Saturday, November 10, 2012

Settlement Day 2012 - NGC Health Fair

Steve and I are so thrilled to be busy this November with many of the activities of Settlement Day. Last year,  we attended some of the events - Miss Garifuna Pageant, traditional dance performances, youth presentations, the Re-enactment, and the parade - but only as a tourist would experience them. This year we are in the thick of things.

Felicia Nunez
She is "Fel" to some, "Nen" to others
Back in August, we wrote about our meeting with the National Garifuna Council. The meeting served as a brainstorming session to create ideas and recruit volunteers for a long line-up of events in November leading up to the 19th, Settlement Day. Steve and I agreed to organize a health fair for them. Other than some broad guidelines as to which days would be appropriate, and a promise that we could use that same meeting place as the venue, we had a blank slate to create the fair.

We didn't do much before we left for our vacation in the U.S. Because a commitment from the Polyclinic was foremost in our minds as key to the success of the health fair, Steve got them locked in. I talked with one of the POWA women, and they also agreed to participate. So - we had a start, both of them based on who we worked with. YAY! We had a chat with our NGC liason, Ms. Felicia Nunez, about what issues we needed answers to. She promised to carry those concerns to the NGC at their next meeting while we were in the States.

Phyllis Cayetano
Ms. Caye
Then we visited family and friends and forgot all about it for two fun-filled weeks. (STILL miss you all SO MUCH!)

Once we returned, we had about a week and a half to pull it all together. I was right in my element. I love organizing events, especially tending to all the details. Ms. Nen had gone to Surinam (!) for a leadership and women's rights conference, so we worked directly with Ms. Phyllis Cayetano, the chairman of the Dangriga NGC. She is a mover and a shaker, has been an activist in the community for years.

On Wednesday before the fair, we joined Ms. Caye and two other men in charge of other activities at the studios of Hamalali Radio. Steve and I each had a chance to talk about the health fair and invite people to "come on out" to our event.

With Ms. Caye.
The two guys in the foreground are DJs for the station. The one
on the right is named Rugged.
We thought you might enjoy hearing Mr. Francis Marin speak. He is the principal of the ANRI High School (Agricultural emphasis high school). In this clip, he is talking about the three "hats" that he wears.

Everybody got a sticker
The rest of the week was taken up with making signs and banners, stickers, handouts, 200 small bags of popcorn to give the kids, running around to some of the different participants and several schools to make sure all those ducks were lined up. I also went back to the radio station to get several hours worth of Garifuna music to play on my big Block Rocker. Steve managed the logistics for the tables and chairs, and liaised with some of the other participants. Of course, Steve and I were also WORKING at our own tables at the fair, too. So that meant pulling that stuff together, too.

The day arrives! We were up early (we always get up early), with all our materials ready, and Ms. Caye picked us up in her husband's pickup truck.

Setup was fun!

Deluxe decorations for the outdoor tent

Steve figured out how to  hang the sign so it wouldn't
"bust up" from the wind

Mr. Roy Cayetano helped us haul stuff
We had a surprise visit from TWO carloads of Peace Corps staff. They arrived just at start time and stayed about an hour. That really gave us a boost!

Denise Diaz
Nina Hernandez, Country Director

Ellen, PCV from Belize City, came to help us. She joined up with me at our Healthy Lifestyle table.


Once we got under way, we had a few adults and LOTS of school kids.

Steve explains Incaparina to kids from
Epworth Methodist Primary School

Kids from Gulisi Community School at one of the booths

Nurse Laverne, from the Polyclinic, demonstrates how to
take someone's blood pressure to students from
Sacred Heart Primary School
Ellen came up with a fun game for all the kids. It was a relay race with two teams competing. Players run up to a judge and answer a true/false question about exercise. If they get it right, they run back right away and tag the next person in line to run. If they get it wrong, they have to spin around 3 times (or so) before they can run back. Here's a little sample.

Here are just a couple more pictures. We had a great time, and got home very tired but feeling satisfied with the event.

Nella (from POWA) and Ms. Nen talking about herbs and
natural medicine

Aidra came to see us, too. Here she is with Ellen at our
Lifestyle table. In the foreground you can see the nutrition
basket I made to help illustrate examples of a healthy diet.

And . . . winding down.

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