Sunday, July 8, 2012

Update from Dangriga

From Steve: My work at the Polyclinic has been really fun this week. The administrator has asked each of the groups of workers in the clinic to produce an educational video to play through the monitors in the waiting room. For the Child Nutrition Project, I made a video with pictures and text, using some catchy music (Watina and Baba by Andy Palacio, Anaha Ya by Genera Valerio, Zimbabwe by Bob Marley, Chaiyya Chaiyya by Singh and Awasthi) for the background. My work partner, Tylon Tillett, will do the voice-over for the teaching narrative. I have high hopes for a good quality product.

Jemma Perez and Tylon Tillett, social workers for the
Child Nutrition Project in Toledo and Stann Creek Districts
Word got around that I knew how to create videos, so now I seem to be in big demand. Last Saturday I went to Hopkins village and worked with Dr. Amos Ojo (our medical chief of staff), who created a teaching video based on a Powerpoint presentation he had polished. He has a powerful speaking voice that lends great credibility to the video.

Dr. Ojo and me. He is originally from Nigeria. A lot of Nigerians
settle here in Belize. There is even a Nigerian DVD store!
Several of the nurses groups are also making teaching videos, and I have been able to advise them, too. One of the nurses told me that it can’t be that hard to do because her daughter in high school made a DVD last weekend. Naturally, I recommended that she get her daughter to help her, also.

We have been reading about the hot weather in the US with great sympathy. It makes our weather sound like paradise. We have rain at least once every 24-hour period, but often it is at night. Our temperatures range between 77 at night to 88 during the day (with that ol' "feels like" up to 102). Our house seems to stay comfortable all the time, probably because of the see breeze. The air conditioner at the Polyclinic has been out for over a week, but it is nice to sit in the breezeway between the clinic and the in-patient hospital.

Our Peace Corps co-worker, Ava, casually mentioned that she told her son to look at a website about the  40 best Peace Corps blogs in the world since it included hers. We all said, “Wait a minute! You have to tell everybody about that.” So we are doing our part to spread the good news.

Ava Hacker

The 40 Best Peace Corps Blogs - She's mentioned down there about #17. I don't think there's any significance to the numbering.

That's all for now. Let's give Cathy a chance . . . .


Well, as we say when we get on the bus, "Good maanin', Ev'ybody." 

Steve and I are moving along in our little routine here in Dangriga. My training manual is limping along, maybe not quite as fast as I would wish, but I seem to hit writing blocks now and then. Usually it happens when those boys next door decide it's time to break some eardrums.

Our girls club met yesterday for the second time, this time at Why Not Island. Ms. Norielee Rodriguez, Aidra's sister, got the girls going making maracas (Belizeans call them shakas) from the fruit of the calabash tree. The girls had to scrape the green stuff off the outside with a piece of glass or a knife. After that, Norie drilled a hole in each side of the fruit. The girls used those holes to poke and scrape out all the pulp from the inside.

The "Scraping of the Green"

Still scraping. That's Aidra in the light green t-shirt.

Some places are better to work than others :-)

Norielee taught the girls how to make maracas. She is also the
maker of the famous Rodriguez drums.
Pushing out the pulp

Getting the pulp out without damaging the outside of the fruit
was a tedious process, but the girls didn't seem to mind. It's a
Caribbean version of the quilting bee.

We had snacks, of course.
This time I tried to get creative with the fruit kabobs.
I could tell they liked the chocolate chip cookies better, though.
We finished up with another Garifuna lesson. This time Aidra talked about community spirit. She's really great when speaking about traditions and values, and I think the girls feel very comfortable with her.

The lesson is in Kriol and Garifuna.

Beautiful lady.
Next week - we paint the maracas!


Let's hear it for do-it-yourself hair care! I scalped Steve and he highlighted me.

Side 1
Side 2. I may have to get a little creative with my combing %-)

Just a couple more pictures:

Animal life at Why Not Island. This kitten was abandoned by her
mother. The dog had just had puppies, so she just adopted the kitten.
Steve is telling FuWe about all the cool doggie stuff in our
package from the States.

Sea breezes and our curtains create an atmosphere we love.

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