Sunday, June 24, 2012

Steve's Turn to Write about Life in the Fast Lane

This has been a week full of excitement for me. At the Polyclinic staff meetings, the administrator has been asking each of the work sections to produce an educational program that can be played through the TV monitor in the waiting room. Our video for the nutrition section, which I created, is about 10 minutes long and has great music in the background. The still pictures have simulated motion with zoom or zoom and pan (Ken Burns effect). The weak link is still the narration which is done in my foreign sounding voice. It is hard to persuade a native speaker to do the voice-over, although it would clearly add credibility to the educational message. We still have time before the administrator’s deadline.

Screen shot from the movie

We seem to be well into the rainy season with really heavy rain early in the week. I was amazed to see the torrent that Stann Creek has become. It was amusing to see the birds riding chunks of debris zinging along in search of food.

Tylon, my work counterpart, and I went to Belmopan for three days of Peace Corps training on project design. I learned a tremendous amount of material from dreaming about making a change in some little part of human society all the way through goals, objectives, evaluation and management to writing an effective grant proposal and finding funding sources that share some common interest. We worked together on our own project and had extra help from Ms. Carmen Silva who is in charge of the grant program at the US embassy.

Me with Tylon and Carmen Silva
Helmuth Castro, on "loan" to us from Peace Corps Honduras

We also had great team-building activities. One of my favorites was a competition between two blind man’s buff teams. It was a quiz, and the various answers were taped to the wall at the other end of the room. The blind-folded team member had to find the sheet with the answer on it. The answerer of the question could see the seeker and the answers but could only give directions with hand signs to the speaker on the team who could not look at the wall or the blind-folded team member. What a great way to make learning fun!

Blind Man's Buff. In the background you can see Mickie Post, one
of the PCVs trying to manhandle her opponent to win the game ;-)
Since she weighs less than 90 pounds, we felt the strategy was a gamble.
For a culture exercise we had a dance break led by Des and Gwen, who both work for the Ministry of Education. Des is also with the professional dance group we have seen perform the traditional Garifuna dances. I tried to shoot video and dance at the same time but finally gave up in favor of trying to learn to dance.

On Saturday we had a work-day in Hopkins village. Several other volunteers also gathered to paint the building at the Sandy Beach women’s co-op restaurant, which is Meghan’s main project. The ladies also taught us cooking lessons in Garifuna native dishes. Cathy pitched in to pound the boiled plantain to make hudut, to be eaten with the fish soup.

Here is Cathy mastering the mortar and pestle.
Belizeans call it the mahtah.

Ken Post and Meghan partaking of the hudut and fish stew.

We had also hoped to see Meghan’s dog Belikin who is a sister puppy to our FuWe Dog, but she was out on a walk with a neighbor, and we missed her.

Several other events were notable. One was dinner last night with the other two married couples in Peace Corps Belize. I still cannot believe that none of us took a picture. This morning our dog got a bath. It is probably the last bath she will get in the plastic tub that she has outgrown. Fortunately Breezie was there with the camera for all of us to enjoy again. 

Future baths will be outside with the water from the
rain barrels. FuWe is now 35 pounds!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It’s never too early to think about the Third Goal. Check out Peace Corps Experience: Write & Publish Your Memoir. Oh! If you want a good laugh about what PC service was like in neighboring Honduras back in the 1970’s, read South of the Frontera: A Peace Corps Memoir.