We had a seminar under the tiki bar at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Who has class on the beach? We do! The advisors improvised for the Powerpoint presentation by projecting the picture onto Ellen’s bed sheet. Who needs fancy screens?
We talked about the differentiation that may or may not be happening in our classrooms. For those of you who aren’t up on the education lingo, that differentiation means that you modify your teaching practices so that you can meet the needs of every student in your classroom to the best of your abilities. We have quite a few special education folks on the trip, so this is a unique experience for them because schools in Belize do not have formal special education programs. Maybe I can get Erica to do a guest post about what she’s doing at Compre High School. This girl is piloting a program for special education for 26 students all on her own. We can’t wait to hear what she does!
We pow-wowed with Ray about what’s going on so far and what concerns we have, as well as reflected on what we’ve done and what we will do for the duration of student teaching.
We went into town and did some touristy things, like shopping and eating. Then the fun began—snorkeling! John and Laura ventured around the day before to find us a good deal, bless them. For 30 bucks we were taken to two different marine reserves—a coral reef and SHARK RAY ALLEY. Yes, sharks. I thought I was all big and bad and refused to wear a life jacket whilst snorkeling. I’m not going to say it was a bad idea, but I will say I swallowed/inhaled some nasty salt water. I also wanted to lose the flippers, I feel like they inhibited more than helped. But I can’t imagine swimming against that current with my tiny feet.
I saw sea turtles, more fish I don’t know the names of, bright sea anemones. The next area, SHARK RAY ALLEY, had SHARKS. “It’s better than shark week!” Mary Grace said. Our fearless snorkeler leader, Jovanni, told us not to worry and that we had nothing to fear—the sharks cannot bite like Great Whites. I don’t remember the names of these sharks, but they looked like bottom feeders, if you ask me. Like catfish. The scariest parts were the size of them and number. The sharks have become trained to come to this area because fisherman used to clean fish and conch here, throwing the scraps over the side. Now Jovanni and other snorkel leaders feed the sharks too. Jovanni caught one and let us touch it! He crazy, mon. I felt like I was in a big fish tank at feeding time. Bizarre. The size of the stingrays were insane as well. I know Kelsey took some underwater photos, so maybe I can get those up here soon.
When we got back, we chilled by the pool and enjoyed the small amount of sunlight we had. Then, we went to Caramba, a Mexican restaurant. Free Rum Punch! After that we hit up “Big Daddy’s,” a bar. The drink I shared with Michelle was blue and tasted like grapefruit. Contradictory.
Then we escaped the rastas and marijuana smells wafting from upstairs and went to “The Jaguar.” This bar had giant jaguar teeth comprising the entrance.
I believe even more contradictory than the grapefruit drink was the fact that amid bars and nightlife, there were a ton of kids playing on the playground in the square at like 10:30. I wanted to go play tag or something with them, not sit at a bar. After more golf cart cruising and getting whistled and jeered at by local nasties, I went home. Looooong day.