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The Office of Social Justice Service-immersion Experience
Keyword: 2013

Support crew in frot of Church

5 a.m. wake-up call from the head leader Jeff with his soft tone telling us to rise and shine. Getting up this morning was a bit tough but the only thing that helped me get out of bed and not ignoring Jeff was that today was the last day we were working on the church and we could not be late, and also seeing the beautiful sun rising in the sky. We all headed down to breakfast for the last time at 5:30 a.m. and talked about how close we are to being done with the church and how excited we are to just do our very best today!

While driving down the road right before we hit, what seems to be endless, the bumpy roller coaster to our village, we see Frankie, Wendell and other people from his crew off to the side. We ended up driving to the church garage for Wendell to bring back a spare tire for Frankie's truck. While driving on the rocky road to the village, we were all expecting to see Frankie driving slowly because of his tire, but he ended up getting to the work site way before us and not needing the tire....Click here to read more.

students working on the ChurchToday started off bright and early with another 5 a.m. wake up, followed by breakfast and a quick departure to the work site. It is always an adventure to the village of Corazon on the bumpy, windy roads that are guaranteed to wake anybody up! However, we (especially Brigid) enjoy seeing the baby pigs and chicks along the way. Today the kids in the village did not have school due to holiday, so we had a few extra helpers around the work site. They kept us smiling and laughing as they taught us phrases such as "rah-za-gool," which means you are crazy. This was their favorite phrase as they enjoyed saying it and then repeating it continuously followed by lots of giggles. They were adorable!

We made great progress on the church today. Tim, Stephanie and I measured, prenailed and installed most of the framing but could not have done it without the help of Jeff. In order to properly secure the brace we have to hammer a single larger nail into the side of the framing which proves to be difficult. Jeff took on the challenge of hammering many of these nails in today, earning the nickname, Thor. We were surprised when we were invited to another traditional Mayan lunch at the family's home across the road from the site. The lunch was delicious consisting of pork and flour tortillas. It has been an unexpected but rewarding experience getting to share meals with many different traditional Mayan families throughout our trip. We continued our work after our lunch break and accomplished a lot! At the end of the day both of the walls now have exterior siding and we finished framing for the front of the church. Tomorrow we have much hard work ahead of us, but I am confident that we will successfully accomplish it and much more.

During our debrief tonight, we talked about how we have been traveling together for a week now. We have been having so much fun that I can't believe an entire week has gone by already! Tomorrow is our final day of service, followed by a few more days spent in this beautiful country and we are headed home. It's hard to believe that our trip will soon be winding down but there is no doubt in my mind that every minute will be spent laughing and enjoying each other's company.

Marian Grenchik

We awoke with the sunrise, filled with excitement and a bit of nervousness heading into our first day of service here in beautiful Belize. We headed out to Corazon Creek, one of the many Mayan villages in the Toledo district, and found our work site and work leader Frankie! Frankie spoke with us about the village and the need for a new church because of the integration of other religious denominations. This was something I hadn't expected and shows the growth and potential of the Mayan villages. This also gave us a better perspective heading into our first day of work, knowing the impact the church building will have on the village....Click here to read more.

After a restful night's sleep for the group's first night at the Nazareth Retreat Center, the group headed out for a highly anticipated day of exploring the ancient Maya ruins. The first stop on the Southern Highway was to the village of San Miguel. After several miles of extremely bumpy roads, the van arrived at the Maya site of Lubaantun. This major Late Classic city was inhabited for a short time, from around 730 AD to about 880 AD. The site included...Click here to read more.

This morning we all arose and went back into San Antonio to have breakfast. We spit up to into two groups to conclude our home stay adventures. There were four of us that went up a hill to the home of a very large family; Juan and his wife have nine children and one grandchild. Their home was very basic, consisting of only one room.

Over a breakfast of tortilla and beans, we discussed education in Belize and in the US....Click here to read more.

 
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