Thursday, November 26, 2009

3 month update

Yes I have three posts in one setting, but I feel like I need to catch up a bit on some things (and I figure while I have some relatively reliable and pretty quick internet uploading pictures and writing is probably a good idea).

So life in my village hasn't changed a whole lot. I go to school twice a week and work on math with some of the children for an hour or so, and help cook lunch one day a week when we feed the kids at school. Other than that I am really trying to just get to know the people in my village. The alcalde has agreed to go house to house with me to help bridge the language barrier when it comes up and to let people know why I am around.

My host sister had her baby a few weeks ago, so our family is still growing a bit. He is a very healthy boy, but has not yet been named. I think they are considering Abner, but they have the whole first month before they have to name and register babies here. It is good to have her back home and doing well, though :)

(If you leave the door to your house open to cool it off you could find lots of interesting things in your house, including multiple ducks and cats :)

I have decided that I am not going to move out of my host-families house. I was required to stay with them for one month (which is over), but it looks like I will be there for my entire service. There is not an empty house in my village, there was talk of building a thatch for me, but it just doesn't seem very feasible right now. So, my host parents suggested I just stay in the little house in the compound and when I am ready to have my own space, my host brothers will move back into the other house. I can put a gas stove in this house and live in it on my own. I am really excited about it, because I wasn't too excited about living in my family, but really wanted my own space. So this turns out to be the perfect compromise. :)

My host brothers love to sit in the doorway of my house and play cards. They definitely love Uno.
These are two of my host-nieces Anaya and Naomi. They love having their pictures taken and then jumping up and down and looking at them. Anaya is my little buddy. She is three and doesn't quite understand that I don't really speak K'ekchi very well. It has proven to be an amazing way to learn K'ekchi.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

So we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner here in Belize yesterday. We had an inservice training for a day and a half and then were able to cook and have a dinner with most of the volunteers and staff. The food was amazing, and it was really nice to be able to celebrate the holiday together.

It would have been nice to see family and friends from home for Thanksgiving and be able to celebrate with them, but since that isn't possible, I am glad that I was able to have wonderful people to spend the holidays with. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

It has been a little more than a month since swearing-in, so it was good to get back together and catch up for a bit. I really enjoyed seeing friends and hearing how things are going in all the different villages and towns. This country is so diverse and the experiences we are having are and will continue to be so different. I live in a Maya village with 30 households, Misty (below) lives in a similar situation but much farther from the highway, some of the people lives in towns with washing machines and internet in their houses, and we have 5 or 6 languages people are learning and working in. It is just really interesting to get together and hear all the different stories.

Children's Day

We had a field day here at school last week. The kids spent the day having relay races, contests and we had a nice lunch for them for the feeding program that day. I have a few pictures of the kids and my school. My principal judging the relays. The two buildings in the background are our school.

They had a relay race where they had to run holding hands in a circle, collect oranges from one end of the field and take them back to the other.
This is one of my host-brothers and my host-niece.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pictures: My host family's house, the view of the mountains (not the best picture, but the only one I have with me) and the school's library that I organized :)

So my host family keeps growing. There are now 15 of us (a distant relative moved in with us a week or so ago), and my host sister will soon have her baby to make us 16. I am really enjoying staying with them. They have taught me to make tortillas, tamales, and a few other things. They tell me they want me to stay forever and not leave, but at some point in time I will probably move into the house next door on my own. They can't imagine why a girl who is 24 is not married, with children, would live so far from home and then to live alone on top of all of that. My host-mom told me "You could live alone, Megan, I don't know. You will get bored alone." (The house I will move to can't be more than 50 feet from her house) I might miss out next door though. I might not get to watch in amazement everyday as my 8 year old host brother peels an orange with a machete.
Right now I am working at the school in my village. There are 77 students in three classes. One teacher has grades 1-2, one has 3-4, and the principal teaches grades 5-8. I am doing an after school math program with 5th graders and helping them get their feeding program started. I spent my first two weeks helping to organize the books in the school so that the kids could check out books. The first day they were allowed to check out books every student checked out a book and were super excited to have something to read!
As for my learning to speak K'ekchi... I can understand basic questions and basic conversation if they slow down a bit. The three year old in my family thinks I understand everything she says, though.
This weekend was a big party at my host family's home for the three year old's birthday. Unfortunately they killed the pig so that was a bit traumatizing to hear and watch... However, funny story about this weekend. The little girl doesn't speak English yet, but has "learned" an English song. She messed up the words a bit and this is what came out:

"I'm so glad Jesus is a boy, I'm so glad Jesus is a boy... Alleluia, Alleluia Jesus is a boy!"

I'm not quite sure that was what the song actually said :)