Sunday, October 3, 2010

A week

Helloooooooooooo from Belize

It’s October! It is strange to realize that fact when the weather is in the high 80s during the day. It is starting to get a little cooler in the mornings though, perhaps as low as 75. However, this cold streak has prompted some students to go into the closets and bring out the winter clothing. I saw a few this week in sweatshirts in the morning. People tell me that in December it gets “cold”, or at least as cold as perhaps 58. I have also been told that a large percentage of our conversations revolve around the weather, so

This week was the first full week of school. It also marked the beginning of the reading program. I got names from all the Infant I (5 and 6 year olds) teachers last week, and on Tuesday I did reading assessments for all of them. While I didn’t have many assumptions about the reading level of the students, I was quite blown away at how much work we have to do. I had the students come into the library in groups of 4 or 6, and had them read out loud first the alphabet, then colors, some sight words (I, me, you, is, it…). I marked down on a piece of paper what the students got right and wrong. For a number of them, recognizing the letters was a huge task. One child, when prompted to read the colors, looked at me and simply said, “I can’t read.” Well my friend, that’s why I’m here.

The rest of the week was spent getting prepared for teaching, organizing and cleaning the library, reading, and drawing. It is so nice that students are starting to know me. I visited a teacher one morning and a bunch of students suddenly yelled “hi sir!” and swarmed me with hugs. Great way to start a day. I filled in for a teacher one afternoon. Some problems that are encountered in a Belizean classroom that aren’t in the US include a student asking, “can I go outside and get the pencil that fell through the floor?” And it is amazing how even a rambunctious group of 8 and 9 year olds will quiet down when you start reading to them.

In other news:
-I’m in the midst of renovating an old kitchen that is on the ground floor with the plan to make it into a neat little lounge.
-Dan Rose’s new Daybreaker album is awesome.
-I reread A Wrinkle in Time this week and strongly recommend it to you.
-I very much miss autumn.
-Matt has giardia which is some sort of stomach parasite. Nasty. He has medicine though. Good.
-On Wednesday Brother Teal, who works at the parish, celebrated his 60th anniversary in the Jesuit order. He gave a brief overview of his life and had fascinating stories. I think very often we forget that those much older than us can be just as captivating as a tv or a book.
-The Octobeard is coming in full force, while my hair is growing back.
-There are no copyright laws in Belize, so the cable people get is actually just pirated New York television. You can also buy any movie here, including just released in the theater flicks and even some that haven’t yet been released. We just watched Inception and it was quite excellent, though the movie cut out right at the end, so I’m not sure what the last shot was. A top spinning? Let me know.
-Children play marbles at a high frequency here. I literally had no idea how it was played until a few weeks ago.
-Geckos are awesome.
-I sang Spanish karaoke on Friday night. It was quite bad. My lack of any Spanish knowledge contributed greatly to that.
-Students came in asking for books on the planets, “you know sir, all off them, Mercury to Pluto.” I couldn’t bring myself to let them know Pluto isn’t a planet anymore.
-On some mornings, thousands of dragonflies glide past our house, heading north. It is something amazing to see.

Well my friend, thanks for reading. I hope you learned something or were amused in some way. I shall be working to get more interesting topics about Belize to share with you.

Any questions, comments, concerns, please submit in writing, cursive, on 8x11 paper, lined, in green pen, sent in a white envelope sealed with wax of a bluish hue with the scent of lilacs.
Email is the second option.

Have a great week. Stay safe. Breath.

Calvin: "If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I bet they'd live a lot differently."
Hobbes: "How so?"
Calvin: "Well, when you look into infinity, you realize that there are more important things than what people do all day."
Hobbes: "We spent our day looking under rocks in the creek."
Calvin: "I mean other people."

Cute kids I hang out with every day.

I built a grill top out of a bicycle wheel, bending the spokes together so they would hold up the tasty chicken and potatoes I cooked later over this fire pit in our yard.

If I start a solo music career, this will be the first album cover.


  1. boo, beard. No it's not a pirate name, I just really don't like it. Sorry. I miss you.

  2. love keeping up with this

    did you get my picture i made of you?! i emailed it!