Farewell Corozal

Image

 

The local children came out to the dock early to see us off!

Image

 

One girl even gave me a bag of candy chocolates to share with the group as a parting and thank you gift!

-Briana

Fresh fruit, ice-cream, paint, children, tye-dye, and family – to sum it up!

Image

 

The teachers and staff at St. Thomas by the Sea was so welcoming and accommodating.  The teachers prepared fruit for us each day.  This was a treat that was always looked forward to, just like the hand-made ice cream delivered by bike in the afternoons.  That single container of ice cream stretched farther than one would think.  I can still picture the long line of children (and adults! – at the end of course) waiting for their cone.

By the end of the week I felt very accomplished in the work that we had accomplished as a group.  Numerous classrooms were now a new pretty shade of pastel.  Let’s see, there was purple mist, yellow, an aquamarine-mint, pink, and blue.  (Can any fellow Belizers remember the color names?)  They were all such fun names, I only wish I had jotted them down.  And the blinds all received a fresh coat of white paint.  I also had the opportunity to sketch a mural on the wall in the preschool classroom.  The teacher of that classroom was delighted to be getting a mural.

A chunk of my own work time was devoted to tye-dyeing shirts with the children, in addition to preparing and executing the finishing procedures.  The kids had an awesome time making them, we even had a mom that joined us for a couple of the vacation bible school days and was just tickled that we let her make one as well.  I got the chance to play and interact with the kids, which was refreshing.  I also was able to recall some games to teach the kids during afternoon free-time, such as “Down by the banks of the hanky panky,” which gave the non-soccer or tag players a different option.  Connecting with the children and helping provide a positive program where they could spend their time was rewarding.  I think our group displayed God’s love to them through puppet shows, crafts, and by example!

I want to wholeheartedly thank Father Rose, my parents, and everyone who contributed, for all the work and support put in to make this trip happen.  This is a family trip, in more ways than one, that will always be remembered.

-Briana

Handiwork at the Hotel

Image

 

Image

Another special thing about the trip was the artisans that would come vend their handiwork at our hotel in the evenings.  I was able to do some shopping myself and was glad to support them in their livelihood.  I bought a beautiful hand carved bowl from Eric, who made crosses too, just as his father had.  (You can see his picture in an earlier posting)

-Briana

Our Group

I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to go on such an all around great trip.  I experienced so much: God, working for others, a different culture and country of different economic status, and lastly connections with people.  There is much to be said about the people in our group, the value of community, and the bonding that happens on a mission trip.  At the start of the trip I was a little bit worried about how large our group was and foresaw some challenges.  But by the end of it I was glad for each person’s presence, for everyone contributed in their own way to the group.  It was exciting to make new friendships, strengthen old, learn about others, and in doing so, learn about myself. We will always have the memories of this trip which is so much more valuable than money or things.  The ages of our group spanned from young to old.  I fell right smack-dap in between the two, and was thankful that both groups let me join both of their ranks.

The ambitiousness of the group was contagious.  I was grateful that others dragged themselves out of bed on the brink of sunrise to go for a morning run, because I wouldn’t have followed suit without their initiation.  It also spawned the idea of sunrise yoga, which I had the opportunity to lead on the shore next to our hotel a few mornings in Corozol, as well as our last morning in Caye Caulker.  This was a valuable for me because I hadn’t done this before, but one of my goals is to become a yoga instructor.  It was yet another way that I was able to bond with individuals in our group and rejuvenate before arriving at the school at 8 am to start another day of work, or face a long day of travel.

Thanks Grace, for “bringing it.”

-Briana