Life Update - August 2016

Can you believe that August is almost over?  When I reflect back over my August, it's hard to imagine all of the events that have taken place in nearly 31 days.

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Although my Belize trip was technically in the latter part of July, my return home was in August.  Right after I returned, I attended my family reunion (on my dad's side).  Then, I officially got home
during the weekend.  The following Monday, I was voted in as the assistant principal of my school! Yeah, so I never mentioned that.  But at the end of the school year, I applied for an assistant principal position.  I interviewed for a position right before I left for Belize.  After I returned, the celebration began!  If you're reading this post on Tuesday, then I have just completed my first official day as an AP (with students).  I'm really excited about this new segment of my journey in education, and am looking forward to continuing to make a difference in the lives of students from a different vantage point.

Along with the celebrating, there's been a lot of reflection around these parts too.  I've been thinking about my dad a whole lot lately, and I know in part, that it has to do with this new position I have.  You see, he finished up his career as an AP in the same district where I currently work.  I found these black and white yearbook photos of him sitting at his desk and I knew that at least one of them had to have a place in my office.  Although I haven't had time to truly make the space my own, the one personal item in there is a picture of dad.  I'll add some more photos later but the rest of my family doesn't take pictures as frequently.  I'll find the perfect ones though.  No one will be slighted.  :-)
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Yes, I'm still taking classes in the doctoral program.  I'm down to 11 credit hours left in the coursework component of the program.  Six of those hours, I'm taking now.  So this Fall semester I'm taking a course in politics in education and a course on global and comparative education.  I'm hoping, in particular, that my internship in Belize, this global education class, and the immigration class that I took this past summer will mesh together really well and give me better insight on what specifically I want to study for my dissertation.

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Oh, let me not forget that Grandma B turned 84 in August.  She could not be more thrilled!  We had a birthday celebration at her house and yes, she wore her princess tiara!

I think that's it for a little while.  I am always trying to work on a house project or plan my next move. Now, to find time to execute said plan.  Just know that the chest of drawers that I bought from the Habitat Restore is finally sitting in my craft room, ready for a makeover.  The idea is that if I keep seeing it there, staring at me like it is right now, that when I figure out my schedule, I'll feel the need to chalk paint that baby.  heehee

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Ok, folks.  That's all for now!

Stay tuned,

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....