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Visiting Villages in Belize, Toledo District

Up early and to Punta Gorda for Mass. One of the guard dogs was not coming when called so Sister Catarina escorted me to the vehicle and we headed to Mass at St. Claver and left him loose. I took a couple of minutes to take a couple of pictures of the back of the church.

This church is on a street that borders the ocean. I turned around and took a quick shot of the sun on the ocean at 6:30 am

After mass, Fr. Aric and I went to a gas station. I snuck away and took a picture of the ocean, across the street.

Then we went to the house of one of the ladies that works in the parish office where Fr. Aric works. She had made a delicious breakfast. Yum!

She joined us and off we went to the Villages of Conejo and Barranco.

Below is an aerial image showing the location of the Villages.

Punta Gorda is shown with a heart located by the ocean. This is where we go every morning for Mass. The heart above that one is Nazareth where I am staying with the sisters. The stars are on the Villages we visited.

The trip was mostly on dirt roads. Bumpy and slow. Hot. But thank goodness the air conditioner on the truck worked! Yay.

I took some pictures along the way, mostly of people's homes. Most windows don't have glass. They have louvers that work like shutters.

Many different trees all together.

I am told there are poisonous snakes and wild animals in the jungle, or as they call it, in "the bush". Since I don't know which ones are dangerous, I can't go for walks as I would like.

When we arrived in Conejo the church stood out, all dressed in a bright shade of blue.

It looks like it's been freshly painted on the outside.

Next is a picture of the inside of the church. In case you have been wondering who Fr. Aric is, he is the one celebrating Mass.

This is a children's Mass. The students are from Kindergarten through 6th grade. There are only 3 teachers for all the students and there are only 3 classrooms.

Classrooms do not have air conditioning! Yes, it is super hot in the rooms.

God bless these teachers and the students.

Those of you who know me well, know I love children. Yes, these children are adorable! They are super friendly, very welcoming and very respectful. I could have spent all day with them.

After confessions, we headed out again. On our way to Barranco.

And you get to see more pictures of the country and the bush.

When we arrive in Barranco, students are in class.

The principal takes us to each classroom and introduces us to the students. They are super friendly. They sang a song for Fr. Aric (and us) in their native language.

After we left the classroom, the principal took us to see the kitchen they set up to feed the children.

Parents take turns cooking for all the students. A couple of parents cook for a month and then they rotate.

We had packed our lunch. We were eating in one of the classrooms. Soon I could hear drums. I went outside to see what was going on. A couple of boys were sitting outside during their lunch break, playing the drums.

A couple of girls came to get me to go over there to teach me how to dance the way they do. Ahhh, not happening. I can't move like that. 😳😁🤣

Then they went on to show me how they do their native traditional dance.

What a special treat!! They did this all on their own!

(click on the 4 arrows on the bottom right to expand the video)

After we left the school, the principal took us to visit someone that Fr. Aric wanted to meet. His house is at the edge of the ocean. It didn't used to be. The water has eroded the land and is getting closer to the houses.

The residents fear that it will soon take some of the houses. They have tried different things but non have worked. They are working on getting assistance to do something else to keep it from eroding more.

Below is a picture of a house that was built away from the edge, but the land eroded under it.

Then we made our way to the church to get ready to celebrate the children's Mass. The building felt like an oven inside!!! We opened windows and turned on any fan that would work. It was still very hot.

It was a beautiful Mass with the students playing the drums and singing.

The students also did the readings and the prayer intentions.

There are more pictures and other things happening. Too many to put it all here.

We still have chores to do, etc.

I was blessed with being able to listen to most of Deacon Lincoln's presentation (in Edgewood, NM) on the Liturgy of the Eucharist via Zoom. Our Thursday night online bible study group continues to meet since I can join from Belize.

It was great to be able to see everyone and hear your voices.

We are an hour ahead here and I get up a little before 5 a.m., by 9 pm I'm beat. The heat wears on me. My body is still trying to adjust to the heat and the humidity. Not to mention the little critter bites.

I am accustomed to sleeping in a cool room with no light. Here, it's super hot, humid and light outside. The temperature at night does not cool off much. We sleep with a fan on full blast all night. So, You guessed it, I wake up a few times a night. My body is still trying to adjust to that too.

So for now.. I better go before I fall off the chair. 🤣

Until next time, know that I am praying for your intentions at every Mass, daily.

Thank you for keeping me in your prayers as well.


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