After several forms of the transportation, we have all arrived safely in Miami. We currently are getting dinner and waiting for the flight home. Can't wait to see all of you!
AA4658 Departs MIA 9:33 PM
Arrives BNA 10:59 PM
We started off the day by going on a morning mangrove snorkel. We saw many upside-down jellyfish, sponges, mangrove roots, and a sea star!
Then, we went to the Man-O-War bird sanctuary. There were many birds there.
Then, we snorkeled around the barrier reef. It was very colorful! We saw two lionfish.
Then we had lunch at South Water Caye.
From there, we went on a tour at the Smithsonian Field Station on Carrie Bow Caye. It was so cool to see all the labs and the library. The view from the top porch was incredible! We also learned that National Geographic was shooting a documentary about crabs there.
Then, we went on one more snorkel. We saw two barracudas and a bunch of stingrays. Kate and Mr. Wallace claimed that they saw a nurse shark as well! We ended the day by packing and free time on the island!
-Nhi-Ha and Lanie
What an eighth day in Belize!
We began our day with a goodbye to the Tropical Education Center. Our bags full to bursting with newly acquired things, we loaded up the bus for the upcoming drive. Near the end of the drive, we stopped at Marie Sharp’s hot sauce factory and loaded any extra room we had with hot sauce. Our tongues still burning, we arrived in Dangriga and boarded the boat to Tobacco Caye.
Arriving in Tobbaco Caye, we were stunned by the beauty of the small island. Our first greeter was a huge, navy sting ray that we immediately fell in love with. After getting off the boat, we were given time to unpack and explore the island. We noticed lots and lots of conch shells, and later learned that they protected the island from erosion.
We also fell in love with the dogs here. Delila, the German Shepard and the puppies were among the favorites. There was a local lady who was selling beautiful jewelry that she made from the majestic shells on the beach. All of the girls in the group lined up to buy a piece of her fine work.
We were also surprised about how nice the locals were, always waving and saying “hi” to us.
After a quick orientation and tour of the island, we got our first real look at how much marine life there really is. We had a snorkeling lesson, where we learned the skills needed to safely snorkel, and then we jumped in the water.
We then had some free time and played a big round of volleyball.
After that, we are all anticipating the night snorkel ahead, but unfortunately, we will not be able to take pictures due to the lack of fight. While it might be scary for some, none of us can wait to see the amazing nocturnal animals.
-Katherine and Macey
On our last day at St. Matthew's, we met with Principal Ms. Moree, shared leadership stories, and did our nightly ANCHOR reflection of the day! Our internet access is limited- but stay tuned for more to come soon!!
What a fun day seven in Belize!
We started the day off with a quick breakfast and we headed right over to St. Matthew’s Government School. We had a great day with all the kids even though it was heartbreaking to leave.
We jump roped, played games, and painted with all of our same grade level friends! We will surely miss it!
You can see the transformation and the difference it makes for these kids! We LOVED all of our opportunities at the school and the ability to make this school look a little bit better.
Mr. Wallace showed off his magic skills with the younger children by pulling pennies out of their ears.
The kids sure loved all the hugs we gave them! Even though the goodbyes were sad, we loved getting the opportunity to know them and we hope they continue to learn and grow.
Here is Adelaide and Adelaide getting to know each other better!
Then, we sadly departed from St. Matthew’s and went on our way. We went to this lunch diner place and shared our leadership stories with our friends and shared sad times in our life and how we could grow from those moments. It was so moving!
******Tomorrow we will be departing for Tobacco Caye and we may not have internet access, so don’t be worried or surprised if the blog is not posted.
-Anna and Sam
Day 6 was unBELIZEable!
Today was our third day at St. Mathew’s Government School. All the kids were thrilled to see us, but sad to find out that we would be leaving them in 2 days. We made lots of progress on the wall and are very proud of our accomplishment!
It was then time for recess. All of the kids came running out of the classrooms and wanted a turn on the jump rope. It was cool to see how a basic game for us could turn into an endless day of fun for them!
When we finally got back to painting it got a little messy…
Our friend Jared who waits for us to arrive every morning was sad that we had to go, so he quickly decided that it was time for… selfies!
Sadly we had to leave the school right after lunch to go cave-tubing and all of the kids gave us big hugs goodbye.
When we got to the cave tubing outfitter, we quickly changed into our bathing suits, and put on our gear for the water. We had a 30-minute hike and then finally got to the cave entrance. After the long hike we all jumped into the water for a quick swim before we got in the tubes.
Inside the cave we all turned off our lights to see truly how dark caves can get. When we turned back on our lights we could see all of the wondrous creations that the water had made in the cave. We heard a lot of cool facts such as the bats make holes in the ceiling of the cave.
The day was about to end until we found out that we were going to the ART BOX!! The Art Box was a store that has tons of cool gifts and souvenirs. We finally got a chance to spend all of our money and the best part was we got ice cream!
The last Tuesday in Belize for the Ensworth School was a blast. It ended on a great note when we got to watch the amazing documentary of Carlos’s trip around the world!
-Adelaide and Maeve
Leaders of the Day
What a fifth day in Belize!
Today, we made our second trip to St. Matthew’s Government School. We were all excited to see our friends from St. Matthews again and build leadership skills. Once we arrived, we participated in their Monday morning session. We sang the national anthem for the entire school. We enjoyed seeing how they normally start their week. After the ceremony, we got straight to work, continuing to paint the top portion of the wall as we bonded with our friends.
Later, when the students were on break, we had a fun time playing with the smaller children. We jumped rope, played volleyball, played soccer, and talked to different students.
After a good lunch, we had some time to build leadership skills with our new friends. We were given five challenges. First, we threw a ball around to help us practice names. Next, we divided into two teams and a tarp was put between us. When the tarp was lifted, you had to quickly name the person on the other side. Third, we had to work together to find a hidden path through the tarp. Our next challenge was to navigate blindfolded through a “mine field.” The last, and hardest challenge was trying to get everybody in and out of the jump rope without it stopping.
We said our goodbyes for the day and headed to the Tropical Education Center for downtime, a learning session, dinner, and our closing session to wrap up the day (“ANCHOR”).
We ate breakfast and headed to St. Herman’s Cave on the bus. We arrived and started our hike to the cave.
We hiked down into the cave and learned about the Mayan afterlife while we were at the bottom of the cave. It was cool in the cave (literally), and it was refreshing to be in.
After the hike in the cave, we traveled a bit farther down the trail until we found a termite’s nest. Some people decided to try one to three of the termites and they said that it tasted like carrots and cardboard.
After our snack, we headed back to the bus and stopped at the visitor center on the way. We drove 5 minutes to the Blue Hole. We got there and ate lunch at a picnic rest. We had quesadillas for lunch.
We played in the water for about two hours. It was so refreshing to be in the water after being in the heat and humidity. Some of us decided to see how many times we could pass the beach ball. We got 540 times!
Some of us tried to catch fish by poking holes in the bags and using extra tortillas to lure the fish to us.
Then we went back to TEC for downtime and journaling.
After our learning session, we had dinner. Then we went on a night tour of the Belize Zoo. We got to hold a snake and saw many animals throughout the tour that were found in Belize.
We started off our day with a scavenger hunt on the way to Xunantunich. Things we had to find included a pink house, palm leaf roof, road-side fruit stand, etc. One of the hardest things on the list was to find burning trash. Because everyone was saying it so much, Mr. Wallace made the rule “you can’t say it unless you see it.” If you say it, you can’t talk for two minutes. Our winners were Emma and Katherine!
After a long drive we finally arrived to the Xunantunich. Eduardo was our guide for the tour. We learned a lot about Xunantunich. We saw where the ruler and his family lived and we climbed up to the top. The palace is the second tallest Mayan ruin in the world. At one point while the tour guide was talking, howler monkeys were howling really loud so that we couldn’t really hear him. Later Carlos told us that the howler monkey sound was what they used for the T-Rex in Jurassic Park! They howl when another family comes and tries to claim their territory.
After the tour, we had lunch at a local restaurant, Benny’s. We finished the day with some chocolate milkshakes.
Day three was great!
-Kate and Toby