Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Corozal visit

yesterday we went to Corozal, about an hour bus ride from Orange Walk.  We visited with the midwife who I (Spring) would like to work with.  We still have to figure out logistics of this.. mainly who will watch the kids when I am away.

Corozal is beautiful and right by the bay.  Gail has a pool which is also a huge plus! We enjoyed our day.

Nathanael also met with Brenda, a woman who came to Belize to be involved in Deaf ministry.  She was so welcoming and helpful.  We were all so tired from swimming/the bus trip, that we neglected to take pictures. (oops)

Fleurette was able to speak with Gail, Brenda and Gail's husband about her plans.  It was so nice to have her come along with us1 

the restaurant we ate at had turtles in a tank.  We were the only ones eating (it isn't tourist season).  The waitress brought out lettuce that she let the kids feed to the turtles. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

"We're not in Kansas anymore Toto"

In an effort to tell you more about what our lives are like here, I'm going to do a short series on the things we are experiencing that are different from Pennsylvania.

As an example it rained this evening for about 30 min.  About 20 min after the rain stopped I went to the bathroom and could hear water just dripping down.  I was worried.. was there something really leaking... did someone leave the shower on? 
nope turns out our roof is flat and it was taking a while draining through the small holes in the wall.  The water did drain.. and there wasn't a leak!  Good thing too!

There are very few paved roads here.  This means that most of the time there is a lot of dust. It comes in the windows, covers our feet, and is just in every location you could think of.

While I was in Mexico, I learned and used the bus/subway system quite often. I envisioned that living without  car in the city is possible and sometimes nice.  Here there are busses but not in town. One can get a taxi for a reasonable rate.  We often choose to walk.  Our children are still getting used to it, so are we :) Nancy has also been available to help, especially when there is much to transport or several locations to go to.

Language!!!! This is a difficult one.  The official language of Belize is actually English.  Prior to becoming it's own nation, Belize was "British Honduras".

  In Belize City (Nathanael tells me) there is a strong influence towards Creole. very similar to the language in most of the Caribbean, including Jamaica.  Here in Orange Walk, there is a mix of Spanish and Creole.

  I get by with my Spanish although it makes me lazy. I can drop an English word and totally be understood.  Nathanael also does fine, if people don't understand him he switches on his Creole.  I on the other hand lack the skills in Creole if the person isn't understanding me.  Honestly the smell and some of the culture reminds me of Mexico.  Because of this, there are times that my Spanish is automatic. 

Really most people understand English, so our kids also are doing well. 

I will continue with the Differences on a different post.. now on to some pretty pictures.. :)

Other than Nathanael, our next big step is to work on our ASL.  I will be re-starting with a tutor as will the children.  Hopefully we'll add this to our school schedule in a seamless fashion :)

Sunday we took a trip with Fleurette and Nancy to Crooked Tree Here are some pictures of that fun:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

We have arrived!

Hello from Belize,  the land of "eternal" summer.. at least that's how it has felt to us.

Spring, Fleurette, and children arrived Monday afternoon.

This past week Fleurette helped by staying at the house while Nathanael and Spring worked on setting up the house.  When we came, Nathanael had some basics here (thankfully): Beds, Fridge, table and stove.  We now have most of what we need, although it seems like every day there is a small item missing (yesterday it was a toilet brush and clothes pins to hang wash)

Since it is 4:30 am here and I"m not going to turn on all of the lights I'll share the few pictures from Nathanael's phone that I have access to:

A new friend we met invited us to his house. We had fresh coconut milk (straight from the tree!) and the children played "cetch"(tag)

Although it has been frusterating/difficult not to have internet right away, Fleurette and the children were creative with their time! They made kites and flew them on the roof! 

On Thursday we heard the tragic news that our friend Glenna had passed away.  She leaves her husband, daughter and many grieving extended family members/friends.  To us she was a huge supporter of what we are doing. She came to help pack up our home, she brought a meal. Every time we had a conversation, Glenna was so encouraging and friendly.  Her husband Shawn was helping on our MST. As any wife/mother knows, for a man to help outside of the house and outside of his job, it requires a wife at home supporting him. We are thankful for the time she sacrificed so he could be available.  Please be praying for her family as they miss her! ; and us as it's very difficult to be away when something tragic happens.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Nathanael is home again WHAT??

Nathanael left for Belize last Thursday.  In order to streamline things we told most people that is when he was leaving, because in truth it was.

Nathanael met a friend in the course of his college training who really wanted him to interpret for her wedding.  She wanted him to do it more than a non-Christian who would not understand the dynamics of the evangelistic tone of her wedding.  She was so interested in him doing it, she paid for Nathanael's plane ticket to come back for her wedding :) 

Today Nathanael is at the wedding.  He will be here, helping us with packing and closure.

A Schedule for the past couple of weeks:

July 30 Nathanael leaves for Belize, and sets up some stuff in Orange Walk
August 3-6 Nathanael teaches ASL to Belizean Teachers and supervisors
August 6-7 Nathanael takes a bus ride (8 hours overnight)from Belize City to Cancun, then flies from Cancun to Philadelphia
August 8 Nathanael interprets at Wedding
August 14 Nathanael returns to Belize to do final set up for the family, fix some things in the house, make sure the water is  on etc
August 17 Spring, Fleurette and children meet Nathanael in Orange Walk, Belize
August 26 Fleurette flies back to the states

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers! Hopefully this brings clarity to any confusion :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Workshop (Signed for Deaf and Spoken for Hearing)

He's left us..

That's right. This past Thursday, Nathanael was dropped off at the Philadelphia airport for travel to Belize (you can see his ASL video below if you'd like)

He has spent the past few days scouting out housing for us, prepping for our arrival, and enjoying Belizean culture and food. 

This week Mon-Thurs Nathanael will be in Belize City working with the government to help implement ASL in classrooms so that Deaf kids can be mainstreamed.  Please pray for him in this process!

We are at home, trying to work on packing and saying our last goodbyes.  Thank you for following us on this journey!