid kit with me to patch him up. My shower was also interesting; it was a single stream of cold water flowing into the side of the shower. I ended up needing to use an empty water bottle to get enough water to clean myself. Oh well, Italy has prepared me well in this department.
Dinner tonight was in the 2nd of 3 places in town, the Olympic Grill. I got shrimp with rice and beans and then afterwards we had ice cream across the street at Blue Sky, the Chinese food place. The rest of the evening was low key since everyone was tired. Hopefully tomorrow will be just as productive tomorrow as it was today.