Monday, September 24, 2012

Sept 19, 2012

Arabian Proverb:  He who has health has hope: and he who has hope has everything.

After observing classes at the secondary school for two days, I transferred to pre-school and infant care.  I enjoyed experiencing the secondary school and seeing the methods of the teachers, but I was contributing very little.  The teachers have a difficult job, especially at the lower levels.  Marigot Secondary School is the lowest level of the four high schools on the island.
The volunteers have been extremely generous providing books, games, and educational materials.  The items were sorted and bagged ready for the schools.  Conversations abounded making plans.
I really enjoyed my day with the 3-year-olds at the pre-school.   I read two books to them, taught them songs, and answered many questions about me, where I live and how I got here.  Only major problem was that we put the wrong shirts on some children.  I tied shoes, supervised hand washing, played ball with a grapefruit from the tree, and sweated buckets. 

Most of the volunteers plunged into the pool after work.  We thought it was probably the best photo op of the group!!!  We did gather later for our group picture since some of the volunteers will be leaving on the weekend. 
At the evening meeting each group gave their reports.  Again there was much emphasis on the Earth Boxes.  The group headed for a delicious dinner at Julietta’s. 
St Lucia is a beautiful country with beautiful people.  I’m glad I came.

Betty Wood

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September 18, 2012

The day began with sunshine and breakfast with cereal, French toast and bananas.  It was a good start for a very busy day.  Lynn shared his thought of the day: “Even pigeons get hungry.”  Each team left for their assigned schools, clinics and departments with lots of excitement and energy.
Teams returned to home base at the end of their day with some beginning to plan the next day, others enjoying a cool swim, and some happy to get a quick nap before our evening meeting.  Everyone gathered for the meeting to report on the accomplishments and observations of day.

Pre-school:  There was a report on some of the activities the teacher did with the students that were very age appropriate. Also the Global Volunteer helped serve food.
Infant School: The team member reported that she repeated some of the same activities as the previous day  and introduced several pieces of equipment for student to use during play time.  Some of the students also practiced hand washing.

Primary School: The team taught in all the grade levels today.  Their lesson included map skills, a graphic organizer, and writing activities. Students were very eager to learn and participate.  The team felt it was a successful day.
Secondary School:  The team members reported that they went around working with several students.

Health Center:   They checked weight and gave immunizations to several children.

Earth Box Team: Today they finalized the Day Care Center Earth Boxes and mothers will come to that location on Friday to plant.

Construction: First the team went to Infant School to inspect their Earth Boxes and upcoming room partition project and the longer-term seawall proposal.  Then the team returned to the Primary School to continue working on the Earth Box tables.  Pencil sharpeners and 2 soap dispensers were installed also.
Nutrition: Reported that they quieted some children and took some children around town.  Some parents are breast feeding too long and cuddling them too long.  The team member shared several foods that the children experienced during the day.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Team Four Begins the Journey

September 16-17, 2012
Our team met for a group breakfast at JJ’s on Sunday morning. We then attended  a quite lengthy Catholic Church service in Anse La Raye. The service was very colorful, spiritful, and ceremonial as a large group of young adults were being confirmed.  Global Volunteers and its current and former servants were recognized and praised many times by the Archbishop  and other worship/community leaders.

Upon returning back to JJ’s for a brief lunch we had team meetings in preparation for the week. We discussed individual goals and found a significant commonality amongst our large group of diverse servants. We discussed keys to a successful volunteer experience and ways to accomplish our individual goals as well as those of the group as a whole unit.  I like the fact that Global Volunteers seems to be allowing the individuality of the group help define the project based upon need, not just let their organizational objectives define the project. As a team we determined that to be successful we would need to be cooperative, goal oriented,  flexible, respectful and unselfish.
Yesterday (Monday) we saw each of those goals challenge and survive. Flexibility seems to be the key as we set out for our first day working in the health center, schools and on community projects.  The clock of time definitely tics at a different pace than in the States and adaptability/flexibility seem to be keys to that success.

We finished Monday with a brief team meeting to discuss our group observations and possible modifications to our plan then met at Julietta’s for another amazing dinner. 
Bryan VanMeter, Physician Assistant/Global Volunteer

Thought for the day from Claire Kirchen:
During the confirmation of the youth of the Anse La Raye community the Archbishop of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Catholic Church asked them whether they had assisted the poor and needy, helped others learn, and volunteered hours in service.  Then the Archbishop concluded:  “Do as the Global Volunteers who give not just hours but many days of service.  Learn from them!”