Karen Schmitt sent this update on today’s activities as she prepares to leave Las Flores after her two week volunteer experience. Scroll down to see her account of prior days.
Friday, 2/24

This morning Ana Ruth and Louis took me to Heaven and it was only a 15 minute bus ride from Las Flores. This bus ride was a different experience than the first one. Several men offered their seats to Ana Ruth and myself. We went to the Blue Hole National Park. It is right on the Hummingbird Hwy, you can hear the traffic while you are there. They have a beautiful picnic area for BBQ’s. You walk down a set of steep steps and then you get a glimpse of paradise. Before you is a pool, maybe 20 yards across, that contains the bluest clearest water you could imagine. The pool is very deep and it is constantly moving. The area is comprised of limestone and over time the water eroded the hole to the stream underground. So the hole is very deep. You follow the river around the bend and there is a cave large enough to enter. I thought it best not to enter. A group of young girls told me the cave had bats in it. I took their word for it. They had gone into the cave. The water goes into the cave and comes out 200 miles away. So imagine being in a dish and looking up into a lush green jungle. We stayed for about 3 hours. It was so peaceful there. If you were still and looked you could see hummingbirds flitting about in the trees. We decided to leave about 11:30. As we were changing a bus went by on the highway. We waited a few minutes in the shade waiting for another bus to come along. A group was getting into a pickup and Ana Ruth went to talk with them. She motioned Louis and I over. We rode in the back of the truck with several others. They let us out at Las Flores. Sister Paschal says that is a very Belizean thing to do. I would never have done that in the States.

I went over to the school to have my last reading session. As I was walking toward school, children with packs were coming toward me. School had let out at 2 due to the festival they are having on Sunday. I walked on to school and saw several of the boys I usually work with. They came and said hello, I told them goodbye. I turned to go to the office to say good bye to the Principal and the boys came running and said they wanted to stay to read. We played reading games for about 20 minutes and they asked if they could go. I told them I would be back to check on them and to work hard. They both hugged me and thanked me for working with them. OK, well now I’m choking back tears. I went to the office and told the assistant principal I was leaving. I thanked her for the experience and promised to come back.

I will have my last knitting group tonight. That will be sad as I have grown very fond of Ana Ruth and Louis. Louis has been making beautiful beads and Sister Paschal gave him some money for jewelry making supplies. I know whatever he creates will be lovely. Sister Paschal asked him to lead the sewing group and he is pleased to do it. I hope it leads to something more for him. He has had such a hard life.

Sister Carlette did not get her car back this week so is returning today on the 4:00 bus. We will all go back to Belize City tomorrow afternoon. Sister Carlette’s niece is making her First Communion Sunday morning. I will be in Belize City until I leave Monday at noon.

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