Wednesday on Caye Caulker

As I mentioned in my previous posting, Nancy McCormick likes to raise some money and take our students for a visit to Caye Caulker if Ms Candi thinks they are deserving. We tell the students that we will take the 8:00 am boat to the Caye.  It’s amazing how some students who can’t ever make it to school by 8:30 for the start of my religious studies class can make it to an 8:00 boat to the Caye.

Wilmington team (14 of 42)

Inside the water taxi. It is a 45 minute ride to Caye Caulker

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A few students choose not to go, but the poorest ones seem to know how special this is for them and make a real effort to get there. We began this day with a visit to the new elementary school on Caye Caulker.

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Wilmington team (16 of 42) Wilmington team (15 of 42)

The remainder of the time was a day of rest and relaxation.

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This was fun to watch. We never quite got the knack of being unable to dribble the ball on the water.

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Not quite sure why two kids need 5 tubes, but hey, what do I know?

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Mike McCormick visiting with Frank and Maggie Tench.

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Mr Tench out in the water with some of our boys.

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Ms Nancy waving for the camera. (This photo was taken by a student. I’d give credit but I don’t know who took it.)

At noon we ate pizza made by a relative of Ms Candi’s who lives on the Island. We are also allowed to use a spot at the north end of the Caye that is reserved for guests of a particular lodge, but Ms Candi has some “pull” with the owner.  Woohoo.

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The lunch line.

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This really is a very special activity for our students. Many of them would not ever have the opportunity to go the the Caye otherwise.  So thanks to all who took part in that fundraising effort in Wilmington. God bless you all.

Wilmington visit

Wilmington team (1 of 1)Nancy McCormick, from Wilmington Yearly Meeting, has this wonderful habit of raising money and bringing a team of people to visit Friends School almost every year. This year was no different.  They arrived last Sunday. Monday was a school holiday and we had a day to work without students.

We tackled refinishing some wooden desks that had been written on, repairing/replacing/adding electrical outlets in the downstairs classroom, and renewing the decorative painting that Nancy had done some time ago. That went very well and jobs I had expected to take all day were completed by about 2:30 in the afternoon.

Wilmington team (4 of 42) Wilmington team (3 of 42) Wilmington team (5 of 42)
Wilmington team (6 of 42)Wilmington team (1 of 42)

On Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday the guys helped with maintenance items including rebuilding the stair railing and installing the security system that used to be on Sam and Becky’s “old” house.

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The women in the group did some tutoring during the day and provided some after school “Bible School style” activities.

Wilmington team (9 of 42) Wilmington team (8 of 42) Wilmington team (10 of 42)

Ms Nancy likes to raise money and provide for a special field trip to Caye Caulker for our kids if Ms Candi thinks they are deserving.  We did that trip on Wednesday (see separate posting.)

On Thursday some of our group shared with the students. I walked by the door and noticed that Dennis was talking to them about his work as a machinist.  I also walked by the door later while one of the ladies was talking to the students.  As I approached the door I heard the words “happens at puberty.”  I decided that there was some work I really must do, made a U-turn and went to my office.

Wilmington team (32 of 42) Wilmington team (33 of 42)

A part of the craft activities on Friday was to make kites which is a traditional March activity here in Belize. Note the dead kite caught in the power line. It belonged to Egbert for a little while.

Wilmington team (38 of 42) Wilmington team (37 of 42)

Also on Friday afternoon we celebrated our week together with cake and ice cream.

Wilmington team (34 of 42) Wilmington team (39 of 42)

It is a special pleasure to host this group. They have been to Belize more often than I have and really know the kinds of things that are helpful. God bless ’em.


basketball (1 of 10)

Friends School belongs to a sports league that was started a year ago.  It consists of non-traditional schools like ours.  Last year the participants were 4H, a one year residential prep program; Global Outreach, a three year residential vocational/technical school; Cadets, a one year residential program with a somewhat more regimented ‘boot camp’ style program; and us, Friends School.  This year the Youth Hostel asked to join the league. The Youth Hostel is a residential facility that accepts young people at the request of the court.

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We have 4 sporting events each year.  We practice a sport for about 6 weeks and then have a day of round-robin competition where every team plays every other team. Yesterday was the basketball competition.

The Youth Hostel was the host. They have a beautiful new basketball court.  Sylvia asked if it was an outdoor court and of course it is.  I hadn’t thought about it but I don’t even know if there are any indoor courts although there is one here in the city that has a roof over it. It just doesn’t have any walls.

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The team tent with some of our spectators.

At any rate each team played 4 games. The Youth Hostel won all 4 of it’s games and 4H didn’t win any and the other three of us went 2-2.  We have some tie breaker rules which determined that we finished 4th but as far as I’m concerned we tied for second, what do you think?basketball (4 of 10)

The fun part of the day is that we got better each game.  We lost the first game 40-10 and the second game something like 30-20. (4 eight minute running quarters) Then, for whatever reason, Cion caught fire and started hitting shots.  But what was even more remarkable was that as soon as the boys started thinking they had a chance they started playing a really hard nosed scrappy defense. And then, even more unbelievably, they let go of their normal desire to shoot the ball and started feeding it to Cion.  Amazing.

We won the third and fourth games we played. As you sports fans know, there is a whole different feeling to a 2 and 2 record when you lose the first two and win the last two. We were feeling pretty good about ourselves.

basketball (6 of 10)All the teams line up for the awards ceremony while the team places are awarded and then some individual trophies are given out. As you can see, we had the shortest team in the league.  Cion, our shooter, is the shortest guy on our short team but, lo and behold, our Cion was awarded MVP of the tournament.

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It is always a good thing when students like ours, who often hear how worthless they are, actually have some success. I feel blessed.

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From left to right: Jervis, Harrison, Cion, Jaheim, Tyler.


Monday is a holiday. Track and Field practice starts Tuesday.