I just watched the beginning of Toy Story 3 and have been once again taken by the desire to be a cowboy. That will not last long. Astronaut is still the tops of the dream childhood jobs. I mean, everyone loves astronauts. Never did someone say, “man, I hate that Buzz Aldren” or, “Neil Armstrong thinks he’s just SO cool.” It’d be awesome. Hopefully NASA is looking for a political science/international studies graduate in the next few years. If so, and you hear, let me know.
Sorry, I digress.
I hope you are having a lovely day. It is very comfortable down here in Punta Gorda, making for a pretty solid past couple of days.
On Monday night, we got a phone call from a Peace Corp volunteer who informed us that the government had just canceled school for all of Belize. Apparently a large hurricane was headed for the coast, though more towards the north. I got up on Tuesday to check the weather, then arriving home, the phone rang to tell us school had been uncanceled. Uncanceled!? You can’t do that! I had glorious plans for that day! Projects that would benefit all mankind! Preposterous. I went to school. But they couldn’t make me like it. Only about 1/3 of the students showed up, making for a quite pointless day, from what I heard from the teachers.
On Wednesday, I worked with the kids for the reading program, which went pretty well and we drew lots of chalk drawings on the library floor with letters and names. I am very much enjoying working with these kids. Often they just tell me stories, stories that range from snakes in the rice paddy, to a brother getting hit in the head with a falling coconut, to trips to Guatemala. They teach me as much or more than I teach them. I brought my sketch pads to school the other day and showed them to a kid who likes to draw. He suggested I start the Art Club up on Saturday mornings. I think that is a great idea, so hopefully in the next few weeks, we can get some kids to come in and draw, paint, and color. I want to paint the outside of the library this summer, so maybe the kids could design what to paint. I’m getting ahead of myself though. We shall see.
Wednesday was also a very good day, in that I have a new award for: Reader of the Month!!!
This month’s award goes to: Katherine Driscoll!!!
In reading about my plight with the dead Ipod, Katherine amazingly sent down an old one loaded with excellent music that I’m listening to now (Ryan Adams). I LOVE mail, and this totally made my day, as did the granola bars, pirate gear, and nuts. Thus, you, Katherine, get a shout out. And I know some may say, “Jeremy, October isn’t over yet. What if someone beats out this feat?” Well, I hadn’t thought of that until right now, so we’ll get to that when we do.
**September’s winner shall be named now too: Barbara Best, for responding to my shout out for topics to write about. Barbara, I believe you’re in Croatia right now, but this one’s for you.
***August goes to Kate Reilly for having a letter here for me before I even got here. Nothing like being welcomed to a foreign country with a friendly note from home.
November is up for grabs, so participate, send a hello, or just enjoy.
So St. Peter Claver school is being a pilot school for Belize by becoming a so called, Quality School. While I’m still not sure what that means, I think it’s good. Now, to become a quality school, certain specifications must be met, like cleanliness, percentage passing, that sort of stuff. The administration, in their infinite wisdom, decided that it would be a good idea to have a meeting with the teachers to figure out what more to do. Now, students are constantly getting days off, thus leading me to believe that this could be a cause of problems in educating them. So, what do we do? We cancel school on Friday to meet and figure out how to have a better school. Why don’t you stay open and TEACH!? What is the point of the school if the kids are NEVER there!? Ugh. Thus, I boycotted the meeting. Instead, I kept the library open during the day in case kids wanted a book or to do homework, especially since their Unit Exams, like midterms, start MONDAY. Yes, lets cancel school the day before exams start. Sorry, I’m venting.
Anywho, on Friday I cleaned the library and found cool books, like a 1890 copy of St. Nicholas Magazine, four David McColley (?) books on castles, the underground, and cities, and lots of National Geographic maps.
Here's another addition of: Books silly Americans donate:
Ah yes, the three volume set of Lincoln, The War Years, from 1950.
The kids have been fighting over this book lately.
This week an American, Jim Scholl (?) came to PG to organize his service trip that is happening in January. A very nice man, he invited us volunteers on a fishing trip on Saturday. We got up at 6am and headed out to the Cayes (keys), which are small mangrove islands off the coast.
Ah 6:30am. So lovely. Especially after a cup of tea.
Ship in the morning
We were fishing in the Bay of Honduras marine reserve, which is 90% open for commercial fishing, and 10% off limits for conservation.
The lovely Caribbean ocean.
There was a cool watchtower/guard station where we stopped for permits.
View from the guard station tower.
Our fishing guide, Sully, was awesome too and has been taken to the US to film a fishing show and is heading to Seychelles, of the east coast of Africa, for another fishing trip that people are paying him to go on.
Kathleen, Al, and Jim (and Sully, our guide, in the background)
Sweet birds a flyin'
Very cool. It was an awesome trip that lasted for 7 hours. I caught one fish, but it was too small. I caught another, but it escaped as I pulled it in. I caught the third, a nice one, and it flopped out as I tried to put it in the cooler. After giving up, I finally got the biggest fish of the trip, a six pound jack.
Look at my fish! ("the beard will be gone in the next two weeks," I respond to your murmurs of disproval)
We took the fish, all 30 pounds or so we caught, and Jim cut them up and we cooked them for a tasty Saturday dinner, along with steamed veggies, coleslaw, potatoes, and brown rice.
Well, we’re halfway through October. Strange. I forget what month it is often here. I believe much of our memory is tied to the changing of the seasons, so it will be interesting how I’ll deal with that one.
Have a great day. I hope you see something neat.
Thanks for reading!!!!