Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 3 - G-L-O-R-I-A

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 @

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

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!


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

Fence stretchers

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"

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