Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Art of Being Flexible

Hello from Belize!

I'm Monali and I'm a junior and traveling to Belize with the Justice Administration program and the ever so vibrant Dr. Foster. Well today was interesting day, I loved my time in the dental clinic this morning. I assisted a Dental Student and helped with a few extractions. As an aspiring dentist I was so appreciate of Drew and all of the explaining he was doing during the entire process. I find myself meeting new people every day and I'm sure by the end of tonight I can list something off about everyone on this trip. Honestly, the different people on this trip are keeping things interesting and making the heat (a steady 90° in khakis and polos) bearable.

After the usual lunch of peanut butter & jelly (and corn flakes) sandwiches, a group of us headed back to Maya Mopan to help with teacher training. As Dean Mardis says, we need to be flexible and if our experience this afternoon wasn't the finest showing of flexibility then I don't know what is. As the teachers in the afternoon were going through teacher training, six of us were in charge of entertaining and keeping track of 70 young students in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders from 4 to 7 years old. Lucky for us we got the shift during the prime heat and right after their lunch break. We arrived around 1pm and when 2:30pm rolled around, we were Oh so ready to get back in the big white van. The children were rampant, with their teachers gone and occupied with their training, we were not prepared for the onslaught of 70 energetic, inquisitive, and rambunctious primary school kids. We read to them, colored with them, (tried to) make sure that they didn't leave the school yard, and Katie and I even made up a ball game for them to play. We quickly ran out of paper, pencils, balls, patience, and our ability to keep these kids under control. We played outside in the blistering heat for what felt like hours and everyone ended up covered in sweat. What was supposed to be us teaching in classrooms quickly turned into a very inexperienced babysitting cohort, again staying very flexible. We soon after jumped in the van, headed back on the bumpy road, waved by to the clinic and were thankfully back on our way to the hotel to take showers and relax...until tomorrow. While I hope the teachers learned a lot during the training, I'm in awe of how much they have to deal with and the ability they have to keep these excited children focused and learning. The respect I have for those teachers is incredible and even if we offered them a bit of respite I'm glad we could provide the that for them! I'm looking forward to rest of the trip and I'm so happy to be where I am experiencing what I'm experiencing with the people I'm experiencing all of this with.

Go Cards!

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