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Shhhh – Be very quiet….

July 24, 2016

What am I passionate about? As teachers we reflect on this question often, and we facilitate learning opportunities that will allow our students to start to explore and discover their own passions.

On Friday, our group had the privilege of visiting the Belize Zoo and meeting the founder, Sharon Matola. It took no time at all for us to be inspired by Sharon’s passion for animals. We had read “Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw” in preparation for the trip. We were so privileged to walk through the zoo with Sharon and her assistant Jamal, and to learn more about the animals at the zoo. From jaguars to toucans to scarlet macaws and spider monkeys, we were mesmerized. We had many many special experiences, including getting to pet Happy the barn owl, and meet Rose the crocodile. If you would like to learn more about Sharon Matola and the Belize Zoo we’d recommend “The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw by Bruce Barcott, available at various booksellers or at the zoo’s website: http://www.belizezoo.org.

We left the zoo with full hearts and enlivened minds on our way to the Blue Hole, a beautiful natural swimming hole off the side of the road. Our quick dip in the water was made even more refreshing by a downpour that occurred shortly after jumped in the water. We were already wet so we laughed as we raced for the bus.

Then, we were officially on our way to the elusive Jaguar Preserve. By this time we were all used to the long, rough roads, but there was something different about this drive – a quietness and a sense of wonder permeating the bus. Once we made it to our site and carried our packs to our cabins, it was time for our long-awaited night hike. What would we see? Hear? Feel?

After the initial moments of nervous chatter on the trail, we were able to take the guidance of our leaders and “lean into the experience.” Then, we heard our beloved guide’s gentle, “Shhh…here they are!” We heard sound that was foreign to most of our ears . . . the call of the red-eyed tree frog! We listened intently, found thousands of eggs and even caught a few to examine more closely. To finish out the night we turned off our flashlights and listened as the calls of the frogs became synchronous. Before turning our lights back on, we talked for a few minutes about the experience. Our eyes had become accustomed to the dark night, and we discovered that the forest floor was covered with leaves covered with a bioluminescent fungus. It was as if the stars of the night had spilled across the floor.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Aura Sampson permalink
    July 25, 2016 1:22 pm

    Hi Amy I miss you and when you were playing ball you looked silly. It looked like you were doing a dance. Miss you Love Aura!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Joke for you-How many people are dead in the nearest graveyard?!!!!

    • lizbaird permalink
      July 25, 2016 8:04 pm

      Hi Aura, it’s Amy! My leader Liz just read
      your joke to the entire group of teachers before we ate dinner, and we think the answer is ALL of them! I can’t wait to show you all the fish we saw swimming on the coral reef. Here is a joke for you from Liz – “What did the cannibal say when he was eating the clown?” That tastes FUNNY! About to go night snorkeling. Miss and love you!

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