Saturday, June 27, 2015

Students are heading home!

Hello family and friends of the Awty International School program in Belize. The students are en route home and should arrive a bit early! Thank you for your support and trust!

Erin Hawk
Director of Operations

On our way home :)

Hello everyone,

We are having one last lunch in Belize, and will be heading to the airport soon. Assuming our flight is on time we will arrive in Houston around 7:30 and be through customs and border control by around 8:15. See you all tonight! 

-Kristi and Kathryn 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Day 9

On our final day, we went snorkeling all day long. We woke up quite early to get on a boat and went to discover Belizean underwater "treasures". We observed all kinds of marine flora and fauna. We saw parrotfish, eels, anemones, jellyfish, stingrays, an octopus, and many more types of fish and plants. 
First, we went by boat to spot manatees, but unfortunately didn't find any. We then went to a place where we snorkeled among red mangroves. After this, we went to the Smithsonian Institute's research center on a different island, where two scientists explained their work. We visited wet labs and dry labs and spotted many hermit crabs. We proceeded to navigate to an island, Ize Caye, where we ate lunch (sandwiches and watermelon) and swam around the pier. Finally, we visited two other snorkeling spots before coming back to Tobacco Caye. 
To finish the day, we will have dinner then go night snorkeling, our last big activity before leaving the island tomorrow morning.
- Cécile, Anaïs & Shahrzad

Day 8

Today was our last day in the village. It was sad having to say goodbye, but we will probably comeback and see them again. We drove to our water taxi, our boat, and drove to Tobacco Caye. We got here and toured the whole island. It only took about 10 minutes, it's really small. We learned snorkeling  safety and got our gear together. Then we went snorkeling for awhile. We saw lots of fish and some yellow sting rays. After we got a snack at the snack bar and had a lovely conversation with the drunk sea captain from Jaws. Then we pretty much just had free time the rest of the day. Dominic and Michael managed to open two coconuts like true gangsters. It rained a lot during the night but and will continue to tomorrow. 

By, Michael and Dominic 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Day 7

  Today was a very rainy day in the village.  We only got to do about an hour of work at the work site due to the weather, but we finished what we could with the fence and cleaned up the area.  We got to spend some time in the classroom with students.  We played math games, read stories, and helped the teacher organize report cards.
  We met with some of the local leaders from the village and school for lunch, along with Ernesto and Aurora.  It was great to hear their different leadership stories and how they got to be where they are today.  The afternoon was spent with families, and we had a big soccer game with the community members.
  We had a group dinner with all members of the community that are hosting families, along with Aurora.  We listened to some Mayan singing and stories, and got a chance to thank everyone for participating in the program.  We are all excited to be heading to Tobacco Caye tomorrow and hope the rain holds off!

Kathryn and Kristi

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Day 6.

Last night was our first night at the homestay. Our homestay was good, the food was amazing and Michael slept in a hammock. This morning our "mom", Thomasa, gave us breakfast and fresh mangos from her mango tree. At the work site we cemented cinder blocks together and had to mix 4 batches of cement. It was not enjoyable, but, it was good team building. After work we had lunch and then went to the Mayan Chocolate Museum. We learned how the Mayans make chocolate and we got to make some of our own. Then we went to the pre-school graduation which was very fun and interesting to watch. After we gathered our stuff and went back to our homestay. We have posted a lot of new pictures on our link, so make sure to check them out!

Written by Dominic and Michael 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Day 5

Hi everyone,
Today is our fifth day here in Belize. This morning, we had fried jacks, refried beans, watermelon, and pineapple. We then set up foldable microscopes to take to the school. At 8:30, we started working on the fence. Some of us completed a part of the fence while the others mixed and poured cement to reinforce a new portion. Around 9:45, while waiting for the cement mixer truck that eventually came at 1:00, we dispersed ourselves and went to different classrooms in the school, helping them with their classwork, playing games with them, or helping them make decorations for their graduation. The students were really fun to be with! Then we had lunch and went to the Mayan museum to learned about the Mayan culture and their way of making tortillas. We made some and ate them, and they even let us make a coffee tortilla! 
Next we will get ready to go spend our first night with the homestay families!

Written by Shahrzad, Cécile and Anaïs

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Day 4

Today was our first day of work, we are working on a fence to surround the school yard. We moved sand, put the wire mesh up, and mixed cement to place along the fence. After work we went back to Ernesto and Aurora's and had pizza for lunch :) we then went tubing down the river in the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve. After tubing we walked to a waterfall and all swam behind the falls, wish we would have had cameras but they would have gotten wet! On our walk back from the falls we saw another Howler monkey in the trees, this one was really big! We then came back to Ernesto's for dinner and are all pretty tired tonight. We have added more pictures to our link, so check them out please.  

Awty Belize 2015:


Kathryn and Kristi 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Day 3

Hello everyone,

Third day in Belize. Today we got up and all had breakfast. It was really good. The hot sauce here (Marie Sharps) goes with everything. We were on the bus for about an hour and a half and went to a cool cave. We had helmets and headlights going in and it was really cool because there was a river going through the whole thing and our tour guide, Jam Jam, was a very informative. In the cave we had to swim through sometimes deep water but mainly shallow water that was really cold. We learned a lot of Mayan history in the cave and saw lots of artifacts, including some skeletons. After the cave we had lunch then got back on the bus and came to Maya Center village. Everyone here is super friendly and very welcoming. We got settled in our cabins and then had dinner. We then played card games with some of the locals and it was very fun. Tomorrow is our first work day and we are looking forward to it. 

-Written by Michael, and Dominic was present while Michael wrote it all

Friday, June 19, 2015

Photo Link

Awty Belize 2015:

The last post was written by Anaïs Chepda, Shahrzad Rasekh and Cécile Pomarède. Thank you for reading. 

The beginning of our journey........

Hello everyone, 

Here's an update of our last 24 hours !
Last night, we had the chance to have a night tour of the Belize Zoo. We saw quite impressive animal as Junior Buddy the jaguar, we touched the boa's constrictor, heard the howler monkeys, fed tapir and some of us were scared of the crocodile. Then we came back to our rooms and slept our first night in Belize !

This morning we woke up, ate eggs, watermelon and papaya for breakfast and went all the way to Xunantunich to learn about the Mayans' history. We climbed all the way to the top of the temple that was so high we could see Guatemala ! On our way to the bus, our guide found several howler monkeys, and one of them came so close to us, it was unreal ! Once back in the bus, Juang drove us to a restaurant and we discovered the Belizean's milkshakes and typical foods. In the afternoon, we made a stop a food market where we tasted some very good apple-bananas and ginepes also known as "guayas" in Spanish; and to a gift shop for friends and family. 

We have started photo sharing, if anyone wants to see them, here is the link:  

Thursday, June 18, 2015


We arrived!

We arrived in Belize around 11:00am and drove to the Tropical Education Center. We had lunch, took a tour, and had an orientation talk on safety. Juan gave us a nice talk on the animals and insects we may encounter and a little history of Belize.  After dinner tonight we will go on a night tour of the Belize 'zoo' to see native rescued animals from throughout the country. We will try and post pictures soon! 


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Testing :)

Testing the blog ap and picture uploads :)