January 9, 2019

Day 7: Finishing Work and Touring Schools!

Aldergrove 2019 HANDS Team:

We can't believe today was our last day at the work site! There are so many things we could keep working on, but we're pretty happy with what we accomplished. 

The girls hung out with the preschoolers again today and introduced Duck Duck Goose to them. They couldn't really grasp the concept, but it was fun to watch! Jake, Lee, and John carted cinderblocks onto the foundation, where the local guys started laying the walls. It was a lot of work; cinderblocks are heavy! 

The women kept working on the septic tank hole, evening out the sides and making sure they were straight. Erica and Mikah used the hammer drill, and one of the local guys pickaxed the bottom and chipped at the sides. They didn't get it as perfect as they wanted, but they were able to make the hole significantly wider. 

Steve, Ron, and Cody worked to remove a teeter-totter hinge and beams for a swingset from the playground. They weren't able to take the teeter-totter hinge out, as it was buried too far in cement. With the combined effort of the three of them plus Jake, however, they were able to take the swingset beams out and put new ones in!

The rest of the morning was spent tidying up around the worksite, carting rocks and debris onto the road and attempting to fix a fan in the classroom. By the time lunch rolled around, we were ready for a break! After lunch, our host took us to three other Presbyterian schools in the area. We were accompanied by staff members of each school, who told us a little about the history and the status of each school.

The Presbyterian Day School opened in the 1970s, and now has 120 students from kindergarten to eigth grade. The classes are spread over two campuses and are serviced by 6 teachers, one of whom also does secretarial work. They've been visited by numerous HANDS teams in the past, and it was so cool to see the names of the teams that have come before us!

Cornerstone Presbyterian High School was started in 2003 and has grown rapidly since then; it now has 174 students! The school is for grades 9-12, and has 9 teachers. Their campus is beautiful, but the school's rapid expansion has put pressure on the staff. There is so much need, from a proper Home Ec classroom to new computers to a larger auditorium for their weekly chapels.

Concepcion Presbyterian School opened in 1997 and has 166 students from kindergarten to eigth grade. They have ten teachers, and have recently put in a request for a HANDS team to come and repair a large portion of their roof, which has fallen into disrepair. By the time we got to CPS, school was almost over, so we were able to play a game of soccer with the kids and talk with them. They were so friendly and engaging! A lot of them wanted to know where we were from, and if we had snow where we lived!

This afternoon opened our eyes to the great need among the schools in Belize. We might have helped one school, but there is so much more that we and other teams could do. These schools have been a great evangelism tool in the surrounding towns, and we can help them to continue! Please pray for the students, staff, and schools in Belize, that their needs would be met and that the teachers and staff would be able to positively influence students and parents. 

We would also appreciate prayer for health and a good night's sleep for each of us tonight. We are going on a cultural outing tomorrow, and none of us want to miss it!


Clasina and Henry
Jan 9, 2019 at 9:19 pm

Hey Lee, sign your name too!

Audrey Leyenhorst
Jan 9, 2019 at 9:31 pm

Thanks once again for the pictures and update! And a wonderful sleep and a fabulous time tomorrow!

Might have to look into heading down there in 2 years!

Jan 9, 2019 at 11:00 pm

Tough ladies! Great work..safe travels home

Rob Schouten
Jan 10, 2019 at 1:28 pm

Thanks for the regular updates! Looks like you got a lot done! Blessings as you wrap up your trip. See you all soon.

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