Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bringing in the Sheaves

 On Thursday our school celebrated "Harvest".   Every year at about this time we have a worship service at the St. Peter's Anglican Church to thank God for his bountiful gifts.  The children come to school with a decorated shoebox.  Inside they put food that the priest will distribute to the poor. All of the primary schools in Belize follow this tradition but not necessarily on the same day.  As the children file into the church we always sing "Bringing in the Sheaves".  They place their boxes behind the kneeling rail in the front.
The harvest baskets.
This is the lower school and middle school worship.
 The priest leads the children in a special liturgy.  Then each class comes forward and does a presentation.  Some classes say a poem and others sing a song.  This year the Infant 1 class where I "interpret", sang and signed the song: "Praise Him, Praise Him All Ye Little Children, God is Love."  in ASL.   It was precious.  Unfortunately Morine and her sister did not come that day, but you can see all of the hearing children signing the song by clicking on this link:

Infant 2 (6 and 7 year olds) sang a song.

The upper school followed a liturgy for worship.

Standard 5 said a clever poem with the letters in the word "HARVEST".

Standard 6 said Psalm 100 from memory.  This is Sulmi signing it.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Culture Day

On Friday our school celebrated Culture Day.  Like the USA, Belize is comprised of many cultures.  Like the USA many of the people are proud of their ancestors' traditions and still speak their family's language, eat their culture's food, sing and dance to traditional songs and occasionally hold religious rituals that are associated with their culture.  Unlike the USA, Belize actively promotes cultural acceptance, integration and respect.  It's one of the highest values of Belize society.  To that end, our school and several others celebrated "Culture Day" where we talked about the different cultures in Belize, the foods associated with each culture and how we respect and honor each other.

 Here you see four children from the Infant 1 class.  Adrienne (dressed in Mestizo clothing), Luke (dressed as a Mennonite), Morine (dressed in Garifuna clothing) and Mia (also dressed in Garifuna clothing).
The Garifuna are descendants of African slaves whose ship crashed on the shores of Belize and freed them.  They are mixed with native Arawak Indian people, have a rich musical culture, and speak Garinagu.

About 45% of Belize is Mestizo (Mexican-Maya descent).
Creole: 30%
Maya: 10%
Garifuna: 6%
Mennonite: 4%
Hindu (East Indian): 2%

(% lifted from the CIA World Factbook: Belize. 2013)

This adorable child is Ellin.  She is in the infant 1 (Kindergarten) class. She didn't dress for Culture Day but asked me to take her picture.  She is probably of Creole descent. Her ancestors were brought to Belize from Africa as slaves to cut lumber. Most of the people who are culturally Creole live near Belize City.  They speak the Creole language which has spread throughout Belize and is one of the most frequently spoken languages here.
Sulmi is dressed in a formal Mestizo dress that is used for doing traditional Mestizo dances.

Chelsea is wearing the shirt that many Mopan Maya women wear everyday. It's not a costume.  It's more of a way to show their identity. The Mopan Maya culture is in southern Belize.  They are primarily subsistence farmers.
Mrs. Cantun and Mrs. Briceno, our assistant principal and principal, even got in on the act.  Mrs. Cantun is representing the Hindu culture.  Mrs. Briceno is wearing a beautiful Mestizo dress.
This is Sulmi and Kristel at the morning assembly.  Part of the Mestizo dress includes wearing large bright flowers in your hair.
Here are all of the teachers dressed in various ethnic clothing.  I am wearing a Ketchi Maya shirt.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Boyz Bible Study Does A Service Project

"Whoever wants to be first, must be the slave of everyone. Even the Son of Man did not come to be served.  Instead, he came to serve others."  Mark 10:44-45

This is the verse we studied during Boyz Bible Study this week...and then we washed the church van.
I am embarrassed to say that this is the first service project that we have done in 8 years. (!!!)  It was fun. Holding the hose and squirting the water was the most popular job....even after the windows were washed and dried...ooops.  But it's cleaner than it was.

Friday, October 4, 2013

First Friday Fun Night

Here we all are....waiting to start.

This month was a Game Night.  It was so much fun!  Below are some pictures.

This game is called "A Knotty Problem".  5 clotheslines, 10 players.  The clothes lines were wound over and under the benches...criss-crossing each other.  Each member of a team stands at one end of the rope where it is knotted to the bench.  At "Go!" they untangle their end of the rope until they meet in the middle. Several people said this was their favorite game of the night.

Misael is relaxing and chomping on our snack: vegetables, chips, and dip.

 Human Tic-Tac-Toe...This was another "favorite". 

Nice picture of Reinalda...I like seeing her with a big smile.

The Card Toss:  4 people each have a suit of cards from a full deck.  Simutaneously they flip the cards to land in a square marked on the floor.  The team (red or black) with the most cards IN the square wins.

 This was a balloon relay.  Josue loves balloons so he was often in the middle or playing with his own white balloon.

 More laughs from the balloon relay game.

Next month will be a movie night.  If anyone has a great suggestion of a Christian movie that lends itself to discussion...let me know.