It’s 5:45 am – having a hard time snapping my head into place. Today is the big day starting with the morning show. After that hoping we get some down time before we have to go pick up Lucien Chung from the Planetary Coral Reef foundation and waste water Garden rep for Belize. We are taking him on a him on a tour so he can see can him first hand why this project is so needed and for San Mateo and many other areas in every district of Belize. Heather said correspondence from him is direct and to the point. I think that is a good sign because the reason for getting him here is very direct and to the point San Mateo without question needs to be cleaned up and given some tlc in a major way.
Reef Radio morning show was great. The guys there are always supportive of Holy Cross and Direct Abundance and they very much liked the idea of this pioneer grass roots effort to put in place an eco friendly waste management system in San Mateo community and applauded that the school is doing a state of the art bathroom facility with composting flush toilets.
In the end Heather and Cathy were glad they did the morning show and said the Reef Radio boys made them feel comfortable and at home which made it easier to tell the story. We all joked around yesterday afternoon about how Heather did not think I could pull getting them on the morning show off so fast and why she agreed to speak on tv. All it took was one call to Vernon yesterday and the wheels were set in motion – got the call 10 minutes later that he would meet us there at 7:10am to help share this exciting and important news with San Pedro about how the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation was coming here today.
Two thumbs up for Lucien it was a pleasure to meet him and it is just over the top exciting that he was willing to hear the story – tour the school and walk the planks of San Mateo to see what needs to be done first hand and why.
I got the call at 9:18am from Lucien saying he was boarding the 9:30 Tropic Air Flight from Municipal to San Pedro. I asked him if he wanted to wait inside with air conditioning or outside and he chose the outdoor waiting area. I told him we would be there at 9:50am and he could look for look for 2 brunettes and a Blond.
That spun us into action fast and I was able to get the girls on the coconut phone and tell them we have to be at the airport in 20 minutes. The big moment was coming fast and while we were driving to Tropic I kept thinking about Heather’s advice for walking the planks to just breath and remember how many people cross them daily.
When we arrived at the school Vernon gave us a mini tour and we all got to see the progress on the new bathroom building. It is very big and pretty amazing . Once side has a ramp making it wheel chair accessible and the other side steps. There is a nice veranda surrounding it. Now all they need is for the toilets to arrive. We also got to see all the mechanics below which was cool – of course I took lots of pictures so you can join us on our mission and see it all.
After the tour we settled into the computer Lab – they use an areal shot of the school and San Mateo for their screen saver on the projector screen so Vernon was able to show Lucien the expanse of it. Eric was there and he showed Cathy and Heather the plank path they followed Tuesday – the same one we would be walking today. We started with the school dvd followed by 9 year old Gigi Harri’s self produced documentary on San Mateo and finished up with Lucien’s presentation on Waste Water Gardens. By this time we all knew this was a match made in heaven. Just as we finished up and were getting ready to have lunch when Miss Jan Brown came to join us – she wanted to meet the direct Abundance girls and Lucien – perfect connections for when Marco Gonzales is ready to get their composting toilets in place.
Lunch was great we had great conversation – chicken pasta and juice.
Break time will be back in a while to title the pictures and tell you what it was like to walk the London Bridges.
It was not as scary as I thought it would be and I think the reason was that the London Bridges in most spots are not too high off the ground. Walking the planks gave me a whole new perspective on the struggles that San Mateo faces and just how important this project is.
We went to go see Shirley [who was not home] the girls had wanted to thank her for getting all 25 surveys filled out by local residents in legible format and less than 48 hours. While there I saw two young boys playing in the yard – All I could think of is that they were doing what boys are supposed to do. How do you explain to kids that playing in their yard on a gorgeous sunny summer day is not ok. Where do you tell them to go and play as an alternative when the whole neighborhood is not safe?
Seeing the new roads that are being built in San Mateo was a bright light on our tour – they are doing such a fantastic the San Mateo Empowerment Project – please join their facebook group and support this worthy cause. With San Mateo getting roads – composting toilets and waste water gardens the dream is turning into reality right before our eyes. The the kids will play safely in their yards and the adults will walk the streets that many of them helped build and share in the community upkeep of of the gardens that will not only help beautify their neighborhood but make it green and clean as well. What a great a fairy tale ending.