What a day of lessons learned. From my perspective it doesn't get any better. Read on and see how BSU students adapt to the challenges they face with positive attitudes and hard work
Here we are with Principal Ovado in front of the schools mural. Principal Ovado lives in Dangriga as does most of the teachers at Bella Vista Primary. They ride a bus over an hour each way to get to and from school.
Here's a picture of the site when we arrived. We found out that 2 of the fence posts had been taken over night. Our mortar had not set up enough so the posts could easily be lifted out of the ground.
Lesson #1: Rework sets your schedule back quickly!
We were cruising but now.. we realized we had to redesign and redo all the foundations of the posts
So, we dug up all the existing post holes
then holes were drilled in the end of the posts and 1/4inch rebar run through them
Then re-set, re-plumbed, and concrete re-placed
Lesson 2: The tire playground is going to be a big hit
Lesson 3: Mixing concrete on the ground is hard, hard work
Drew was our project manager today. He is now known as the fence meister. You'll see why at the end of this blog
Take a break construction crew... I need to check on our students working in the classrooms
Caia is helping with literacy, reading Washington Elementary letters and writing return letters
Tara was back in Ms. Marin's class by popular demand.
Ms. Marin's class.
Here's a tidbit on Ms. Marin. She is the cousin of 'Super G'. Super G is a very very popular punta rock singer in Belize.
Check him out on youtube @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpCyfK4otSU&feature=related
Daryn was back in class working on her, I mean helping out with the alphabet
Drew has branched out from the alphabet and was doing some tricky math with cards
And Darren was huddling up w/ Ms. Bull's class
Ms. Bull's class
Ms. Bull's father told her she should not go to high school, that she should stay at home have children, learn to cook and clean. Yet, she wanted to teach children. At 28, with not even an 8th grade education she left home, worked, and studied for the high school entrance exam. She passed! but felt bad about being a 28 year old high schooler, so she didn't go. Instead, she studied on her own, took test after test and was granted entrance into teacher's school. Need I say more, she worked hard, never quit, and today is a great teacher touching the lives of so many children.
Lesson 4: In Belize, when it rains
and Ms. Marin's old wooden classroom leaks
Guess what's in the bucket?
Good answer... water for the concrete
and here's where we get it. A well at a house across the street from the school
What's this? a) The BSU choir, b) a line up, c) the starting line for the Bella Vista 5K d) standing out of the rain
Here's a hint
and your answer?
"No Ben, L comes before M"
We had lunch with the teachers and staff today. Nathan presented the teachers that have been working with us the nice, hand made bags you see. Nathan's mother, a teacher, had her students make these bags from recycled material. THANKS Nathan's mom!
NOW BACK TO THE PROJECT
Fence Meister planning with Drew and Darren
Putting up the fencing
Lesson 5: there are no child labor laws in Belize. Just kidding of course, lesson 5 Belizeans love to help
Lesson 6: Many hands make light work
While our whole construction team was working on the fence, I stepped over to address the PTA meeting and let them know what we were up to and thank them for sharing their children with our students this week. Look at this crowd!
The parents were even standing outside. Bella Vista parents, like parents everywhere want the best for there children and realize that education is important to their children's future.
One of the parents at the PTA was, yep you guessed it: Gloria
Gloria has watched the fence goe up and now brings her local wisdom to us
She tells us that we need to place rocks at the bottom of the fence then place concrete on it to insure people don't come around and pull it, stretch it, bend it.
Then she proceeded to gather rocks and help us
Gloria in training
Yes, we are subcontracting
Meanwhile, Kirsten and Caia start painting the tires
and Darren, well yes, he's juggling once again
Nathan putting the finishing touches on Gloria's change order
Lesson 7: Team Work is the way to work
I am proud of each student on our team. Great attitudes, hard work, always willing to help each other.
As Sara continually tells me and I echo now
"I am just happy to be here"