Wednesday- We spent the entire day at the river with our basketball friend Raul and his friends. We went down rapids, soaked up the sun, and just relaxed. It was a fantastic holiday! Raul took us to his mom's restaurant, the only restaurant in the village, to eat lunch. I had some nice rice and beans. When something tastes really good here, people say, "That tastes nice!" where we say, "That is really good!" I think I'm finally catching on to this Belizian slang. Perfect timing since we leave in less than a week. That night we bought some ganaches and palentas and had a picnic. You can check out the pictures on Facebook. Raul also gave me a tutorial on how to properly cut a coconut. I even used a huge machete! However, once I came within an inch of slicing my thumb off, he took the lead and finished it for me. Fresh coconut is the best! We stayed in Ontarrio until late evening and then headed home on the bus.
Thursday- On Thursday, I taught my students the scripture story, "The Burning Bush." This term is a big assessment term, so I also worked on grades and assessments while my teacher was instructing. During the Language Arts block, I worked with my small group on extending their knowledge of contractions and worked on more sight word practice. I've noticed that their ability to recognize common sight words has definitely grown. This has come with repetition and practice as we have been working very hard. My students also participated in their presentations on the rights of a child and their traffic sign models. Thursday afternoon, there was an assembly/pep rally to get the students excited for the student election the next day. Thursday night Carly and I had dinner with our friends Mason and Alex at Rositas and then did a little grocery shopping.
Friday- Friday was a half day for my students and we spent the morning testing on scripture, multiplication, and telling time. In the afternoon I had the honor of being the presiding officer for the student election. The students had the opportunity to vote for another student to be the principal for a day. The students formed their own parties and their own campaign tactics. All month long the representatives for each party went around and campaigned in each of the classrooms. Some of the representatives even made t-shirts and cards. The representatives promised longer lunch and recess breaks, no homework, sports days, and more if they were voted the principal for a day. As the presiding officer, I signed each ballot in order to make it valid and made sure each student dipped their finger in stain to show that they had voted. I then got to help count the votes. The teacher volunteers here get quite the treatment at St. Andrews. Friday night I went and had dinner with some friends and then got my nails done with Diane and played with her kiddos.
Saturday- Today I slept in and then went to get brunch with Diane at La Aguada. In the afternoon I went to the annual Agriculture Expo/Fair at the capital, Belmopan. This expo was huge! There were all kinds of vendors selling their goods and products. There were tons of rides for kids as well as different farm animal. It is the biggest fair in Belize. I'm pretty sure that every single person in Belize was at this fair. It was so crowded. I was able to get a couple of gifts and souvenirs for family back home as well as a couple of things for myself. I ate the best hot dog I've ever had and just enjoyed walking around taking everything in. I ended up meeting my friend Alex there and he introduced me to some of his friends. Later, I went to go catch the bus, but had a tiny mishap. I stepped on a fire ant hill and before I knew it what felt like a hundred ants were attacking my feet and biting me. Needless to say, I made a fool of myself by running around, screaming and smacking the ants off of me. After the ant mishap, I finally boarded the bus and headed home. It was a great Saturday, but I'm exhausted. Trying to get everything in before we leave is more challenging than I thought.