On Saturday and Sunday I spent being lazy and hanging out with my host family. Miss Olivia’s daughter Katia was visiting so I was able to put a face with a name. On Sunday, we relaxed and later in the day I began teaching Krizia how to swim.
Monday morning Pedro and I traveled to Belmopan to meet with our contact at the 4-H office. We delivered trees and newsletters to them. We discussed the possibilities of forming a stronger relationship with them since they are a youth based organization. We then traveled to visit PACT, Protected Areas Conservation Trust, to discuss some of our programs and invited them to tag along on one of our school visits. After delivering the rest of the brochures and newsletters we stopped for lunch and then headed back to Succotz. It was a busy day but I met a lot of really interesting people. We also dropped off our poster so that it could be judged in the nationwide competition.
Tuesday, I made my way to the FCD office and spent some time working on the computer and waiting for Pedro to arrive so we could make our trip to the Benque Viejo Schools. I also explained to the other staff that there is a free health clinic going on at the Nazarene Church if they are interested. The Doctors come from Arkansas and one from New Mexico. After lunch Pedro, Gliss, LeeRoy, and I headed over to Benque. LeeRoy is one of the students in our youth group. We delivered all the trees and traveled further down to Arrenal. It is a small town that is split by the Belize-Guatemalan border.
Along the way I could see where farmers had used the slash and burn methods to clear for agricultural production. Entire sides of mountains were just scorched. On our way back we stopped at the hardware store, where I bought a collar for Ms. Olivia’s dog so he won’t escape anymore and steal our shoes. I reinforced it with Duck Tape. Once we returned to the office we surprised Gliss with pizza, soda’s and cake to celebrate his Birthday.
Once I arrived home I started showing Emil and Gordo how to draw cartoon characters which soon turned into a Spanish lesson for me. It was a lot of fun.
Wednesday morning I met with Rafael for a mentoring session. We discussed FCD’s community involvement and at this stage it is mostly on an informative basis. We also covered the major issues the Chiquibul is facing. Key issues include Guatemalan interference, hydro dams, and mineral extraction. In the afternoon I traveled with Pedro to the Nazarene school down the road to plant trees and educate children about their importance.
On Thursday Pedro, Shirley, Edwin and I made our way to San Ignacio to do a planting at Sacred Heart and to run some errands in town. We met LeeRoy there and proceeded with the planting. We returned for lunch then went to the Central Farm to pick up more trees for our project.
This Friday and Saturday I will be camping at the Chiquibul Ranger station. I look forward to seeing the pine ridge, howler monkeys and orchids. I will post again upon my return from the mountains. Hope all is well on the home front and thank you for your continued support and prayers.