Monday, July 30, 2012

Long Time Coming.

Well, I've been home for 5 days now and I have yet to blog about my amazing trip to Belize. I sincerely apologize for the wait. But without further adieu here is my "Farewell to Belize" post.
*Deep Breath*
Two words. UH Mazing. This summer was by far the most incredible summer I have had. And its thanks to so many of you that I was able to experience all the things I did. I learned so much about myself this summer its crazy. (Or in the new words of my family, "Cray, cray"). I met some of the most amazing people this summer. Some were people who lived in Belize and some were the people that came down with me. I made some great friends that I'm sure I will keep for the rest of my life. I met some people and children in Belize that I will forever remember. Those kids at the orphanage and Faith Nazarene School will always hold a special place in my heart. It was so surreal to walk away from them for the last time and realize that most likely I will never see them again, ever. Just sitting here and thinking about it is making me teary eyed. I'm so glad I took lots of video of them so I can listen to their voices whenever I want. Its just so sad to think that they might forget about me in the next month. I will just be another volunteer that came to their school. When to me, they are that special little boy/girl that made a humungous difference in my life. I'm proud to say I know most of them by name. Granted, I'll probably forget some of their names in the next month as well, but I learned so much from them. They taught me how to love unconditionally. They taught me that worldly things don't make a happy person. They taught me the importance of accepting everyone for who they are. They taught me to not be so quick to judge. The members of the Santa Elena Branch taught me the importance of having a real relationship with my Heavenly Father. Their testimonies are so... raw, for the lack of a better word, down there. Every prayer is different, every testimony sincerely said. Prayers and testimonies are great here in the states too, but its just...different there.
Completed Projects:
*Sacred Heart College Garden
*Benefit Dinner for Mary Open Doors (home for battered women)
*Two week computer course
*Month long reading camp at the Faith Nazarene School
*Sports Camp at an Kings Orphanage
*Visiting Marla's (home for girls)
*Painting and Ramps at near by school
*Repainting of windows at a near by school
*Peace Camp at George Price Center
*Octavia Weight (home for elderly people most with disabilities)
We did a lot this summer and I can't even tell you how blessed I am to have participated in these projects. The people there make it all worth it.
Weekend Trips:
*Xunantunich (Mayan ruins)
*Caye Caulker
*ATM Cave Spelunking
I saw a lot of cool places and things this summer as well. I had to take advantage of my surroundings while I was down there. Tikal and ATM Caves were definitely the two favorite.

Since being home I have realized how extremely blessed I am. Its crazy to come home and have cold water come out of the fridge to drink. To have warm water come out of the shower. To not be constantly sweating because we have AC. To not have to manually fill the washer with water to clean my clothes. To have a dryer instead of hang drying my clothes. To have a real bed to sleep in. To have internet access at all times. To have carpet and tile and wood flooring that isn't covered in dirt. And so on and so forth. We are so incredibly blessed here in the states.

I am so happy to be home and in the presence of my friends and family. Belize, just like I said before, was such an amazing experience. I think I matured a lot from it and learned lessons that I will use for the rest of my life. And hey, I even lost a couple pounds! Woot woot! Now for my favorite part, PICTURES. 
Moses and I. Miss this little boy so much.

Jasmyn and I at the orphanage

Jasmyn teaching at the reading camp

The boys doing their health lesson

Jez and her class. Beautiful scenery, right?

Saying bye to Jasmyn at the aiport!

Mark, the owner of Flayvas. We went to Flayvas a lot to get internet

Kasey. I taught her class at the Naz school and then found her at church!

Some of us on some of our last sunday.

Girlies. We're crazy! 

Kasey, Andi, and I

We lived in San Igancio and thought this was a funny sign.

Painting windows! 

Miran and Jeff

Moses and I again

Miran, Moses, and I. Looks like we're a family. ahaha

Jeff, Moses, and I

Jeff and I with Moses and Leilani

Isn't he just the cutest thing you've ever seen?

My turn to say goodbye! My country directors, Amanda and Hilary

Mine and Taylors last picture in Belize.

This is Kelsey. He wanted my shoes so I left them for him. Take good care of them, Kels!
Sorry for the long post and the mass amount of pictures. It was a blast! And you better Belize I loved every second. Goodbye Belize. I'll sure miss you. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Computer Classes DONE.

This week was the second and last week of computer classes. It went really well! I don't have a lot of time to talk though so if you really care you'll just have to talk to me about it when I get home in 12 days! Also, ziplining was a complete blast! Loved it! 

New favorite snack. Fried plantains. Mmm.  
Me and some of the girls in the computer class. 


Friday, July 6, 2012

I Can't Come Up With A Clever Title.

Holy cow this week flew by! Everyday I had to travel an hour to Belmopan to teach computer classes. Taylor came with me everyday and Jeff and Hilary switched off. Computer classes went fairly well. Its just hard to teach a class of 25 kids all at different levels. Some of them are putting borders on their Word Docs while others don't even know how to control the mouse. We split the classes into age groups but there are still problems with some kids being more advanced. Also, its hard to teach kids how to type when the internet only works when it wants to and you're trying to use a free typing game online. One day we just had to stand at the front of the room and say letters for them to type…effective, right? Not really. Another problem was that not all of them had the same version of Microsoft Word so when I say, "Go to file --> new" some of them don't even have the file button. I feel like I'm prepared but something still seems to go wrong everyday. Even still, I enjoy it. I really do. The kids are great. One of the girls was like, "Miss Ali! I can type "sad" without looking at the keys!" She then proceeded to show me and it was the cutest thing. Its moments like those that make it all worth it. Since its hard to get all the kids on the same page we decided to make next weeks classes a little longer so we can get more done. Hopefully that goes well! 
Each day after computer classes we have been going to an orphanage and playing sports with the kids. The orphanage is a mad house. No organization AT ALL. Its so sad to see all those kids live in conditions like that. All the kids smell. BAD. Even the little ones that shouldn't have B.O. yet. We're doing sports camps with them, but a new kid just got here, Jason, and he wants to do a health clinic at the orphanage. I sure hope he follows through with that one and teaches these kids the importance of cleanliness. I thoroughly enjoy playing with the kids despite the smells. They are so dang cute. I'm not sure why, but I'm drawn to the teenage boys. My heart just hurts for them. Its weird, I know. But I just want to sit them down and tell them that this isn't all that life has to offer. And I just want to make sure that they don't get into drugs and alcohol and stuff like that. The two kids in the fourth picture with me are my absolute favorite. Ashton (red) and Kelsey (gray). Someone please adopt them?! 
Well, thats all for now! We're going ziplining in the morning so I'll let ya know how that goes! As Kip (from Napoleon Dynamite) would say, Peace out. 
Jeff with Deon and Jason

Playing soccer! 

Ashton and Kelsey. My favorite!


Jeff and Deon

Me and Jason and James 
Computer classes!