Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Happy 34th Birthday Belize!

Belize celebrates it's peaceful independence from England on September 21.  The celebration includes two distinctly different parades. I'm going to show you pictures from both parades.

The Friday before the 21st is the School Rally.  Every school in Orange Walk lines the streets in school uniform.  Some have bands, others have floats, and some have dancers in pretty costumes.  Each school marches in a very orderly fashion, wanting to show pride in their school and country.  The children who are too young to walk the parade route are lined up on the sides of the street.
 Here is St. Peter's lined up in front of the Town Hall for the opening ceremony.

Nathanael interpreted the ceremony.  This is the invocation.

We are waiting for the parade to start. This is the class in which I interpret/tutor for Morine.  Morine and her sister Adrienne are in the same class. They are hugging in the photo.  I asked the children to wave their flags for the pic.  Aren't they cute kids?  I love this class!  I've been with them three years, since they were in preschool. 

 Watching Chapel Primary School march with their banner.

 Here we come!  This is Jaheed  and another standard 6 student carrying our school banner.

Our float shows children dressed in cultural clothing.

Whooohooo!  We all waved our flags and made noise when St. Peter's marched by.

 Some dancers from another school.

These are the dancers from Bishop Martin High School, Sulmi's school.

The parade on September 21 is called a Carnival.  Many of the costumes resemble Mardi Gras parades in Jamaica and Trinidad.

Every year there is a float with Jamaican steel drums.

It was fun to watch the parade with the Davis family. Nathanael interpreted the speeches and then we had arranged to meet on the steps of Luigi's.  When I walked up, I was surprised to see Maggie and her whole family there.  What great luck! Maybe some of you remember Jessica.  This is a picture of her and her husband, Darwin, and their two children.

More dancers.. I like the little ones.

Yes, this guy really has a snake on his shoulders.  

 This is my friend, Libertad Cal, from Yo Creek who taught Sulmi and her classmates how to do Mestizo dancing. In the parade she was doing a ceremonial Maya fire thing while some men demonstrate Maya football in the middle of the parade.  Very cool.

We had 18 hours of drizzling rain overnight and through the morning, but graciously God held the rain clouds for the 3 hour parade. Thank you Father for preserving Belize, carrying it through the first 34 years of independence,  Guide the people to pick honest leaders and then give them wisdom to make choices that benefit everyone. Amen.

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