Belize Adventure 2014

Community Garden

Part of the 2013 Garden, and posts that mark the area of the new chicken coupe

For the past 10 days, myself and Dr. Anthony Songer, have led the group of students in our Global Citizenship and Social Responsibility Class on a service learning trip in Belize.

We are an interdisciplinary group that includes students who are from a variety of undergraduate programs.  This year these include; engineering majors, nursing majors, psychology, education etc. etc.

The theme of of our community service work is “Healthy Lifestyles”.  My student Michelle (nursing major), did an excellent job of “connecting the dots” so to speak, or explaining why our projects and interdisciplinary teaming is important in Belize.

Read all about our adventure this year, and the importance of teaching children to grow their own vegetables here.  Connecting the Dots by Michelle McCowin

 

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A-Word-A-Week Photo Challenge: Tropical

Spider Monkey in Belize

Thanks for the treat...Spider Monkey

This photo was taken in Belize – on a tropical jungle river boat ride.

Mr. Spider monkey was open to snacks from the visitors and came close enough to take our offering.  It’s fun seeing these little guys in an unrestricted setting.  Click on the picture for more from the Belizean journey.

On Sacrifice

A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, and must empty us.
The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, and the fruit of service is peace.

Mother Theresa

English: orange blossom Français : fleur d'ora...

English: orange blossom Français : fleur d’orange العربية: زهر البرتقال (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lucky Boy

luckyboy-1765

Lucky Boy

About two weeks ago, I had the chance to visit the Belize Zoo (again), and meet Lucky Boy.  Lucky is a black beautiful jaguar (pictured left).  He had been abandoned by previous owners, and left to starve and die.  He wasn’t in good shape when he got to The Belize Zoo, but animal expert Sharon Matola, nursed him back to life, and Lucky Boy is now strong enough to have visitors.

The day I met Lucky Boy, 5 or 6 people at a time were allowed into a small enclosure, while Sharon brought his morning snack.  There was a strong mesh fence between the area where we were, and where he was, but that is all.   When Sharon called him over he stalked over one tentative step at a time.   Sharon laughed a bit at his jaguar style approach, but when he was finally close enough for his “snack”, his paws were up on the bars, and Sharon was treating him almost like her pet big kitty.  She talked, she sang.  The bond between cat and cat savior was plain.

Lucky boy was majestic, powerful, and beautiful all at the same time.  It was something to behold.

The interaction reminded me of the kingdom and Savior promised in Isaiah.   It’s a picture of peace and perfection and I saw a glimpse of it, at the zoo that day.

Isaiah 11: 1-6

1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.

 

The Belize Zoo

In a few weeks I, and several other professors will be taking some students to Belize.  We will spend 1 of our days in Belize at the Belize Zoo – visiting, and assisting with some projects – and hopefully enhancing some of the educational work of the zoo.  In order to prepare, our students are reading a book entitled, The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman’s Fight to Save the World’s Most Beautiful Bird .
It is the story of the woman in this video (below) – and the work she has done in Belize.  I find her story of perseverance, and her love for animals, to be inspiring.