Monday, January 28, 2013

Too Tired to Write. Pictures!

Lots of GLOW Girls, traveling up and down the road to Belmopan, woodworking, Zumba, eating, and writing.

Self-esteem activity

Making puppets

More puppet making

Puppet dogs

And more puppets
Charlie in front, Pen in back
Steve is making a cabinet for Pen Cayetano with the help of his friend, Charlie. We don't have a picture of any woodworking yet, 'cause it's still in the planning stages. This is a picture of Pen showing off his guinea hen to Charlie. I took care of his 15 or so chickens for almost TWO months!

Yum! Barbecue chicken!

Rafi cooked a big spread for us! Delicious!
I know Rafaelita is going to say that's a bad picture, but I think it's really cute.

We used this picture with an ad on cablevision.

When we started Zumba classes, we were exercising inside the Town Hall in front of Pen Cayetano's mural. After three weeks, just when our number of participants had exploded, the Town Council received a huge shipment of desks, chairs and tables (for the schools, I guess). Now that stuff is stored in the room where we were exercising. The last time they got a donation like that, a huge supply of books, it took them a year to distribute them. So anyway, we're dancing on the stage at Princess Royal Park. At least it's lighted. We really liked that Town Hall venue.

One more thing. A picture I painted of Aidra.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Day When Everything Went Right!

A Facebook friend of mine posted an article that listed thoughts to live by. One of those ideas really struck home when I applied it to our Peace Corps work here in Belize.

Over-prepare! And then go with the flow.

I think Steve and I both are good at being over-prepared. The most important part of the advice is the second phrase, though, and it wasn't until yesterday with the GLOW Club meeting that I got to enjoy the benefits of following ALL of those words of wisdom.

I didn't have to do much preparing. Most of it had been done last Saturday for the club meeting. Except nobody came. NOBODY came, not even Aidra. Well, it was raining off and on, but because club meetings are so popular, I figured a few would trickle in. Zero, zip, nunque!

Even that wasn't TOO terrible, 'cause Steve and I got to eat all the chocolate chip cookies ourselves. Took a few days, but we enjoyed them a lot!

Anyway, this week we had a house-full of glowing girls. We had fun activities, and some of them were new and challenging!

  • Role play scenarios learning how to introduce friends to each other. We will do a little of this every week with different "mannerly"aspects of life. Next week, saying "thank you" and all the times when it's appropriate to do it.
  • Odyssey of the Mind challenges. We want these girls to learn to think on their feet, and to learn to work together in teams. There are some fabulous practice exercises online. We started them off with an easy one yesterday, with real loose rules. We will work up to tougher problems and stricter guidelines. 
The girls loved both of these activities, and were very enthusiastic in helping each other!

We also played the "indoor field hockey" game and made pencil toppers and ate cookies and "juice" and laughed and sang and danced . . . . Oh, no wait a minute. I'm getting carried away.

I had lots of helpers this time. Ava, the PCV who lives here in Dangriga, Steve, and Charlie, an American friend who has retired down here, AND Anthony, the boy who lives downstairs - all of them helped Aidra and me. In addition, Rafaelita and her new baby, Michael watched (and enjoyed, I hope). I guess she was curious about what goes on up here.

Well, unfortunately, except for a few, all our pictures are on video, and I don't have that yet. Will post as soon as I get it this week! For now, enjoy the pictures of our big crowd while we were doing our crafts :-)

And then go with the flow

Charlie, Malicka and Vaughnya
Aidra - in charge of color mixing

Cathy - pipe cleaner expert

Ava - wields a mean pair of scissors. Gets award for most patient.

Refreshments. The little girl on the right is a member's sister.


Admiring the avant-garde dragonfly.

Anthony lent his expertise by managing the drying operations.
Finally - from me, anyway.
I just had to paint another picture here in Belize. Used those same poster paints you see in the pictures above.


From Steve:

We had a site visit by our Country Director, Nina Hernandez. We talked about progress on the training manual. She seemed very happy with our progress so far. 

We went to a close-by restaurant for lunch. One of Princess's other pups (FuWe Dog's brother!) lives there and is their watch dog. The owner warned Cathy not to go near the dog since he would bite. When he sniffed Cathy, he remembered her and seemed very happy to see her again. So much for the watch dog idea.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 10 Lists for 2012

Happy New Year, one and all! We brought in the new year with lots of firecrackers (the loud kind), lots of fireworks (the pretty kind), an emergency siren (I guess that's just for fun), and an all-night rock concert. Everyone was celebrating except the dogs, who were trying to get under something and away from the noise.

FuWe Dog trying to deal with the loud noises.
 It's always good to reflect on the pluses and minuses for a year, and 2012 is no different. I think we will stick with the high points, just to keep us on the bright side :-)

First we have Steve's top 10 (eleven). They are in chronological order.
Jeff, Steve, Susan & Stephanie
  1. Jeff and Stephanie came for a visit.
  2. I was able to make my iPhone work in Belize.
  3. I went to Sagitun and helped wash hair for kids with lice.
  4. We started on the revision of the training manual for the community health workers.
  5. I had a spring break in the US and saw all my relatives.
  6. I worked at Sandy Beach doing simple woodwork projects to help them get ready to re-open the restaurant.
  7. I helped the people at the clinic make an educational DVD to play in the waiting room.
  8. I got to introduce a speaker at the Embassy in Garifuna. Aidra helped me immensely.
  9. We had an October trip to the US to see Burke, and I got to spend some quality time with Jeff.
  10. We enjoyed watching the election returns, knowing that we had voted early.
  11. Five people from the Peace Corps office came to our health fair with the NGC (National Garifuna Council).

 And here's my list (only 9 so that makes up for Steve's extra one):

  1. Jeff and Stephanie came to visit!
  2. Jeff and Stephanie announced that they were expecting a baby!
  3. Dad and Joyce came to visit!
  4. We got an exciting assignment - to update the training manual for the Community Health Workers.
  5. Garifuna GLOW Girls came into existence, and I discovered that I'm really bad at knowing anything about kids, but I like it anyway, and they don't seem to mind that I'm bad at knowing about kids.
  6. Traveled to the village of Pueblo Viejo to work with Mallory Begley, another PCV. Found out what "real" Peace Corps life is like.
  7. Our GLOW Girls won the national art contest sponsored by Peace Corps.
  8. Grandson Burke was born and we got to go home to the States to visit everybody. Got to see my family and all my friends.
  9. GLOW Girls performed at grand opening of Pen Cayetano's mural, and they had a float for Settlement Day parade.
Tummy Time

Everything is still pretty quiet here. Our next-door neighbor's house was broken into on New Year's Eve. She wasn't there that night. Guess with all the noise, and the fact that our dogs weren't outside to bark at intruders because they were cowering inside, it was pretty easy for somebody to get in. They can't figure out what was stolen, but there was definitely a break-in.

Life goes on. We still need haircuts. Notice the calendar!

Zumba starts up again next Monday. This time we will be working out at the Town Hall, in front of Pen's mural. We are hoping that the indoor, roomy venue will encourage more people to come. It is a further distance, however, so I will have to take a taxi in order to get my speaker over to the Town Hall. This time I will have a small charge ($2 per class) that will help defray that expense. I am also adding a little strength work, or toning, to the workout in an effort to draw more folks.

A lot of people have asked us about the training manual. Of course, it's several hundred pages, so far, with probably another 100 or so to go.  Here are some screen shots of the first few pages of the Women's Health Module.