Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July 5, 2016 - And it begins...

It is day 4 of our trip and it started off much as the previous days have.  Many sought out a place to have quiet time while Jay and Matt went with Ms. Ethel’s son, Tyrone and a camp intern named Vanessa, on a run through Camalote village.  It was a little humid this morning, but the breeze from passing vehicles never felt more refreshing. 

Then it was breakfast time.  Ms. Ethel prepared pancakes, sausage and lots of fresh fruit.  Following breakfast, our team worked to finalize preparations for camp.  This involved setting up the soccer field, volleyball court, prepping games and preparing a receiving center to greet the campers that would be arriving in a short while. 

The kids were greeted in our reception area by smiling counselors.  Once the campers received their room assignment, Lauren took a photo of each individual youth before they were escorted to their room.  Once the majority of the campers arrived, the kids were served lunch, which consisted of hot dogs.  Then it was off to the chapel to receive the camp rules.  From there, the groups were released for activities.

We always start off camp with various icebreaker activities, which help us learn the names of the campers as well as for the campers to learn the names of each other.  After the icebreakers were completed, the guys went out to the volleyball court and played a quick game.  One game was enough, as they now wanted to go play basketball.  We divided up into teams and played a basketball tournament.  It was hot outside and the games were intense, but we had a lot of fun.  While the guys were playing basketball and some soccer (futbol), the ladies were decorating their rooms which they enjoy doing each year.

We then attempted to take the guys to do some additional organized activities that promoted teamwork and problem solving, but the only teamwork they wanted to do was on the basketball court.  So back to the court we went.  Meanwhile, the ladies were split up with half working on a craft making bracelets while the other half played either volleyball or soccer.


Soon it was time for everyone to head back to the rooms so that they could take showers and get ready for dinner.  Dinner tonight consisted of spaghetti, salad and garlic bread.  The guys served the ladies dinner before getting their own plates. 

After dinner, we headed into the chapel for a little worship.  Melvin, the worship leader from Evangelical Quest Church (EQC), led the camp in several songs.  Latoya then came up front to speak for the night.  She spoke about God’s Promise to Always Love Us.  After she finished, Melvin led us in an additional song and this concluded our evening service.

The ladies were dismissed first and sent back to the kitchen for bread pudding for dessert.  Once the ladies were through, the guys were dismissed and went for their bread pudding.  Then they had a little bit of time to hang out before heading off to bed.  Many of the counselors followed shortly thereafter.

While most of the camp was winding down, Rebecca was tending to a young camper who came to camp with a deep laceration to his finger across the fingernail.  She cleaned it well and wrapped it up in bandages and explained how it should be taken care of so it does not become infected.  Then she provided care to another youth who had two spider bites that became infected.  One was on his foot and Rebecca worked to squeeze as much of the infection out as possible.  A sterile needle was also used to assist in this.  Then it was time to address the spider bite on his arm.  Same thing.  The infection was purged and then both infection sites were cleaned and wrapped in bandages.

Earlier in the day, Rebecca had also addressed a child out in a village that had a puncture wound in the calf, which was caused by knife.  She cleaned it well and then stitched the wound closed. 

All in all, we had a great first day of camp.  We had some minor hiccups here and there, but it is great to serve the children of Belize and show them some love.

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