Today on Tuesday, May 20th, marked our second day of service at the Red Cross in Punta Gorda, Belize. As a group, I think we were all excited and ready to get back to work. We spent majority of Monday organizing and painting, and we got a good amount accomplished in just that one day. Knowing what had to be done and working together, we walked in confident and ready to finish our service with the Red Cross.
We split into two separate groups to finish painting the inside and outside of the building. To say it was hot is a complete understatement. The sun was strong and the SPF was high, but each and every one of us were open to switching groups and encouraged each other throughout the morning regardless of the heat. Jack completed the outside work when all of us retreated inside and away from the sun. Even hot and sweaty, he kept a positive attitude and motivated us to keep up the good work.
Throughout the rest of the afternoon, the group managed to paint the rest of the Red Cross center, inside and out. Eddy, Christian, and Jeff climbed the roof and painted the tough, hard to reach cracks that most of us couldn’t and were nervous to reach. Their bravery showed us that even doing the service of painting we can help each by doing work that some are afraid to tackle. Claire’s hard work and smart technique of putting a roller on the end of a broom allowed the high spots of the building to get evenly painted. She herself was a leader that whole day. Ashley was a dare devil and was one of the only ones who said she wasn’t afraid to paint while on a ladder. She climbed and painted like a champ, and was a huge help for the group. Jui took charge in the clean-up duty. She moved quick and got the place in order, all while singing and giving the group a good laugh. Her positive spirit showed the group even though service can be strenuous, we can smile and have a good time. Mickey was a big team player, after the fire ants had killed most of our feet, she said she would brave the grass and work even though those ants are little monsters. I tried my best to do the little jobs that needed assistance. It was a tough, HOT job but in the end our work with the Red Cross was a success. Through communication, motivation, and teamwork, the entire building was painted, and as a group I think we learned not only about one another, but about the importance of the Red Cross in Belize.
To end our night, we were fortunate enough to have a dinner and chat with two volunteers of the Jesuits, one of which was one of our own Mountainer, Pat Decker. They taught us a lot about the service they do, as well as explain the Mayan culture and what life is like in Belize. Learning from their experiences has taught me, as I’m sure everyone else, the greatness and uniqueness of the cultures here in Belize. I am so lucky to be on this immersion trip and words cannot describe this experience. The people, the environment, the villages, and everything about this country shows how beautiful of a world we live in. Stepping out of America and out of our comfort zones has taught us so much and we’re all so grateful and thankful. So thanks to all who allowed for this trip to happen and we will keep you posted on our next adventures.
Katie Sukeena, Class of 2015