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First Day at King's Children's Home (a local orphanage)
Belize Student Volunteer Trip

The main lounge of Pooks Hill LodgeThe main lounge of Pooks Hill Lodge (Monica Laflin)
We were up by 6:30Am. Breakfast at 7. On the road to King's Children's Home/Orphanage by 8am. We were there from 8:45-4pm. VERY HOT AND HUMID!!! I made sure everyone drank lots of water! Half the group stayed at the orphanage (Kelsey, Monica, Lincoln, Sasha, Jazzi and Alex) and the other half (Mitch, Ryan, Griffin, Sam, Nicole and Chiara) went to the new orphanage construction site about 15 minutes away. I stayed with the orphanage crew and Miguel went with the construction crew.

Those of us at the orphanage did several chores: washed TONS of dishes (breakfast and lunch=ALL the kids come home from school for lunch daily), mopped floors, dusted all the rooms, removed clothes from the outdoor clothes line, folded the clothes that did not need ironing (I nixed ironing as NONE of us can iron), took care of the younger kids (under school age) and played games with all the kids after they came home from school. The kids LOVED the new balls and games we gave them as gifts (I was surprised that an airport agent charged us an import tariff on the donated items). The orphanage crew were amazed at the unbelievable amount of dishes there were to wash! None of us had EVER seen such GINORMOUS pots, colanders and pans in our lives! Plus, the amount of spaghetti and sauce needed to feed everyone was astounding!

Tomorrow we will leave earlier in the afternoon so the students are not as exhausted as they were today. I want them to have enough time to go back to the Red Cliff swimming hole (instant fake suntan) before dinnertime. Plus, I am hoping they will have energy to finally do a nighttime jungle hike to see the nocturnal animals.

Construction crew: Mitch, Ryan, Griffin, Sam, Niclole and Chiara.

Per Mitch this is what they did today: Started out leveling the base area for the foundation using shovels and rakes which involved removing ALL the limestone rocks. A caterpillar would dump a load of dirt and the students would then have to spread the dirt (minus the rocks) out over the building site. They also cleaned out and leveled the rebar areas. They were EXHAUSTED by the end of the day and drank ALL of their water! In spite of applying sunscreen, some still got sunburned.

Per Nicole: LOTS of digging, shoveling, scooping and raking!!!

Many of the construction crew students have blisters and I will be sure and clean them with Bactine and then apply Band-Aids. I will send Moleskin and heavy duty Band Aides with them tomorrow!

After this LONG, HOT, and GRUELLING day, I had our van driver stop for ice cream. What a treat!

We are all eating very well! The students love the Belizean hot sauce and put it on everything! Even the vegetarians are getting plenty to eat!

While Mitch was at breakfast, Kelsey and Lincoln decorated his room with balloons and streamers for his b-day. I took pictures at the end of the day but all the balloons had fallen to the ground. Oh well! A picture will be on the blog tonight. Brenda and Chris=I gave him the birthday cards you sent with me.

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