On every day of the last week of school we do some very serious practice for Sunday’s commencement, until Friday.
Our plan for Friday is to have our normal Friday worship at the Presbyterian Church, come back to school, do some cleaning up of the property in preparation for summer, and then have a pizza party before sending the students home about 1:00. And that was the plan for this year until Ms Candi and Ms Darcel received a request from the Dean of the Education department at Galen University for all education students to participate in a seminar in San Ignacio on Friday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, pertaining to the border dispute with Guatemala. That request came late Wednesday afternoon; planning ahead is not big in Belize.
In an attempt to satisfy everyone, we made some changes. We would have our worship as soon as the students could arrive at school and get on the bus.. We also called our favorite pizza place to see if they would like to open just a tad early and serve 9 pizzas to a bunch of kids at 9:30 am. That would allow us be to back at school by eleven and get Ms Darcel and Ms Candi on their way to participate in the afternoon portion of the seminar. The pizza place, bless their hearts, said yes.
At 8:40 this morning, away we went. Worship was about endings and beginnings. When it was my turn to speak I asked the students if I could take their picture before I began speaking because I’ve not been able to take a photo from the front. They were nice and said yes.
I talked a little about endings and beginnings and about how I knew all their names and had gotten to know each of them. I also talked about how I now felt that, somehow, they were “mine.” And I told them that each of them now had a place in my heart and that I would take that back with me when I fly out on Tuesday.
After worship, the handshakes turned into hugs. Ms Candi laughed about how these students who don’t want to come to school were giving hugs and talking about how they wished it wasn’t ending.
We piled back on the bus and drove directly to the Balloon Pizzeria.
Fairly quickly pizza was being served. We had ordered 9 pizzas but the crust on the first three pizzas had not risen properly so they remade those. Rather than throw them away, they offered them to us. Thin and crispy, not bad at all. Anyway, 19 kids and 5 adults completely destroyed 12 medium pizzas. (We had 7 absent today-two from the youth hostel who had gotten in trouble and were not allowed to come and 5 others who decided they had better things to do on the last day of school.)
We drove home the long way, letting kids out near their own neighborhoods. At every stop, as each student got off the bus, Ms Candi would give them a pat and say either “See you Sunday,” if they are graduating, or “See you August 22.”
And thus ends another school year.
There was one part of the original Friday plan that we had to leave out. Anybody want to come and clean up this building?