Day 6: Oh my Lard.

Day 6
Breakfast: pancakes & eggs (delish)

Today we drove to San Marcos to visit David’s school.

Now, I’ll be honest, the first 2-3 days here I was totally panicked. As a team, we were ready and charged—we were going into the villages for 12 days, invited by 4 schools to help wiht a few things there, and then go home! But as an individual, pretty much the second I stepped off the plane I was looking around thinking, I’m gonna live here? Like, here? Long term? Where there may or may not be electricity? With no wireless internet? Where the water is turned off at 4? Where it is one-hundred-thousand degrees? Where there are one-hundred-thousand mosquitos? And doctor flies? Where I don’t know anyone? Omg.

For the first time, I really doubted the whole walk-by-faith operation and thought I had just been naiive and stupid. I would probably have called SCAN on the spot if I’d had a phone and begged for my job back, but since I didn’t (thank goodness) I put aside every rational fear and prayed that God would either close the doors or change my heart. I also prayed that, if he had time, he could find some help for my leg, because it just wouldn’t stop swelling.

And then we arrived in San Marcos.

Well, let me back up.
First, we stopped at a Mennonite store and found an ace bandage and REAL Ibuprofen—thank GOD.   We had stopped at little corner stores in San Ignacio last night and couldn’t find anything.   But today, on fantastic day 6, we found the equivalent of a Lowe’s and picked up an ace bandage, Ibuprofen, some extra bug spray and a generator for David’s school.

When we arrived, David opened the gate, and two little kids sprinkled flower petals on the gravel drive leading up to the school.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If that wasn’t cute enough, a group of, like, 4th graders presented a play they had written that didn’t make any sense at all, and a group of younger kids sang “be my friend today” to the tune of cum-bay-ah. But when they said “Oh, Lord” it sounded like, “Oh, Laard” and THAT became the one liner for the rest of the trip. Also, “Ohhh my Laaaard!” which is what David said when he received the generator.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We passed out school supplies, presented the school with soccer nets and soccer uniforms and played games. The kids presented each of us, one by one, with a colorful little Belizean wallet and the Belizean flag. They sang more songs, and we did our drum presentation.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

When everyone was done presenting everything, a group of parents cooked everyone lunch in this cute little kitchen built by CFI a few years ago. Each day, different parents take turn cooking lunch for the kids. We had bbq chicken, mashed potatoes, tortillas, coleslaw (are you sensing a pattern?) and garnaches.  I am telling you, garnaches are amazing. They are crispy-fried tortillas with beans, cabbage, and special Belizean cheese on top. We also had homemade chocolate, molasses and peanut butter cookies from the Mennonites.

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After lunch we went on home visits in San Marcos in the pouring down rain, and I think we were all touched as we walked along, almost single file, down the dirt-gravel road to John and Leonardo’s house to provides supplies for families the principals had identified as needing exra resources.

We prayed with the families and handed over the supplies, said goodbye to David, and loaded up the van for Duck Run II. Before we left, though, I talked to David about coming back to his school, and he looked at me like he sort of didn’t believe me. He asked if I would be willing to teach the Health & Life skills from the B&GC (conflict resolution, drug/alcohol prevention, HIV/AIDS education), because they didn’t have anything like that there.I really couldn’t think of anything I’d want to do more.  It was the change in my heart I’d been desperate for and a wide open door.

Duck Run II was all singing, drums, and school supplies. We met Jorge, the principal, teachers, and even a volunteer teacher’s aid from Canada staying in the village with a family. She gave me all her contact information. Jorge would later change schools and show up at a teaching workshop I would host 3 years later on racongizing and counseling kids affected by trauma during Grad school while living in Belize.

On the way home, to our surprise, we stopped at a Mennonite dairy farm and had real ice cream! The beauty of life here lies in the simple joy of things like ice cream and coke in the bottle.

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Dinner was beef and potatoes, bread, and cran-lime juice.

We pulled our chairs into a circle and did a one-word check-in and devotions right after.Ashley and I spent the rest of then night playing the videos of the kids saying “Oh, Lard!” over and over and over until we fell asleep.

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