July was unBelizable!

The last couple of weeks of July I was able to return to Belize to complete a second internship.  The requirement for my educational internship was that I had to study in an area of education that was in a different position and placement than where I currently worked.  It didn't have to be international; however, I loved my first Belize experience so much that I asked permission to visit again. Permission was granted.

My internship was with the Ministry of Education.  I was able to work with them and help them create an online curriculum resource site to help teachers have a place to find specific resources to help them in the classroom.  While there, I met with groups of teachers, ranging from Infant 1 to Standard 6 (US translation: Pre-K to 8th Grade).  The teachers and administrations provided such great insight on their educational system, the challenges they faced, and the successes that they experience as well.  I truly enjoyed having the opportunity for dialogue because it paints a more realistic picture than what is often provided in surveys alone.  My hope is that I will be able to choose a dissertation topic that stems from my internship experience.


In between working on my own project, I was also able to join in with the other university students who completed other internship experiences.  In the afternoons, I volunteered at a literacy camp held at the public library. Working with children is an amazing experience.  They bring such joy and spark to any lesson taught.  You should have seen them playing literacy games, including charades. Hilarious!

Spending even a day in Belize is such a cultural explosion.  Yes, we all attended activities such as snorkeling or diving trips and we even visited a live museum to learn the history of the Garifuna people.  I enjoyed those excursions (even though I didn't participate because I can't swim), plus I attended those last year as well.

The excursion that I had been longing for was to visit the Mayan ruins.  And we did!  We visited Lamanai where we learned the rich history of the Mayan people and where I was able to climb two temples.

Mask Temple
Mask Temple

High Temple
High Temple
(This was the farthest I could go, and the last area with any kind of railing.  The final peak {see those people up there?} is narrow with no protection.  Um, no.)

When on my own, I enjoyed the conversations held with the locals.  Again, it is fascinating to capture the varying perspectives of individuals in any given space.  It is a true testament that multiple realities can coexist because everyone's experiences are unique to them.

Through it all, you know the food was amazing.  I mean, such flavor in every dish.  Even though there was one meal where I longed for something plain (by comparison), that moment didn't last for long.  Even now, I long for Neri's (the place that makes the best fry jacks and tacos).  I brought some spices and ingredients back, as well as a cookbook, in hopes that I may be able to recreate even just one dish that reminds me of Belize.

Fry Jack
Traditional Belizian Breakfast
I hope to be able to return again.  Despite the appearance of Hurricane Earl, it will not dampen my love for the beautiful San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

I created a playlist of videos made while in Belize.  It includes short videos on the foods I ate, the colors, various trips, etc.  Feel free to watch them HERE.

Home Sweet Home

Hello my lovelies,

I just recently returned from an internship in Belize this summer.  It was an amazing experience and I'm thankful for the opportunity that I had to serve and to learn.  I met some amazing people along the way, learned so much more than I could have dreamed about concerning history and culture and odd topics in between.

Although the internship has technically ended, I'm still working on my special project with the Ministry of Education.  I'll share it with you when it's up and going.  Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.

If you were privy to the Weather Channel, there was a tropical storm, turned hurricane (Earl) that traveled through the Caribbean.  My flight was able to stay on schedule; however, I watched many others in the airport as their flights were cancelled.  The rest of my group had flights the weekend after the hurricane, so I was the only one traveling home during the middle of the week.  Thankfully, I made it home safely after what seemed to be a 24 hour experience, yet only a 4 hr flight plus a 2 hr drive.  Special thank yous for those of you who expressed your concern.  I appreciate it!

Nevertheless, I'm home and I'm glad to be here.  Of course, I took photos, but I'll leave you with only one (and a video) while I take time to edit and unpack and all that other good stuff!

And the link to the video....


Prepping My Hair for Travel {Protective Styling}

This past year, I've been rocking the protective hair styles out of necessity more than anything else. But what I've learned through it all is that even when life is really busy, it's best to sacrifice a day to get a long-lasting protective style (only if that works for you and your hair though) in order to save your hair in the long run.

I can't lie and say that I've done the best by my hair even when it was in a protective style, but I love the ease of hair wash days when my hair is in extension twists.  My scalp thanks me for such an easy process.  I also love being able to look presentable at a moment's notice because your hair is basically done...all the time.

But needless to say, after having your hair in a protective style for 3 months at a time, there is a deep loss in not being able to touch your own natural strands.  So, I always have a break between protective styles, not only for my hair's sake, but for mine!  At the end of the school year, I took down my extension twists, rocked my own two strand twists for a bit, and then had my hair recolored to hide those ever-increasing gray hairs.

Now as I prep for my trip to Belize, I want to have an easy style that doesn't involve long faux strands hanging down my back.  It's much too hot for that.  I mean, in my own city, we have daily temps hovering around 100 F and the heat index makes it even more intense.  So, I can only imagine what it feels like in Central America right about now.

This time I opted for crochet twists.  I've never tried them before, but have been wanting to for a little while now.  Already, I can say that I'm enjoying them.  The process to have them installed was a little over 2 hours which does not compare to the usual 6-8 hours of individual extension twists.  And, this is more economical (at least the upfront cost).  I'll let you know how long these last and then I can give a more accurate account.  But as for now, I'm pleased.

I'm also pleased that my hair did not fall out over the year, truth-be-told. Instead, it grew!  Stoked!!!

I didn't comb my hair out fully, but it definitely grew and is super thick! 
My stylist cornrowed my hair with extensions before crocheting the other hair in
Here's a bit of a sneak peek
Half done!
All done.  It's super light.  You like?
Now it's time to pack!