Today started much like yesterday, breakfast at Nature’s Ways then we headed off to the shed. Frankie normally does not work on Saturday’s but since we were here he made an exception (he will take Monday off don’t worry). We were painting the other sides of the school and touching up some hand prints left by the students. Since it was Saturday most of the kids were gone but we did get some visitors and Frankie’s son, Tyrice (not sure if that is spelt correctly) hung out with us. We painted more efficiently today (the boys had a day under their belts now). Some of them are really good at painting, others…well they will get there. We were so fast at getting it done we finished by 12. After we cleaned up we went to ALG’s snack shack for lunch. Jose came from El Salvador, moved around Central America, spent some time in Kansas, and then came back to Belize (his wife is from PG). Here he runs a food stand with a lot of local homemade Central American food. I had freshly pressed lime juice, a burrito, and panadas. My bill came to 7 Belizean (so 3.50 US), it was amazing. After lunch a few students and I strolled around town. The whole group go together to meet with the Socio-Economic Outreach center.
They are doing some amazing things down here in the Toledo district (a district is like a state, but less autonomy, there are 6 here). The SEOC (I just made that up) is connected with St. Peter Claver Parish, they have a loan program here to give people a chance to develop a business, the work to fight malnutrition by giving people plants to cultivate (but not too many so they become overwhelmed), they also give people pigs or chickens to raise (it is like heifers international, where people have to return 2 piglets as payment for their pig). Ms. Dorla, the director, also went to school at UMass Boston (she turned down Amherst) and has a system set up where high school students work for her for two years at then she will send them to Belize University to get their Associates Degree. Sebastian was there helping her now, he is Ketchi Mayan and entertained my bothersome questions about how to say things in his language. They also act as a middle man to sell Mayan crafts to the outside world to help raise them from poverty. They have a website www.buildingpeople.org that is their new online store (so new it is not yet launched).
After that we walked back through town and met a Mayan kid who was selling Johnny cakes, which Anne (the other teacher chaperone) said we needed to try and bought us some. They were really good. I guess our next stop will make them for us for breakfast. Tonight we are having dinner at the pizza place (I know more non-native food but it is the Belizean take on pizza). We are going to eat with two Jesuit Novitiates who both came from RJHS. After that Father McCabe invited us all to the Jesuit Residence to have drinks (soda) and talk with the Novitiates (Sean and Brandon) and two Jesuit Service Corp volunteers (Patrick and Sarah) and get updates on the football games.
Tomorrow is a travel day so I don’t expect to have much to post but you never know?
Taquil ha quib (that is Ketchi mayan for goodbye and good health).