Saturday, September 28, 2013

Dem Boyz

We had a pile of sticks in the backyard....just begging for a wienie roast.  So I let the Boyz Bible study (which was only Edgar and Misael that day) turn the pile into a fire.

It was a fun challenge to get the wet wood to light, but lots of paper seemed to do the trick.

Some are crispy critters, but they were delicious anyway :-)

Friday, September 20, 2013

September Celebrations

The first month of school in Belize is marked by several holidays. September 10 is St George's Caye Day which celebrates the victory of the Baymen (Pirates, loggers, and British settlers) who, against odds, defeated a Spanish Naval fleet that was trying to take over their land.  September 19th is the day we remember George Price, the Father of our country who, over 50 patient years, negotiated a peaceful independence from Britain. On September 20 there was a Children's Rally (parade) to give a shout out for national pride.  Sept. 21 is Independence Day (This year was Belize's 32nd birthday.)

Here are some pictures from the Children's rally:
This little girl from our school is dressed like the Belizean flag.
Here are the "King" and "Queen" for our school. This year they were chosen by their teachers.

Each school in Orange Walk decorated a float.

Several schools had dancers and children in pretty costumes. 

Three children from each school were selected to ride decorated bikes.

The high schools had drum corps.

All of the children who were not in a band or on a float or dancing or on bikes, walked with their classmates in their school uniform behind their school banner.  These are some children from our school: St. Peter's Anglican School.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sure Glad These Folks Are Flexible

The format for our Women's Bible Study seems to change a lot.  Last Spring we tried to eliminate the distraction that the many children presented by meeting during the school day and after lunch at "naptime".  It was a great idea, but now I am in the Infant I class all day, so I can't Bible Study at 1:00. This fall we decided to meet at my house on Friday nights like we did in the past.  This time we are serving "desert and juice" instead of dinner.  It's much more manageable because our group is growing. We had 11 adults, 3 children ages 3 - 8, and 3 babies.  

The children joined us for the snack/fellowship time and then played in the kitchen part of the living room with the things from the toy basket.  If anyone wants to help, we need two or three new toys to make the toy basket lend itself to more creativity and variety. 

In the picture above you can see Chelsea.  She is a cheery, bright splash of joy in our fellowship.

Our topic this fall is "Women in the Bible".  We have studied Ana (from Luke 2) and Queen Esther.  It's a good topic for us as the women love a story, acting it out, and retelling it.  I am praying God helps us all to learn what God has to teach us in these stories.  Pray with us.  We meet every Friday at 7 PM Belize time (same as Mountain time in the US).  Pray for wisdom for me as I lead.  Pray also that the women learn to walk closely with the Lord.

Friday, September 6, 2013

First Friday Fun Night-September

On Friday September 6 we watched the movie Letters to God. It's the true story of a boy who has cancer.  He writes letters to God which are picked up by the mailman who is in a downward spiral in his own life.  The letters transform the postman and everyone else in the community. It's a tear-jerker about hope in the midst of struggle....a hope that comes from a reliance on God.  I wasn't sure whether I should show it because Edgar has been diagnosed cancer and is waiting to gather money to do the bone biopsy. I wondered if this topic was too close to home.

It led to a great jumping off point for a discussion about cancer and death and reliance on God.

Here we are chomping on snacks and waiting for the movie to start.

Chelsea and I took turns interpreting it since many cannot read the captions.

I thank God for leading me to this movie and guiding our frank discussion afterwards.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hitting the Ground Running

We have had 6 days of school, so far. Thankfully tomorrow is a holiday. We all need it!  It seems the school year started like a motorized car that you wind up tight and then lay it on the ground and it speeds off in some direction...usually crashing into something before it completely winds down.  I hope we don't crash, but we have the fast and furious part down pat.

This is a view of one of the four buildings that make up our school.
Sulmi is in Standard Six which is the year that the students take the standardized test which is used for high school admittance, but primarily to rank the schools across the country. Our school has been climbing its way out of the bottom since they started giving the test 6 years ago. We've improved every year... but, we're still the last of the Anglican Schools. That means the Anglican management is putting pressure on our principal, who is putting pressure on the teacher, who is putting pressure on the Standard Six kids. Sulmi has been in tears 3 of these first 6 days of school. Hmmmm. I saw another girl outside of the class crying as well. The teacher is going fast, giving several tests already, assigning lots of homework. ARGH!  We need a battle plan. Sulmi, Chelsea and I had a talk tonight to figure out how to make it work better.  I think, by God's grace, we found some points of agreement and strategies to make it easier.   We'll see how it goes.
This is a picture of Chelsea and Sulmi on the first day of school.
These are some of the deaf students.  I took the picture after school.  Everyone disperses when the dismissal bell rings, but the deaf kids hang around to talk to their friends lonnnnng after the hearing kids have gone home.  Sulmi always joins their after school chat session.

I'm interpreting for Morine in the kindergarten classroom. That's a lot of fun.  The children say funny honest things.  It makes us laugh and feel thankful for the opportunity to spend our day with their fresh ways of looking at the world.  I'm not a great interpreter.  I can't hear a lot of what is going on, but Morine is learning many new words and doing well.  It's "ok" until we find another interpreter....hopefully someone will join us by January.

Chelsea is doing great as Sulmi's interpreter.  In this picture she is signing "Jesus".  It was during the first all-school assembly.

Please continue to pray for all of us as we adjust to a new school year and new requirements and expectations.