Goodbyes & The OC

Previously on the Brooke-C (my own real life version of the OC):

  • San Marcos school threw a good-bye party.
  • I received 26 key chains, 2 t-shirts, 4 snow globes and a porcelain dolphin.
  • We ate huge, overflowing plates of coconut rice & beans, chicken, tortillas and coleslaw- the staple Belizean meal.
  • We played volleyball all afternoon, teachers & parents vs. students
  • It was perfect
The dish-washing/kitchen cleaning committee:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

(She ran out of chips, plus she couldn’t play with the 409)

Photobucket

The serving committee

Photobucket

The eating committee

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

“So, how do you feel about our government’s export of local wheat for ethanol production in the States?”

“Well, personally I think its a misappropriation of our local resources and puts us at a disadvantage.”

The surprise good-bye assembly

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

My entire heart was in this school. It was a hard good-bye, though the porcelain dolphin and alligator snow globe made things easier.

In the meantime, after only one episode on a random Thursday last week, I came home to find the entire family addicted to The OC.

Photobucket

Photobucket

When I went to sleep, Inez was watching. When I woke up, she was watching, when I left for school, she was watching. Then one day, Ricardo started watching, and then Bryon and Richard. I became sort of concerned when I walked into the kitchen one night to find the whole family, plus Mr. & Mrs. Cabb, deeply engrossed in whether or not Ryan and Marissa would end up together. I tried to pull the plug. There was a mild panic when the electricity went out for a few hours and Season 2 disc 6 was stuck in the DVD player…

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I love this family.

Brooke vs. Kriol

Today the standard 6 students had an exam in San Ignacio, so I was in charge of the Standard 4 & 5 classes—and after my 40 minute lesson, I had nothing to teach them.So, they gave me Kriol exercises with the Kriol-Inglish Dikshineri, instead.

Photobucket

I copied some words and created a quiz for your reading pleasure.

1.Does “backarop” mean

  1. to sing a rap about having one’s back
  2. to hit on one’s back
  3. to go in reverse
  4. a bag you wear on your shoulders

Context:Ah wahn backarop di kaa, soh moov owt a di way.

2.Does “memba” mean

  1. participant
  2. a large cat in the puma family
  3. a type of dance
  4. to remember

Context:Yoo neva memba yu oan bertday?

3.Does “nyoo” mean

  1. new
  2. me and you
  3. yoo-hoo!
  4. 12 noon

Context:We ga wahn nyoo Faada da fi wee choch

4.Does “prosikyoot” mean

  1. sort of cute
  2. prosecute
  3. prostitute
  4. still a youth

Context:Polees di tek lang fi prosikyoot di teef.

5.Does “bizniz” mean

  1. show business
  2. cheese whiz
  3. big nose
  4. personal life

Context: Stap poak yo noaz eena mi bizniz.


Bonus Round

Does “pis-a-bea” mean

  1. bed-wetter
  2. bee killer
  3. little green nut
  4. type of flower

Context:Mei lee gyal ten an ih da reel pis-a-bea.


When the Kriol lessons were over, I showed the kids some card tricks and then taught them how to play Kemps so we could have a Kemps tournament, which went well and was very educational, I think.With an hour left until lunch, even after the tournament, we had no choice but to resort to hangman.

Photobucket

Me studying my Kriol, while they play hangman

Photobucket

Photobucket

This is random, yes, but every day I stare out the window at this tree shaped like a duck, and I just wanted to share

Photobucket

After lunch, it was volleyball until 3 (their big volleyball tournament is Thursday), and I am proud to say I took one for the team.This time it was teachers vs. students, and I did not have to play on the boys team.Although, now that I think about it, all the teachers were boys…

Photobucket

Photobucket

Cheering squad

Photobucket

My “one for the team”

Photobucket

Tomorrow is my last day at San Marcos school, so we’re having a party.
Classes break on Thursday for a 2 week Easter Break.

It’s the beginning of the end for me here…


ANSWERS

1.C
I am going to put the car in reverse, so get out of the way.

2.D
You don’t remember your own birthday?

3.A
We have a new priest at church.

4.B
The police are taking a long time to prosecute the thief.

5.D
Stop poking your nose into my personal life.

Bonus:A
My little girl is ten years old, and she’s a real bed-wetter.

My new career as a Dental Assistant

Well, actually, it only lasted a day so I guess its not really a career. And, all right, I was more like an assistant to the dental assistant, but still.

This week I have been doing programming with the Standard 6 class:

Photobucket

But I took a break today to expand my vocational skills when a dental team from Alabama came to examine the kids. My job was to go through the attendance roster and bring the kids two at a time from the classroom to the kitchen, our makeshift dental office (minus the soft rock).

This job, which lasted all day, gave me the great fortune of being able to take before and after pictures of the kids.

Here are my favorite before pictures (some have never been to the dentist before):

Photobucket Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

And the proud after shots:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket Photobucket

The scary waiting cooler:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket Photobucket

David (principal) in the hot seat:

Photobucket

Photobucket

David after his “appointment”

Photobucket

David trying to tell me its my turn:

Photobucket

The dental team (minus the actual dentist, who will restore the teeth tomorrow at a different location that has electricity)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Week Seven

I know 6 days is, like, a year in Brooke blog time, but its been a busy week.Also, my “chesty cough” turned into bronchitis thanks to dry season and dusty roads.I never used to understand why all the kids walked around with little rags until I got sick of hacking up a lung every day to and from San Marcos and got the bright idea to hold a washcloth over my mouth whenever I saw a dust cloud on the road.The next morning at school, when I showed up with my own rag in hand, it all came together for me.

I’ll give a quick run down of the rest of the week (and by quick, I mean long)

Monday

We did normal programming in the morning for the Standard 2-6 classes, but in the afternoon, Nelly (David’s wife) was sick, so I taught the Infant and Standard 1 classes. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of Monday- and yes, my shorts are totally hiked.

Photobucket

Tuesday

Mexico!Antonia needed to go to Chetumal to buy decorations for Confirmation, which is this Monday (its cheaper to buy from Mexico or Guatemala).We got up at TWO-THIRTY in the morning to catch the 4am bus from San Ignacio to Belize City to Chetumal—a SIX hour trip, arrived in Chetumal at about 10, then caught the 3pm bus back to Belize City. We got back to San Ignacio at about 9:30.It was a long day, but really fun.Antonia managed to cross and re-cross the border with an old passport, crossed back into Belize with 6 bags of decorations and talked her way out of the tax.I paid $37.50 plus $40 in transportation and bought nothing.

Before we left, I met two Americans from Portland at the 4am bus stop in San Ignacio. They were also headed to Chetumal to backpack their way through Mexico.They were the first Americans I’d seen since January 4th and I almost jumped into their arms when they left. I told them they might make the blog.

Antonia at 3am waiting for the bus

Photobucket

Portlanders and me

Photobucket

Best moment of the day: hitting sunrise and sunset with the Caribbean out my window and Michael Jackson’s Number one Hits on the ipod.It was really great to be able to see the northern part of the country—Orange Walk and Corozol Town.

Wednesday

Prepared for San Marcos’s annual soccer tournament.The boys and teachers went into the bush to gather sticks and palm leaves to make the goals and shelters.I taught the girls and the Standard 2 & 3 classes (an by taught, I mean we played hangman and jacks all day).

Making the shelter

Photobucket

Photobucket

Lining the field

Photobucket

Washing dishes- well, they’re washing. I’m like, what is this so-called “cooking utensil” ?

Photobucket

Teaching (before I knew they had the camera)

Photobucket

After I realized they had the camera

Photobucket

After they’d had enough “teaching” from me

Photobucket

Wednesday night, we had a total Lunar eclipse, and I stood on the porch singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” to Inez and Bryon.

Photobucket

Thursday

Soccer tournament!10 boys teams and 9 girls teams came.They played from 8:30 in the morning until about 6:30 in the evening.The winners were Duck Run 2 and La Gracia.My job was tournamenteer (I made that up—it means to create and fill in the brackets throughout the day…)

Behind the scenes- taco prep

Photobucket

Photobucket

Your favorite tournamenteer and mine

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

The sequence of finding out I had blue streaks all over my face after the marker burst

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Santa Familila team

Photobucket

And victory dance after first round

Photobucket

Santa Familia teachers (they tried to get me to switch sides)

Photobucket

Duck Run II cheering squad (check out the kid in blue tights)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Coach David

Photobucket

Cute Infant 2 student with her aforementioned rag

Photobucket

Nelly (David’s wife) and Imanuel (David & Antonia’s brother)

Photobucket

Rousing game of Jacks

Photobucket

Winning teams and trophies

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Sunset (after an hour of picking up trash…)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Friday

Half day, spent mostly in church going through the Stations of the Cross.Its really interesting and meaningful for me to go through the Lenten period with everyone here.And it helps to be doing it with kids, since I am learning and things are slow and simplified to teach them.The rest of the morning, I did Math with the Standard 1 class.

Whew! I think I’m caught up. I’ll try to stay in touch this week. Don’t forget about me, please?

Week six, I heart you

Week 6

I can’t believe I’ve been here for 6 weeks!

And I can’t believe I forgot to tell you that we had a tremor this week. I think it was Monday or Tuesday morning. I got up because i felt my bed shaking, and (funny line of logic here, beware) I thought someone was ironing outside my room, that the ironing board was bumping the wall, and the wall was shaking the table, and the table was shaking my bed. But when I looked, no one was ironing, and the ironing table was about 3 feet from the wall…

Later I learned it was a tremor. That made more sense than an animated ironing board, but, you know, I was sleeeeeeping.

Here are some pics of classes this week.Every morning the kids line up and sing the Belize National anthem while raising the Belize flag.Then they do morning prayers together and begin class.I can almost sing the anthem myself…

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I have know idea what’s going on here, but obviously it was VERY funny…

Photobucket

On Valentine’s Day, I went with the Standard 6 students to a science bee in Los Tambos.San Marcos school won second place, out of about 8 schools.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Think if this is what it looked like outside your classroom window

Photobucket

The bus

Photobucket

In the afternoon, we did an art lesson in each class and made Valentine’s Day cards.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

My two valentines

Photobucket

On Friday night, Santa Familia school had a Valentines Day Festival. Lots of food, games and dancing…

The girls

Photobucket

The boys

Photobucket

Photobucket

The teachers

Photobucket

And these jokers

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

My Santa Familia Valentines

Photobucket

Oh, and PS: My phone card didn’t work. I guess on double minute days, everyone tries to call and the network gets jammed :( So much for my $20 worth of happy phone time.

Bryan Buffington Wilson

Bryan Buffington Wilson

That’s right. I said Buffington.

He’s the type of brother to walk into your gymnastics class and do a standing back tuck, when you’ve been practicing for over a year—he was just there with your dad to pick you up.

Photobucket

Today is his birthday.Happy birthday Bryan!

Update: I am teaching two classes in the morning and doing an art activity with the Infant classes in the afternoons at the San Marcos school. Here are my new classes:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Classes on Tuesday afternoon were canceled to clear a soccer field.It was only supposed to be the standard 4, 5 & 6 classes, but the smoke was so bad everyone had to go outside. I got a kick out of the infant classes- they just pulled up their plastic chairs and watched, like it was a soccer game or something:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I did not get a kick out of the tarantula…

Photobucket

Tomorrow election day in Belize, so all schools are closed tomorrow and Friday. That means 2 days off, yahoo!

Miss you!
Love you!
Tell my brother happy birthday if you know him…

One Month Party!

I am in love with Marcos.

San Marcos, that is. The school. (Despite the doctor’s best efforts to get me to come “rest” in his hammock after I’d been in the hospital all day; despite Antonia’s cousin offering to give me a “special tour” of the Pine Ridge– I am in love with a school, not a Belizean.)

I love the drive to San Marcos in the morning, I love the three classes of students making up 8 grades- Infant 1 through Standard 6, I love the Mennonite ice cream. Its what I envisioned when I imagined myself in Belize…

But alas. On Friday Santa Familia school threw me a one month party to say goodbye, pinata and all! The picture sequence is below:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Each class also read poems, made signs and did skits to show me what they learned. Here are some favorite signs, as they appear:

  • Thanks miss Bruck for coming in our class and teach us a bout drung effect.
  • Thanks Miss Brooke for your precious time that you offered us
  • Thanks you brook for the things you teach us about drougs and the things you give us.
  • Thanks you Brooke for being here with us and showing your love and affection to us. Have a safe trip.
  • For my friend Brooke. Thank you for coming and teach us good lesson about druges. I hope you come again. It was a plesur to have you her. good biy.
  • Miss bruck, happy birthday.
  • Thank you Brooke for everything. I learn many things about drugs effect. The picture that you showed me were very interesting.
  • Thank you brooke for teaching us about good things that we did no.
  • Thanks you miss brooke for being good with us. I will never forget you. Thanks you for teaching us a good lesson.
  • Thanks you Brooke becuawse you came to teach us in our classe and thanks you for telling us about smoking and good biy friend.
  • Thank Miss Brooke. For teaching us and helping us. Thank you for the thing. And God will tak cyar of you. Thanks Miss Brooke.

Here are some pics of the party:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

And the gifts

Photobucket

Inez running to get the laundry before the rain (I just thought it was funny)

Photobucket

And the rainbow after the storm

Photobucket

Some pics of my day at the caves with Ms. Elda (the Standard IV teacher) and her family:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

And the zoo.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Sorry for the sloppiness and disorganization. I have limited internet access and I’m borrowing David’s computer. I am receiving all your emails and they are most encouraging even if I can’t respond– please don’t stop! I am feeling much better, and finished my last round of meds yesterday. Love and Miss you!!