Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Back in the States


First of all, I'm terribly sorry that I did not keep up with this blog like I intended on doing. I got really frustrated with trying to upload pictures, because it took forever due to slow internet....And I don't have an excuse for not updating sooner...blah blah blah excuses. Let's get to the pictures!

Students in the Standard 4 class at Epworth Methodist primary school.
Giving a container gardening lesson at Epworth. We planted hot peppers, sweet peppers, basil and cilantro.

Giving a lesson about growing vegetables in the classroom at Epworth.

Brady putting together the seedling box at ANRI. Note his bright pink nails...haha
Gravel diggin' at ANRI.  We had to move a lot of gravel over to the seedling house to put inside and around the edges of the seedling house where the netting was.

ANRI students helping us dig some gravel after they watched us dig for a while. I had to tease them a bit to get them going ("Too pretty to dig some gravel, boys?!")

ANRI students and teachers with UA students in front of the completed seedling structure!

The ladies with some awesome ANRI students.
Yummy food--Rice, cabbage, chicken, fried plantain, chicken tamale, banana cake and passion fruit juice.
Second get-away: Caye Caulker.  A very small and beautiful island.  The water is so clear and blue! I went snorkeling (unfortunately I have no underwater camera) and I saw a manatee, sea turtle, eel, nurse sharks, sting rays, lots and lots of fish and beautiful coral! The coral was so diverse and it was so neat seeing the schools of fish in the coral.

More Caye Caulker. Paradise!

Sunrise (5:30AM!) at Caye Caulker.

Fish at the Split--the beach on Caye Caulker.

Tandie with a tiny little hermit crab. We were fascinated by these little guys!
Beautiful Hibiscus. Everywhere. (Photo credit: Andrea Love)
Dr. Burgos, Brady and I at the "swinging chair place" (restaurant). I had grilled shrimp. Yum! (Photo credit: Nilda Burgos)
The Agriculture Team with Dr. Burgos and Dr. Popp. A good looking bunch, eh?

At sunrise on Caye Caulker...the few of us who made it up!
Ok, well that's all I will post for now, but I have a lot more pictures to share with you all and I promise I will! I don't have internet at my house right now, but I'm working on it....  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One week down! Two to go!

Good evening!

It's only been one week and a day since we've been here, but we've done so much already! We've almost finished the seedling structure and seedling boxes at the Agriculture and Natural Resources Institute (ANRI). We've taught a few classes at Epworth Methodist Primary School. We've also had some time to explore and see Billy Barquedier National Park, Tobacco Caye and various parts of Dangriga.  The people here are incredibly friendly and greet you with good morning, good evening or good night depending on the time of day. Ok I'm not a great writer, so I'll explain this past week in pictures:

The entire group (minus Peacework members, Hannah and Jeff) with the Mayor of Dangriga.  Our first full day!
Children working in the St. Matthew's garden.  Dr. Popp said that this was the first year that the UA team came and there were things already planted in the garden. Success!
View of Dangriga and the ocean from the Chalenor Hotel rooftop.

The cabana at the Jungle Huts.  This was a local chess club.  The little girl is Mariah, who is the daughter of the owners. 
The swimming hole and waterfall at Billy Barquedier National Park.  The water was very cool and refreshing and the waterfall provided a nice back massage!
Jordan cracking a coconut open using a machete.  Machetes are a very common tool–everyone is a pro at using them!

We took a cooking lesson with the POWA women on Why Not Island.  We learned to make Hudut, a traditional Garifuna dish.  It was a coconut milk soup with onion, garlic, okra and snapper with a big serving of mashed plantain on the side.   The preparing and cooking process was very long and labor intensive.  Here I am grating the coconut using a mahogany board with small, sharp stones used as the grater.  Water is added to the coconut shavings and the milk is squeezed out into a bowl through a strainer.  

Traditional Garifuna dancers.  There were also drummers. One of the dancers was our cook at ANRI and she was the best at shaking her hips! The Punta dance was my favorite.
The girls doing Andrea's hair.  They pretty much dreaded it...
Me with Mr. Usher's three daughters at the Jungle Huts.  They are a hand-full, but so damn cute! 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Less than 24 hours 'til we're in BELIZE!


I am getting super excited to get on that plane down to Belize! I think I am as prepared as I'm going to be, so let's do it!!

Over the past few weeks, the agriculture, engineering and business teams have met daily learning about Belizean history, culture, agriculture, eco-tourism, and economics.  We also learned about community development and service learning in general.  I really enjoyed learning about this young country and hearing about the past projects.

The agriculture team (plus one awesome civil engineer) went out to the Cobblestone Project Farm for some hands-on experience (in the pictures above).  The Cobblestone Project is a really amazing organization run entirely by volunteers.  They have a community supported agriculture (CSA) program set up in NWA, where those who buy a share from the CSA also provide a family in need with a share from the CSA ("Buy one, give one"). You can learn more about the Cobblestone Project here. We had a lot of fun planting herbs, thinning out corn, weeding and putting down hay!

My goals for while in Belize:
  • Keep track everything in a daily journal
  • Update the blog weekly– mostly with pictures 
  • Send out postcards to family and friends
  • Push myself to meet a lot of local people, by breaking out of my sometimes shy habits
  • Participate in the engineering and business projects (in addition to the agriculture projects)
  • Go snorkling
  • Eat lots of Belizean food (including the royal rat!)
  • Soak up as much of the culture as possible
  • Plus many more....I don't want to bore you!
I'll update next week as soon as I can!

I also just want to say THANK YOU to those who have helped me out in preparation for this trip. I couldn't have done it without my wonderful family and friends. Love you guys.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Up for Grabs: May 6&7!

We took some pictures of just a few of the things that will be for sale and had a great time doing it! If you see something you absolutely must have, comment and let us know you want to reserve it :)

I hope to see you at the sale!