Where in the world are we?

Where in the World are We?

20 April 2008

Way Down South

During the week of April 7th we took our first trip to the southern district of Toledo. On Monday, we hopped on the James Bus for the 6.5 hour ride to the village of Big Falls, where we stayed the night with Rachel. Rachel showed us the beautiful views of the Maya Mountains and took us to visit the other Big Falls PCV, Mike Norbeck. We had a delicious dinner of stewed beans and rice with chicken at Coleman's and enjoyed a night in the village.

Rachel & Ginnie overlooking the country-side

Just hanging out on Norbeck's porch before dinner

The next morning, Ginnie joined Rachel at school to do some resource sharing and experience a village school. She helped with reading groups and picked up some great ideas to bring back to Trinity. After the morning session, we headed back to the house where Anthony and I gathered our things to head down to the district town of Punta Gorda.

Anthony waiting for the bus on the Southern Highway in Big Falls

Punta Gorda is a quiet little seaside town where there are a number of volunteers working on several projects. The drive into town is really pretty as the bus rounds a corner and the sea is to the left and a nice colorful sign welcomes you to PG. We got off the bus by the big primary school, St. Peter Claver, and immediately ran into Carrie on her way back to school from lunch. We also saw Mica and then headed to see John at home, where we dropped off our bags and John took us for a lee tour of town. We had a nice lunch and got to see the center of town and returned to the school to visit with Carrie and see their amazing library. It was built into an old water storage tank years ago by a PCV. It's a really creative use of space and a nice big area with many books and space for children to sit and do work.

We were able to see the other PG PCV's who were in town when we went to Marianne's for another dinner of stewed beans and rice. The next day we joined Mica at her school, St. Benedicts, and gathered even more resources and ideas to bring back to the city. We definitely made the most of our school visit tour so we can share ideas with our teachers and add to our work in the education project.

The rest of our time in PG was devoted to enjoying the seaside and catching up with our friends. We spent our third night with Mike and Carrie and were treated to Mike's homemade pizza - as you know, we always enjoy pizza.

Our last day in town was Anthony's birthday, so we spent it at a nice, quiet pool and enjoyed a little downtime and relaxation before heading to the the village of Forest Home where we would spend two days in training for serving as Peer Support Counselors.

Tree by the sea

Birthday morning breakfast
Clock tower in town

Our training took place at The Novitiate Nazareth, a very nice retreat center that is a convent (aka nunnery by some locals). The nuns made us very delicious meals and we enjoyed the beautiful grounds and peaceful environment.

Paths are lined with beaded stones
A walk on the grounds before another fabulous dinner
Images of the church

We discovered a fun feature of our camera when Catherine, who has the same model, showed it to us so we decided to play around with it. Here are some of the results.

cool soft drinks

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