A Normal Day

Sylvia was here last week doing far too much relaxing so I asked her to take lots of photos on Monday so I could blog a normal school day. When we arrived, Ms Candi wanted me to know that Harrison Smith’s father had been shot and killed over the weekend.  When will I learn that there is no normal day at Belize Friends School?

Harrison came to school and Ms. Candi told him that he could go home but he shook his head, no.  She also told him that if he wanted to talk with someone to let her know. He nodded but the day passed without his asking for time to talk.  I guess he just needed the routine of school.

Harrison did not live with his father. He lives with his mom.  But his step-mom, who lives with his father, but not with Harrison, is the one who checks up on him at school and pays his fees.  I don’t know if I will ever understand the definition of family for some of our students.


normal day-5At any rate, let me show you how a day goes.  I usually arrive early and work up in the office. Some students begin arriving about 7:15 for an 8:30 class.  Others have trouble getting there before 9:00.

normal day-4

normal day-6

Deandra and Kyla work on homework before school starts.

The day begins with the Lord’s Prayer and the singing of the Belize national anthem which I am slowly learning. Some days we take time for the sharing of joys and concerns. I follow with a spoken prayer.normal day-8 I pray a prayer of thanks for the joys that were listed and a prayer of intercession for the concerns. I always pray that the students will know the love of God.

Following the morning devotional time, we have religious studies.  We are working on learning the books of the bible in order and how to spell them correctly.normal day-9 Some students memorize well, some don’t. Some spell well, some don’t.

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Some students hanging out at break time

Following religious studies, Ms Darcel teaches language arts and social studies for the remainder of the morning. Aboout 10:15 or so we take a morning break.  At 11:45 be break for lunch.

normal day-13Normal Day

In the afternoon Ms Candi teaches math and science.

The students are dismissed about 3:00 in the afternoon. The teachers continue working until 4:00.


On Friday we had another abnormal normal day. We had school in the morning and went to the funeral for Harrison’s father in the afternoon.  We were unable to talk with Harrison, he was surrounded by family.

It was held at a Catholic church on the south side. There were some people at the funeral who were obviously frequent church attenders and knew what was expected and a lot of people who were just as obviously not church attenders and very uncomfortable.  I have many impressions from the day but I don’t want to dwell on them. Mostly my heart breaks for how often violence is seen as an answer.  I pray desperately that our little school will help some young people know the love of God and help them understand that they can know a better way.

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