Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hi Everyone,

We have had such an amazing adventure here in Belize. It was worth every effort of fundraising. Each and every student has been an outstanding traveler. We have so many cool stories to tell, pictures to show, and new friends to fill you in about when we get back home tomorrow. Can our trip really have gone by so quickly?

After our night time snorkel, ( our 4th snorkel today ), we'll pack up to get ready for our 6:30 a.m. departure time from the island. We will be traveling first by boat, then by bus, and a stop at Monkey Bay, and finally bus to the airport, plane ride to Miami, 4-hour layover and arrive @10:30 @DTW on American Airlines. It will be a big day of travel, and we will not have to be back at Meadow until Tuesday.

See you at the airport,

Ms Pat and Mr. Scully

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tobacco Caye/ Soo Cool Man

Hi From Tobacco Caye

Unfortunately our adventures in Belize are coming to a close, but that hasn't stopped us from enjoying our day today. We had a two hour bus ride this morning from Monkey Bay to Dandriga where we boarded and boated out to a long private island called Toabacco Caye. We had to part with our friend and bus driver Juan which was a bit sad for everyone, but we met Matt and Michelle who are super too.

When we arrived on the island, we had a tour of the 5 acres that make up this island. After a great lunch, (again), we suited up and went snorkeling on the coral reef. It was fun to see sea stars, fish and other aquatic life. We participated in a survey, looking at corals and filming them under water, inspecting for both healthy and diseased or bleached corals. Then back on shore we chilled, playing volleyball, eating coconuts, and exploring the island until dinner.

Later this evening, we had a class and reviewed the effects of climate change and how it affects the corals here on this reef.
We used the video we shot and identified the corals using charts.

All and all, it's been another great day.

Kathleen and Saud

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 5 Canoe Trip on the Sibun River

Hi Everyone,

We did it! We finished the sidewalks! But we had to start attacking the huge trash pit, so there was no time to celebrate or relax. Strong, heavy winds blowing all the paper, plastic, metal, dust, and ash everywhere did tot make the job any easier Somehow we finished .... half of the trash pit.

After all of these challenges, we finally got time to relax, get cleaned, all thanks to our canoe trip. Strong currents, and tree stumps everywhere, bat caves, iguanas hanging from tree branches and crocs swimming hungrily under us ---awww just kidding again...

We had the best time with Jaun as our guide. He is amazing at spotting and telling us all about the wildlife here in Belize. We did spot lots of cool animals.

And what better way to finish the day? Well we went swimming, splashing, and having a good time together in the river at the end of our canoe trip. We got to learn the ancient game of rock skipping from the one and only Chad Hoppe. But after all the working, splashing,and games, it all had to come to an end.

Today was great day :) Tomorrow, we'll finish up our service project and say good bye to all our new St. Matthews friends.

Victor and Khadija

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 4 Our Service Project

Hi Everyone,

Since Kyle forgot to talk about the Belize Zoo, here goes. Last night, we visited the Belize Zoo. We had a special night tour so that we could see the nocturnal animals. That means we got to see the cats, big and small. Not only did we see the animals in this unique zoo, we go to pet a jaguar, feed a tapir, and hold a boa constrictor. It was amazing.

But today we woke early so that we could start the service project at St. Matthews Government School. Our goal was to make a sidewalk so that kids could stay clear of the mud in rainy season. We laid out the frame to the sidewalk, or as we called it, "the brownie pan, and soon began to work on the "brownie mix". The brownie mix was cool. We mixed truck loads of crushed rock with bags of cement and then added water. Before we started stirring it all up, it looked like a volcano. It was hard work and we made several batches of this cement mix to pour into the frame. We put in the sidewalk with our new friends and helpers Louis and Charles. We couldn't have done it without their help. Can't wait to show you the pictures.

Another group of us also picked up garbage around and on the soccer field and play yard. We picked up 14 garbage bags full of garbage with the help of some of the students.

Afterwards, we played games with the kids after school for a short spell before heading out to swim in the Sibun river which is about a mile and a half from the school.

We are having a lot of fun and are dreading the end of our wonderful stay in Belize as the trip is going much too quickly.

Bye for now,

Hayden and Delaney

Day 3 Mayans and Monkey Bay and Belize Zoo, Oh MY

Hi again,

Hard to beat yesterdays events, but today was jam packed with good things. After a night of great excitement, we left our mountain home and moved to our next destination. We went to the ancient city of Xunantunich. The buildings of the city were huge and had interesting carvings. Unfortunately these buildings have eroded over time and most of the carvings have disappeared. But we could still climb to the top of the largest building and at the top you would not believe the view. You could see mountains in Guatemala and the entire ancient city. After climbing down over more than 100 steep steps, ( yes I was counting them), we walked to a restaurant owned and run by modern day Mayans. They had prepared a special meal for us all and boy was it delicious.

After lunch we hopped back into our bus, and move on to Saint Matthews School. We met a lot of cool kids and played a game of Belize football, which turned into a great game of American football. :) We stayed to play until the school day was over and then headed on to our new home for four days, Monkey Bay Sanctuary. Yep we heard the Howler Monkey all right. They sound so strange as if you are listening to dinosaurs, it's cool.

Monkey Bay is a great place to stay at. They have all a person needs like good hot food, cold showers, and cool beds. It's heaven on earth.

Kyle Spotts

Day 2 Rolling with the waterfalls and running with the jaguars

Hi Everyone,

Today was so much fun! We took a long hike to the Big Rock Falls. The hike was over a mile, on rocky terrain, but it only took us about forty-five minutes to get there. It really paid off, because the falls were so beautiful. We got to swim in them and it was very refreshing. The funniest thing was when Elizabeth and Madelyn slid down the rocks on accident as if they were on a real slide.

On our way back, we saw a family of jaguars, and Jacob, the bravest of us all, tried to pet one. It started to chase us so we ran back, setting a record for getting back in only twenty minutes. JUST KIDDING AGAIN !!!!!!! But really we did see a jaguar footprint that had passed by days before us.

We promise to be very careful for the rest of the trip :)


Madelyn and Maddie

P.S. First blog written by Kathleen and Hayden

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Greetings from Belize

Our Instructor: Awesome Guy Nate!

We arrived in Belize yesterday after two plane ride, a three hour bus ride and a howling monkey - ok - actually that was Kathleen. We met our guides Nate and Juan and they are really nice and fun. We were welcomed into our cabins by a huge tarantula that ate our teachers and guides - please send help soon! You would think this was a joke but we are eating each other to survive. Ms. Holly & Ms. Lisa - you should have taught your children to play a better game of rocks, paper, scissors! OK - in actuality - the spider was pretty small and a gecko ate it. As long as we are talking about geckos - did you know that 15 minutes can save you 15% on car insurance?

Alright - parents we are here safe and sound - so you don't have to worry about how much you miss us! We will be home soon - good bye from the entire group!

~Matty & Madeleine