March 24, 2015: Day 4 in Belize by Chris
Posted by Lauren Rochholz on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 11:28 AM PDT
Day 4: In Search For
Today started out similar to the last two. Each of us typically wakes up a little early to have a little time to ourselves. Whether it’s reading a few pages in a good book, skimming through the latest Facebook posts, or enjoying the already warm and humid morning on the porch with a cup of coffee listening to the sounds of Belize, we seamlessly go about our morning business until Ms. Virginia calls us to the table for breakfast. I must admit, I was a bit sore after spending the better half of the day digging trenches, but when you wake up in the morning and watch the sunrise and you realize that you’re in Belize, the soreness is merely an added bonus. Even if it’s only for a short while, I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to wake up in Belize.
Upon arriving at Liberty, each of us made haste to pick up where we left off from yesterday. Ryan and I were especially eager to make up ground from yesterday’s mild letdown with the progress we made on the trenches. After a strong start yesterday morning, our momentum was all but depleted when we ended up digging into some dense clay and a thick patch of roots. We resumed our mission today with a more conservative goal and better game plan as to how we would attack this mess we found ourselves in. We dug for a good three hours before we broke for lunch, at which point I was reassigned to help Cal while Luke replaced me to work with Ryan in the trenches.
For our first task, Cal and I set out to take a handful of measurements in the dining and kitchen facility. The measurements were to be used to create something that would help reduce the echoing in the dome structure. If you’ve ever been to George Bush Airport in Houston, when you stand in the middle of the dome, it’s a lot like being in the “echo chamber” in Terminal C. Cal had a brilliant vision of having an acoustic engineer and one of Seattle University’s distinguished art faculty to collaborate on the project. This project won’t be done this time around, but I’m eager to see what comes of it when I come back next year!
Our second task had us taking more measurement, this time in the old library-turned-guesthouse near the entrance to Liberty. Ms. Agatha wants to create a place where the volunteers can escape to and have a bit of privacy away from the hustle and bustle of the home (44 kids running around can exhaust even the best of volunteers). After taking our measurements and looking around the building, it was evident that it was in need of some dire TLC and elbow grease. Cal was particularly enthused about this project, partly because this guesthouse has the potential to be something truly amazing. The hope (and plan) is to create a practical and comfortable place where volunteers can come and stay onsite, which would allow them to truly experience the essence of Liberty Children’s Home.
I feel comfortable speaking on behalf of this year’s group when I say that we all share Cal’s and Agatha’s enthusiasm and vision for this project (and for all the projects).
As the day drew to a close, I made my way to the library to check in on Nicole and Tessa to see how their project was coming along. I noticed several children running in and out and laughing as I approached the library. When we first walked into the library on Sunday, it was like walking into an unfrequented basement at your grandparents’ house. The library was dark, stuffy, and it smelled of old and, quite possibly, moldy books. Hundreds of books were scattered throughout the library, unorganized and poorly taken care of, as if the library was a cemetery where used books went to rest. I had no idea how Nicole and Tessa were going to turn this dungeon into an inviting place where children want to hang out and read. However, when I walked into the library this afternoon, I was completely taken aback by the complete transformation that Nicole and Tessa had accomplished. Dawn was in the corner reading to two children, and Nicole and Tessa were helping a few children with their homework assignments. It’s hard to describe the joy that I felt seeing Dawn, Nicole, and Tessa spend time with the children and seeing their excitement after all of the hard work they put into the library. This was undoubtedly my favorite moment thus far at Liberty.
There truly are amazing things going on here at Liberty Children’s Home, and each of us is excited to have the opportunity to share and be a part of PWOB and Liberty’s vision. Little-by-little, project-by-project, PWOB and is making a difference here at Liberty. Even if the children may not remember our names at the end of the day, what matters is that we are helping to provide a better home for them so they can do what they do best: be kids. One of the questions that we were asked at an orientation before we left for Belize was, “What’s the point?” What’s the point of us being here? What’s the point of raising all of this money to come down here to work at Liberty when that same money can be used to fund local workers? Truth be told, I don’t know yet. I’m still searching for the answer. We’re all in search for the answer.