Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 25th & 26th - Day Four and Five at St. Hilda's

Our muscles may be sore....but our hearts are full!
- Ann Deveau

Doug, Susan and Cindy finished the preparations of Mr. Armando's classroom and then completed the first coat and half of the second coat. It's antique white since they have only two lightbulbs and rely heavily on natural light for the children to see what they're reading. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew finished building table #8 and #9. As they prepared to move them out into the yard we all started to realize that the safety of the tables would be of great concern. The school is nestled in the middle of a very unsafe area named Georgeville. Without security, they were certain that the tables would "go missing" within no time. The initial "solution" was to have the senior students move the tables into the rooms at the end of every day and out each morning. We only had to move them in once to realize that this solution would not be feasible. The tables are unbelievably heavy and the children would surely be at risk of injury. Some more brainstorming continued. Possibly have concrete buckets weigh them down somehow? Chaining them together wouldn't work. In the end it was decided to only make one more table (10 instead of 12) so as to not make the issue bigger than it already was. We have hired an electrician to visit the school on Monday to install security lights in the schoolyard so that the tables can be left outside. Unfortunately, solar lights are not an option. It brought the spirit of the group down a bit during the afternoon ...but we were happy to have been given the challenge and have the opportunity to work together to figure out a solution.

Hode's Sports Bar for supper so that we could show our true colors and watch Canada vs. USA women's hockey. We proudly stood and sang the national anthem when we took gold, joined by another Canadian sitting on the patio with us.

Back to the hotel for our devotional and off to sleep.


Everyone gathered to say goodbye to Stanley as he took the bus to Punta Gorda to visit his former parish and many friends. His contribution, as a friend and spiritual leader for the week, was very much appreciated by our entire team.

Table #10 was made and the second coat of white was added to the senior classroom. Then, we added the morant blue to the front wall and of course "The Blue Door". The extra wood came in handy when we realized that the majority of the text books in the senior classroom were sitting on tables and the floor. Brad sprung into action with Bill and built a very sturdy five shelf bookcase. Mr. Armondo was thrilled to have his room painted, cleaned, organized and mopped ...but the bookcase was definitely the cherry on top. It was the first sign of joyful emotion from him all week. He stood so much taller on Friday than he had throughout the week, and we left confident that we had made a small difference in his life, and hopefully the life of his students.

Ann and Doug held a journalism class with Miss Carol's class. They would like to start a school newspaper and have a lot of creative ideas. We shared some tips and tricks with them and described the kinds of jobs they could get in the world of journalism when they grow up.

Around 2:30pm, Father Juan and his wife Maria visited with us and commended us on our accomplishments. Prayers were shared and then all the students, sitting proudly on their new tables, had an assembly. They danced for us and presented each of us with a token of appreciation. In turn, we presented them with a framed pewter ornament of Christ Church Cathedral and an NB flag for each child.

After many tearful goodbyes, we boarded our bus to Belize City. Thankfully Andrew was patient enough to wait for us since we were over an hour behind schedule. Time well spent.

We arrived to the Anglican guest house and then turned around and headed out to the Bird's Isle restaurant for dinner with Andrew. It was a lovely restaurant on the water's edge near St. John's Cathedral.

We ended our day with devotions about servant leaders and Jesus washing the disciples feet.

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