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Best Day Ever

July 27, 2014

*We have had a fabulous time in the Jaguar Preserve and have just arrived at Southwater Caye. Many posts and photos coming soon!

Cindy and Jada

Cindy interacting with a student from Monkey River.

June 26, 2014

Who knew that a small school in Belize could show us the true meaning of what it is to be an educator? Monkey River is a community that few people have heard of in a remote part of the country. It can be found along the convergence of the Monkey River and the Caribbean Sea and is the home to an amazing group of students and teachers.

girls and girls

Emily, Cindy and Kinley with girls from Monkey River who have constructed a pasta tower.

Since our initial orientation meeting, we have been preparing and planning for our time with the kids of St. Stephen’s School. Leaving from the Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary, we began our adventure to the coastal community. Through bumpy dirt roads, potholes, and citrus orchards, we made our way to meet an unknown audience in a new environment. Upon arriving, we immediately knew that this was where we were supposed to be. Smiling faces and excited squeals echoed throughout the building as we split into our groups and began our activities. The participants ranged in age from 14 months to 14 years, thus proving to be one of the greatest challenges of many of our teaching careers.

Though it was summer vacation, students came in to take part in activities like Rainforest Animal Yoga, Flying Machine Construction, Marshmallow Challenge, and Colorful Butterflies. The activities were as unique as the teachers who presented them and offered a variety of opportunities for their various talents to shine. Our afternoon at the community concluded with an incredible meal and a boat ride back to shore.

duck duck flower

The back of the flower makes the “duck.”

Once we made our way back to our jungle home, swimming in the South Stann Creek was next on our agenda. The creek runs through the middle of the preserve and gave us a much needed energy boost. Early morning showers had quickened the flow, and provided a relief from the stifling tropical heat. As we made our way back to the bank, the Duck Flower, the largest bloom in Belize, reminded us yet again just how fortunate we are to be in such an amazing paradise.

Duckflower

The Purple face of the Duck Flower

A trip to Che’il Chocolate Center and the Mayan Community delighted our senses but made us aware of the many challenges that face the indigenous population and the way of life that they are fighting to protect. The struggle to balance progress, wildlife conservation, and a traditional way of life is an issue to which we can all relate. Our conversations reminded us that we truly are all a connected global community.

As our day comes to a close the same thought that we have had at the end of every night seems to resonate in all of our minds … BEST DAY EVER!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Adrienne permalink
    July 27, 2014 5:02 pm

    Your postings brings back wonderful memories! Have a great time at Southwater Caye. Enjoy snorkeling!

  2. unah permalink
    July 27, 2014 6:02 pm

    I remember snorkeling with Nurse sharks and rays when we were in honeymoon at Belize. It was such a memorable experience!!! I am following your posts as if I am re-visiting!

  3. Kate Wernersbach permalink
    July 27, 2014 6:15 pm

    I agree with Adrienne – reading about your adventures this week have made me re-live my incredible experience in Belize! Sounds like you are having an awesome trip as well! Enjoy Southwater Caye – it is paradise. I can’t wait to hear about your snorkeling sightings. Sharks? Turtles? Lionfish? Oh my!

  4. Jaimie Rudder permalink
    July 27, 2014 7:29 pm

    Sounds like yet another amazing experience. I’m so excited for you all. I can’t wait to see the pictures!!!

  5. July 27, 2014 9:50 pm

    The NC teachers will certainly return to their classrooms rejuvenated with these experiences. So much energy and so many people receive benefits from this unique program. CONGRATULATIONS to all who making it happen.

  6. Les-Lee Efird permalink
    July 28, 2014 12:18 pm

    I ran four miles this morning all while thinking, this time last year I was on a beach in Belize. So much for a good run! Hope ya’ll are enjoying life!

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