Monday, March 15, 2010

Belize!!

Hey guys!

This is my second year here in Belize and I am loving it once again. Yesterday I had the opportunity to go snorkeling for the first time. It was definitely something I had to get used to. I am so glad I stuck with it and finally swam out with the guide. The coral and fish were beautiful. I even saw a lemon shark! The guide assured me that he wasn't going to eat me though. I really enjoyed my experience snorkeling even though I did bring back a ton of salt water in my ear.

Last night we went into Red Bank for the first time. We were able to take family pictures. It was really cool to see all of the kids again. One of the older boys from the village communicated with me through email throughout the year so it was really good to get to see him again. I swear I felt like I had a kid attached to my side the whole night. The families were so excited to get their pictures taken and I can't wait to see how they turn out when we print them tonight.

Today was the actual first day working in the village. This morning I started working in the schools as part of the Education Team. We were giving the students a health education lesson. We gave the lesson to two fourth grade classes. We started teaching them the importance of taking care of your teeth. We even took the kids outside, made the chew a tablet that showed plaque on their teeth, and then brushed their teeth. The kids were so proud when their smiles were bright and white. We also taught them about bones and eating healthy foods.

Later this afternoon I went to the Georgetown schools with communication team. We taught them a program on heart health and showed them a comparison between our lives in Louisville to theirs in Belize. We ended up giving our program to the entire school. It was definitely challenging adapting our program for kindergarters all the way up to eighth graders. The younger kids were adorable. We had some trouble getting all them to understand how to take a pulse, but they loved exercising and looking at the pictures in the workbooks we gave them. We then split our team up into two groups to cover the rest of the school. Myself and two others ended up going up to the middle schoolers. One thing I have learned is that the kids down here are the same at home. Middle schoolers are definitely middle schoolers. Many of the kids got really into the program and learned a lot though. The whole team was very pleased with the outcome of the day.

I am having a great time though. While I miss talking to my family on the phone, hanging out with my friends, and eating traditional American food, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. It is truly eye opening. I love meeting new friends and playing games with them at night. I love having children constantly waving at you and always holding your hand. I would encourage anyone who has the chance to join the ISLP program and travel to Belize.

I hope everyone is enjoying the March Madness back home. See you soon!

Stephanie Bonenberger

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