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Arenal and Alegria - Mattie


I started today with Holy Hour (Adoration). It was so wonderful to start our day in that way because our team was all filled up with joy to serve the kiddos at the schools. I have been serving this week at Arenal Primary School. The students have started to know the theme song lyrics and motions and are were really getting into it. The song really set the rest of Catechesis time. We rolled directly into story time with Horacio as Jesus. The students LOVE the enthusiasm and silliness he puts into the stories. Today’s theme was “Jesus heals the blind man.” It was an award winning performance, truly. The classes then went back to the classroom. I have been paired this week with Micah teaching Standard 2 (8 years old or the equivalent to 2nd grade). We really wanted the students to have fun while learning about the healing of Bartimaeus so we planned a fun game for them. The class broke into two groups and lined up on one side of the classroom. Micah and I blindfolded the first person in line and they were guided by the next kiddo in line and this sequence continued until everyone in line went. My team won! … Sorry Micah. The students then left for recess. Which is probably the best time for us missionaries to get to know all the little buddies. One of the students that I have had the gift to know is Gloria. She is in Standard 6 (the 8th grade class). I taught her how to use my camera and she went all over the school taking pictures of everyone! She is a very talented photographer! Our time at the school soon came to an end as we loaded back into the van and headed back to the retreat house for lunch. I then accompanied Brother Javier Emma Z, Andrew, and Carlos over to a building sight where we took nails out of the wood and cut them in to smaller pieces to go into the new kitchen of the family. It was truly an experience. Turns out machetes cut wood way fast than handsaws and crow bar are much more efficient than the back of the hammer. I were also highly disappointed at the end of our afternoon work period because in a little over two hours we were about to get nails out of wood that would only last the family about a week and a half. However, the experience was way worth it! After the work period we were to Mount Carmel Church to have Mass is the SOLT missionaries who serve as teachers at the high school year round. They are some quality humans! We had Mass, went to a restaurant and ate pig cooked underground, and then returned to the rectory where Steve (one of the SOLT missionaries) shared his testimony with everyone. The SOLT missionaries get together every week for community time and someone in the group shares their testimony. Steve’s testimony was so powerful and it really touched all of our hearts. We then said night prayer and were off the bed… little did we know Br. Dave got locked out of the retreat house. He was soon let back inside.

WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT WHAT WE DID? It was wonderful! I love the children at Arenal so much. I have encountered Christ in so many of the students there. It is amazing to think how different school is here in Belize in comparison to back home. The afternoon project was so good. The people of Belize work so incredibly hard and get paid so little. Working among the people makes me realize I do not know the first thing about work ethic. Which is humbling. I loved every minute of the work we did today and cannot wait to see what tomorrow has in store!!

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