MSR | Belize

| June 21 to June 28, 2008

Local Host:
Staff: Jason Pfingsten

Trip Journal Updates

by Jason Swartz | June 21, 2008
Today at about 11:30am we landed in the beautiful country of Belize, got off the plane and felt the heat. We loaded our stuff on a bus and headed to Pepper’s Pizza to get some food that we are accustomed to. After finishing our pizza, we hopped on the bus again and headed to Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center. As we got off the bus, the children were pointing to us picking us out as if they were shopping. They chose the person they wanted to play with, and off we went. We skipped and ran races around the building, gave many piggyback rides, and pushed kids on the swing. We then returned to the bus and headed to the Global Village Hotel, the Praying Pelican staff headquarters, to take a bathroom break and get some much needed water. The ride to our hotel took about an hour. We got our room keys and lugged out suitcases and supply boxes to our rooms. Our team meeting started about half-an-hour after we got to the hotel, enough time for some of us to shower. During our team meeting we were welcomed by our trip leader, went over ground rules, and heard about what we would be doing tomorrow. Tonight we get an early end to the day, since our early morning is catching up with us.

First Full Day!
by Mike Korth | June 22, 2008
This morning we journeyed to the Buen Pastor Baptist Church for Sunday School. There are more kids and teens, than adults, that are interested in coming in the morning so the church just has Sunday school in the morning. We sang a few songs-listened to them through in Spanish first, then sang in English as well. There were a couple testimonies that another team did. Pastor Angel Castillo did his message on Ezekiel 36:25-27 he also shared his testimony. After Sunday school, we got some pictures of the kids as they played piano and smiled shy, big smiles up at us. We made the warm trek back to the hotel for a short break before lunch. For lunch, we ate tamales, fresh fruit, and watermelon juice. Our group had a break before meeting at 1:30pm to sort out our supplies.

Work Day!
by Angie | June 23, 2008
The rest of our day yesterday went well. We met as a group for our missions training at 4pm. We had a lesson on life stories and how to share them this afternoon, we then formed groups of four to share and give affirmations to each of the people in our small groups. Spaghetti dinner was next with garlic bread and pineapple juice. Some of us changed into church clothes and went to the evening service, while others headed to the basketball courts for some sports time. Those at the church enjoyed some Spanish singing, a couple testimonies from another group, and a message from Pastor Angel in Spanish, which was translated into English. We then got on the church bus and went back to the hotel. While some were at the church the others rode the bus to the courts. We played basketball and got to spend some time with the natives living close by. All of us, excluding Katie (she was not feeling great), came back together for a team meeting at 8pm. There we discussed some highlighted from the day-some of which were how excited the church members were to see us and how cute the kids were as one slept on the floor in church and another danced in the isle. We heard about the history and mission of Praying Pelican and reviewed tomorrow’s activities. Today we had a breakfast of bread, eggs, papaya, and orange juice. We then went to our work site; four small houses. Some people worked on a roofing project, others on painting the inside room of the house, the rest painted the inside two rooms and one outside wall. The roof project is half way done; one side has been torn down, with the beams replaced as well as the roof itself. We rode back to the hotel and had hamburgers, fries, and pineapple juice for lunch. Our next task was to invite children to the school grounds to play some sports. The inviting was a chance to practice some Spanish. We had a basketball game, waffle ball, two soccer games, and Frisbee (which the native girls enjoyed). We were bused back to the hotel for a break before headed off for some dinner. For dinner we had some Mexican fast food and fries with watermelon juice. We walked back to the hotel for a meeting in which we played Belize Trivia and discussed how our day went. Now we have a break until curfew at 9pm.

Day 4
by Angie | June 24, 2008
This morning for breakfast we had cantaloupe, eggs, tortillas, and papaya juice. We headed to our work sites to work on our three houses. The group did very well working as a team. After a good morning’s work, we got the second half of one roof redone, the painting inside and out of one of the other houses. We returned to the hotel for a lunch of fried chicken, rice, and lime juice. Next, we returned to the field for some sports. Some played soccer, some basketball, others red rover. There was some red light green light going on as well. We rode back to the hotel for showers before dinner at Sing Wong Chinese Restaurant for rice, chicken, salad, and cole slaw. During our team meeting, we went over our day and shared some amazing highlights from the day. Many enjoyed the time playing with the children and the smiles they received. Others commented on the happiness from the chance they had to help others. They enjoyed seeing how grateful the people were. Today held the establishing of many relationships; tomorrow is a chance to further those connections.

Mayan Ruins
by Angie | June 25, 2008
This morning we had an early start with another great breakfast that included fry jacks! We then loaded the bus and headed for Lamanai, the Mayan Ruins. Lots of bug spray was applied and we were ready to hear some history (and climb the tallest ruin). We took our time, an hour and a half, exploring the forest in which it would only take ten minutes to walk through; our guide had quite a bit of information to share with us. Seeing monkeys and toucans was a definite highlight for many. For lunch, we ate sandwiches at a picnic pavilion. Most of our group went swimming in the New River Lagoon. Our relaxing mid-week time was completed as we rode back on the bus to the hotel. Next, we were off to sports ministry to play basketball. It was very enjoyable to be familiar with the locals and to be able to acknowledge many by name. We then helped with VBS; there were about 75 kids there today. The groups that some of us lead around to the different stations were about 25-30 kids big. We came back to our hotel for a dinner of bar-b-q chicken, vegetable rice, and orange juice and for a team meeting.

Final Day of Work
by Angie | June 26, 2008
This morning we enjoyed another Belizean breakfast with eggs and tortillas. After breakfast we headed to our work site to work on a siding project, painting in the last house, and cleaning up the trash in the yards. For lunch we had fried chicken, fries, salad, and cantaloupe juice. We left for the sports field at 2:30pm and stayed there until 5:30. We played basketball, soccer, a little baseball, and hand games. Our ride back to the hotel was quick and left ample time to shower and spend time with teammates. Dinner was hamburgers, salad, and fries. We had our evening meeting with affirmations; we go in groups of four and spend some time building each other up. Curfew was right away since we had to pack and get sleep since we will be up and loading the bus at 5:30am.

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The Staffords

Thank you for the daily update. Can't wait to see you on Saturday and hear more about your experiences in Belize. Have a safe return home.

Kim, Rob and Mikeala Saccoccio

We are thinking of you as you travel through Belize. Thank you for sharing your daily activities with us. The work you are providing is wonderful. Looking forward to hearing about the many adventures and experiences upon your return.

Margie and Grace Sved

Really neat to get the daily updates, thanks everyone! Wish we were there with you.

Michelle Keown

Glad to hear everyone is doing so well! I am so proud of each and everyone of you. Not only are your lives being changed, but you are having a HUGE impact on everyone whose path you cross! Enjoy your last day of work. With love, Mrs. K

Alex & Martin Mulholland

Thanks for this blog, it's a great way for us to follow your many activities. Hope you're all feeling well, enjoying the experience and trying out your Spanish!

Ashley & Paige

Mom: We hope you are having a wonderful time in Belize. We are thinking of you. See you soon.

The Zirkers

Hi everybody! Hope you are having a wonderful time in Belize and staying safe and dry. We are thinking about all of you and we know you are giving a special gift of yourselves to the people you are helping. The Zirkers

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