I got the flu. (Not the stomach flu—the coughing, fever, swine-ish flu.) I went to the doctor and discovered there is also a bacterial infection in my stomach. Perhaps a visit from my old friends Samantha and Jon? I spent a week in bed eating toast and rice and Dayquil and Nyquil and Cipro. Caye Caulker is closed, schools in Cayo and Belize City are closed and half the schools in PG are closed, because of flu. I had to go to town on Tuesday to see the doctor, and buy some meds and phone credit, ran into my supervisor for 10 minutes, and by Thursday, she had the flu. Everyone has flu. Everything is closed.
In the meantime, rainy season came! It started raining the day after Independence Day and hasn’t stopped. We welcomed the change for a few days, and then got stir crazy, and now can’t do laundry because nothing ever dries. I am still enjoying the cooler temps though…
Laundry is still the exact same.
On Monday, providing flu has passed and schools are reopened and supervisor is healed, I’ll have my first four clients. On Tuesday and Wednesday, hopefully the next 8. The majority are kids who have been through Mary Open Doors and are now in area schools trying to adjust. We’ll see them on an individual basis during the school day—once a week for the next 8 weeks, Children’s Bureau style. No one had really considered seeing the child during the school day, during art or some other enrichment hour, instead of at the end of the day. As noted from years of programming at the Boys & Girls Club, after school is a frustrating time to get kids to sit down and do some more work, even if you throw in a game and a pencil case. My supervisor got permission from the school system and principals, and we’re all excited to see how this goes. She’s anxious to learn from the ideas and resources I’ve brought, and I’m excited to learn from her expertise with families. A volunteer from Mary Open Doors will accompany us to co-facilitate the sessions and learn how to work through the manual for use within the shelter. She’ll take over facilitating halfway through, and my supervisor will continue with the school kids after I leave.
In the village schools my only task is to do a lesson with the Standard 4, 5 & 6 classes on how to write an autobiography. This is so they can enter CFI’s writing contest this fall and be awarded when the CFI comes this spring. No biggie. I thought it would be easy, and I reserved Thursdays exclusively for this purpose. But, as you might have guessed knowing Antonia and/or BZ in general, nothing of the sort has happened. The first Thursday Antonia whisked me off to take pictures of each class and of each building to send to the Ministry of Education for a report. No problem. I insisted on coming back Friday to at least award last year’s winners to generate some momentum toward the project. Somehow I ended up in Standard 3 doing a color wheel with Richard. Not only that, actual color wheels were never even created, because as an art teacher, I suck. They were pages of smeared red or blue paint. In some cases a long brown streak with a splash of yellow. I think the kids missed the point. Antonia came in, looked at me and Richard, who were covered in red paint, looked at the kids who had obviously not learned how to mix colors properly, and laughed about how she sent two perfectly capable people into teach the kids 6 colors, and we couldn’t pull it off. The following Thursday I showed up, and they sent me to build a float for the parade. The following Thursday- flu. Everyone. No autobiography.
Next Thursday: Autobiography, come hell or high water or color wheels or parades or flu.