I am becoming aware that many of my postings are about the special events at school, and that I do not write much about the normal happenings.  I guess that is because taking more photographs of students doing homework is just plain boring. Rest assured, the most important work we do happens on the “regular” days.

But sports are fun too and we had our basketball competition yesterday. We traveled 20 miles out on Western highway to Cadets. Cadets is an institutional residential program that serves boys referred by the court.  Interestingly enough, some of our boys knew some of those boys.  How surprising.

basketballWhen we arrived the tents had been set up around the basketball court. There was one for each team and one for the officials. (The officials for our games are supplied by the department of Youth, Education, and Sports but we are responsible for paying their salaries for the day.)



The official’s tent









Friends School is in the dark green, 4H is in the light green.


Coach Darcel on the sidelines with our reserves.

basketball-9The competition was spirited but sportsmanlike.  The officials were pretty good and the boys didn’t question them. I liked that.





Ms Darcel was the coach.  We were allowed to have a different line-up for each game, so all of our students got to play, or at least sit on the reserve bench, for one game.











The boys caught me taking a bit of a nap in the car during the noon break.


Paul dancing to the drums.






We played two of our three games in the morning. Lunch break lasted a little over an hour. Then we only had to play one game in the afternoon.

During the lunch break someone showed up with some drums and a couple of our boys played.  You may notice that Paul almost danced out of his game shorts.




The good news is that we won two games out of three and we placed second among the 4 teams in our league. That is a major improvement over being blanked in both football (soccer) and volleyball.

I’m a little hoarse this morning. I might have done a little yelling, I’m not sure.






Market Day

This posting is just for fun.  While Sylvia was here we went to the market on a Saturday. In fact we went on Valentines day.  Here are some photos from the market.


Well, it was Valentines Day.


Here are a couple of the 50+ market stalls. These are on the street.


Need a good chick or parakeet or rabbit?? I didn’t ask prices…

market-2 market-3

I’m sorry I didn’t get a panoramic shot of the market. Maybe next time.

Sylvia and I bought potatoes, lettuce, celery, cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers.  We had Chef’s salad that evening.


A Gathering of Quakers in Belize

On Sunday, February 15, the Quaker residents of Belize met at the invitation of Dale and Sylvia Graves.  Sam and Becky Barber graciously allowed us to meet in their home. Dale and Sylvia fixed the meal.

Judy Lumb, Dale and Sylvia Graves, Mike and Kay Cain, and Andy, Lisa, Spencer and Andrea Stout met at St. Andrews Presbyterian for worship and then proceeded to the Barber home. The Barbers had had responsibilities at the Assembly of God church and arrived shortly after we did.

Quakers in Belize

Front row: Sylvia Graves, Felicia Brown Barber, Naema Brown Barber, Malique Brown Barber, Andrea Stout. Second Row: Kassie Barber, Christy Barber, Dale Graves, Spencer Stout Third Row: Sam Barber, Becky Barber, Mike Cain, Kay Cain, Judy Lumb, Lisa Stout, and Andy Stout

Quakers in Belize 2We managed to get all the adults and some of the children around a couple of tables in the main living area. The other children ate at the picnic table on the upper floor balcony.  After dinner we took time to hear what each of us is “up to” now and had a short period of unprogrammed worship. It was great fun and Dale and Sylvia planned a trip to the Belmopan area to see what the Stouts were talking about. That trip is this coming Wednesday.

We enjoyed the gathering and plan to get together again in mid -May.  (I also felt bad about forgetting that Dan and Sarah Beane were in the country volunteering at the deaf school. It would have been fun having them at the gathering.)


Department of Youth Services

Somewhere along the line I became aware of the Department of Youth Services, so I began to ask questions.  I wanted to know more so I looked them up on the web.  As is often the case, the website was very positive about what a wonderful department this was but not really all that informative. I felt like I needed to go get acquainted.

The website did not have an address, but it did have a phone number so I called and asked where they were located.  Hmmm. Straight east of us about 5 blocks. On the south side.  Promising.  I decided to go introduce myself.

When I arrived, the young man at the reception desk recognized the logo on my shirt and was most welcoming,  He made 2 or 3 phone calls and then asked me to have a seat, “Someone will be with you shortly.”  In Belize “shortly” varies a good deal, but within 5 minutes I met Nomar Bembridge, Manager, Governance Unit.  Mr. Bembridge was aware of Friends School.

He showed me around the department which is located in what used to be the Mopan Hotel.  The center contains a computer lab, an art center, and a music center that is under development.  The center is open daily to students on a walk-in basis. I asked a bit more about the art area because we have a couple of students who draw constantly, and I thought this might be good for them.

When I returned to school, I talked with Ms Darcel and Ms Candi about what I had learned.  A couple days later we returned so they could see what was there and on that visit we met Andrew.  Andrew is the young man who works in our part of the city.  He said that he would love to come visit and get acquainted.  The following Monday, when I returned from running some errands, he was visiting with Ms Candi and I sat in on the last part of the conversation.  We made arrangements for Andrew to return to our school to meet our students.


Keith visiting with Andrew. Don’t let the Andrew’s colored cap filled with dreadlocks bother you. He is a really great guy.

This Wednesday, Andrew arrived and asked if he might interview our students individually. We said sure. Following the interviews he planned to visit with me about what he had learned. (Ms Candi was home sick with a really bad case of the flu.)

While Andrew was interviewing students, Sam and Becky Barber arrived to care for a little business and came into the office.  We were still visiting when Andrew finished his interviews and came in the office.  He looked and Becki and she looked at him and they both had great big smiles and greeted each other with a giant hug.  What??

It turns out that they were both involved in the Alternatives to Violence training that took place in Belize City a couple years ago. I heard them talk a little about recent efforts to get the group back together.  (Of course my mind was going about a hundred miles an hour thinking about what those future possibilities might be.)

We talked a bit, then, about what Andrew had learned in his interviews and he promised to return next Wednesday. I’m looking forward to it.