CBT Weeks 3-5
The remainder of CBT was much the same with a balance of technical, language & culture, classroom work, and host family & community integration. Throughout each week, trainees responded to journal prompts and we held 1:1 meetings to check-in and talk about progress, feelings, concerns, questions, etc. We also fit in a couple fun days!
The first FUN Day was a trip voted on by the group, who unanimously selected a visit to the Maya Site of Xunantunich. This was my fifth trip, but I still enjoy it! It was nice to take a break from training activities and just enjoy time together. Upon arrival to Succotz and the ferry we must cross to reach the site, we met Albert, who says he knows our former CD Steve and that he is a tour guide. He offered us a good rate if we were willing to take a guide. I had never had a guided tour, but I felt fine without it. Several of the trainees really wanted that added aspect to the trip, so we invited him to come along. Lesson learned – don’t hire a guide at the ferry; while he was quite friendly and a very good person, his skills as a tour guide are a bit limited, shall we say. First of all, an archaeologist is in my training group, granted her expertise is in Greek archaeology, but she still has an understanding of basic information and cultural things that give her a different perspective. She asked very interesting questions that our dear friend was unable to answer. The final tipping point that perhaps this was not a good tour was when he cited the movie Apocalypto as reference to a question related to sacrificial rituals. Huh? We felt the fee was worth it for the entertainment value. For me, it was kind of funny, too, when we all headed up to climb El Castillo and he sat down under a tree. I asked if he was joining us and he said “maybe” to which I replied – don’t you want to tell us about what we are seeing? The good thing was Mr. Puk, the Spanish LCF, has worked as a tour guide in other areas and he was able to tell us a lot more than poor Albert, alas. He never did join us atop El Castillo, but it’s all good. We decided to just pay him and send him on his way as we finished our own tour of the site.
It's hard to eat out as a vegetarian in Belize - this is the veggie sandwich; please notice the 3 strips of cheese, not even a full slice! It was comical enough that I had to share!
Other happenings in the final weeks of training were model lessons in each class by the trainees, of which I was able to see about half (it was hard to get myself to all since some were scheduled at the same time and were so far apart). Each group also conducted a workshop for the teachers at the school (TOT) and presented a traine-facilitated session (TFS) to their peers on a topic related to education and literacy development. In the midst of it all, we even concluded the language and technical learning objectives!