Preparing For The Journey Home

DSC00225Today is our last full day in Belize.  After our two weeks of working with students, we got a chance to spend the weekend in San Ignacio enjoying the culture, people and activities.

On Friday, all of us got a drum lesson and the students got the opportunity to dance.  If you have not seen the videos, check out the sport management page on Facebook as I have hard a hard time posting the videos to the blog.  Everyone did a great job.

On Saturday, we went to the farmers market in town and walked around the village.  So much to see.  Some of us also got to explore a mayan ruin.

Today, all of us went floating down a river into a cave on a tube.  It was so peaceful and the water was refreshing (another word for cold).

Now, as we prep to head for home, we have one more evening to experience what Belize has to offer.  This has been a great experience and one I know the students will not forget.

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

Today was the last day of our four day AUM Life Camp in Belize City, Belize. I must say I had a great time with these bunch of kids. It was a great idea to split the kids into teams and get them to compete for points. TEAM Breanna… bet you can’t guess whose team that was. Yes of course it was my team. They did magnificent

Team Breanna  Danika, Shanice, Keyvon, Devontae, Tyrell, Brianna, and Jesus

Team Breanna
Danika, Shanice, Keyvon, Devontae, Tyrell, Brianna, and Jesus

They may not have been the winning team, but my team did great and I am very proud of them. If I could take a few of them home I probably would. I got asked so many times can I come home with you “miss” and saying put me in your suitcase. It was surprising because these kids are older than our last camp from last week. Their ages ranged from 13-17 and who would have thought that they would get so attached. I honestly loved this week. The heat this week was absolutely ridiculous and so very hot. I do not think I have sweated so much before in my life, but it was for a good cause. The National Sports Council gave us all shirts and mugs and we were so surprised and thankful. This week was great and here is a picture of the kids from this week. Guess what the kids did this week!!! They made a dance video to Gangnam style and it was so awesome. By: Breanna Chess

ALL OUR CAMPERS for Week 2

ALL OUR CAMPERS for Week 2

I think I am in Kansas again Toto

I have to say that Belize is officially starting to feel like home. Okay, maybe not home, but we are all getting more accustomed to this new and exciting place. The camp this week has been outstanding and the kids are soaking up information like sponges! It has been incredible! Yesterday in particular was a blast. Immediately following the camp we traveled across town to the YMCA (where we do our morning sessions). Barbara taught a dance lesson to the children at the after school program and we all had an amazing time. Overall we are all having a great time and learning a ton. I must say that these kids have taught me far more than I have taught them. 

Almost over….

While the land, the sea, and the wildlife of Belize are phenomenal, what continues to awe me is the people – their love for Belize, their open hearts and even their calm natures in the face of distressing situations are the characteristics that have connected me to a place that is not my home.IMG_0954

This last 10 days have helped me move closer to the patient spirit I desire, and has helped me to be even more watchful of the ways in which adults may participate in the microassaults on children, albeit unwittingly.

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These last 10 days have also helped me to reconsider how we model and offer unadulterated, unconditional love for children who have not always received it and for whom believing in self is unfathomable.

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There is so much work to be done, both at home and abroad, to create loving, uplifiting spaces for all of our children…so much to learn, still…

Dr. Davis-Maye

Tired but having a blast!

Rambo lived in the trees behind our cabanas and he made him the mascot for study abroad Belize 2013.

Rambo lived in the trees behind our cabanas and he made him the mascot for study abroad Belize 2013.

The hot and overly humid days in Belize has started to take a tole on each of us and I really never thought I could say that coming from Alabama.  You wouldn’t believe the farmers tan that I have gotten since coming here. This second week has been spent with older students (13-17 yrs.) and believe it or not, they have been exceptional in the form of behavior and participation.  We have been able to introduce more advanced topics in the areas of exercise, fitness and sport.  It is amazing how much skill these students have in the sports we are covering.  Tomorrow is the last day of teaching and I believe I can speak for everyone that we are really going to miss the people we have been so blessed to meet on our short stay here (especially Rambo the monkey).

The First Week

What an experience our first week was for all people involved.  Our students did a great job being flexible and creative.  It has been a learning process for all the parties on how to best meet the needs of our host and their students.  

The week began with us only at Roger’s Stadium and ended with us having access to the local YMCA for the morning and Roger’s Stadium in the afternoon.  This has allowed us to have some classroom space as the heat is high for everyone.  Water, water and more water is required.  

From my perspective, the relationships with our Belizian students were starting to form which allowed us to do so much more.  If only we had more time to continue to cultivate these relationships.

Next week should be somewhat more organized as we now have a better idea of what to expect.  We will keep you updated!Image   

Day Four in Belize

This is my fourth day in Belize City, Belize and I must say I have experienced a lot. Interacting with the kids and trying to learn a little Kriol from them at our Camp. It is sometimes hard to understand how they talk; however, it is fun to get to experience something so different. I never thought that I would get an opportunity like this; to fly on an airplane for the first time, to go out of the country, and just to get the experience of a lifetime. This trip would be something I will tell my children one day. The heat down here reminds me of how Alabama summers used to feel; hot and a little humid, but manageable. I enjoy the nice breeze that comes through off of the Caribbean Sea.

Today with the kids we did a lot of high active games to get them to work muscles and learn more about what is healthy for their bodies. The majority of the kids are boys and they mostly say they love sports and want to be professional players. So what they did today was the Pacer test, they learned about stamina, they learned some line dances from the states that we do and hey taught us a few of their moves, and also played a computer game that taught them about the food guide pyramid. Then after lunch, we did outside games such as throwing the ball and hitting it; a football(soccer in the states) game and then just talking and learning from the kids. We also separated them into teams so that Todd, Emily, Barbara, and myself got our own group of kids; my team is Team Breanna (classic).

Abraham, who owns the resort we are staying at in Burrell Boom, is extremely nice and helpful. He is very knowledgeable about the land and the different animals that live here, such as the Howler monkeys. The Howler monkeys do exactly what their name says they howl all day and all night long. They came close enough today for us to get a few good shots of them with the camera. Christina, who has been the cook for us this week, always seems to top her previous meal with the next one. They all are really sweet, and down to Earth people and they have made our stay here at the resort a nice and comfortable one. Well there is still so much left to see here and this is only the first week. This weekend we will get to explore Dangriga, which I am excited about. There will be more updates to come from our trip to Belize. By: Breanna Chess

A few of the boys dancing to punta

A few of the boys dancing to punta

The kids getting ready to learn strength excersises

The kids getting ready to learn strength excersises

Howler monkey in the tree

Howler monkey in the tree