My service project was in Aguacate, a little remote village in the southern region of Belize. Before I started my project, I visited most of the families, to get to know the people, their lifestyle and their wishes. My first meeting with the villagers didn’t go too well. The women were often shy and showing little emotion, said little and most were speaking little or no English, even though it is the national language of Belize.
Despite all of this, they have many abilities, they maintain their little handmade bamboo or wooden house in the very good shape, their roofs made of leaves and there are no floors but soil. The most attractive thing for me in each single house was the cleanliness. Most of the families have so many children and the women of the family take care of them with love and all of their attention. All the children look always neat and their old clothes look clean and nice. The food is always ready in the house on time, usually each meal contains of corn tortilla which is a very long process to make. First peel and grain the corn, then make equal size circles, then bake them in a big iron smooth dish on the firewood stove. No matter how early I woke up the firewood stove was on and the food was ready and the washed clothes were hung to dry.
Sometimes the men return with the wild animal they hunted, the women cut and smoke the meat to preserve it to keep it for longer time.
For fishing they paint soft drink bottles blue and lay them in the river to catch little fish.
This was a very special experience for me, these women with little education and almost no money they knew how to survive and how to take care of their family in a very good way. I feel so small in front of all their unique abilities.
I felt deep in my heart I want to work with them, I want to teach them what I know and learn from them. I want to talk to them and know their dreams, and share mine.
I made and put a sign in the middle of village: “English class for women in the volunteers’ house” Humana People to People provided chairs, notebook, pencil and a flip chart.
This was a beginning of a beautiful relationship with the women. First I taught them with paint or I improvised through my body language then later we could communicate with simple sentences. After each class we practiced the song “What a wonderful world” together.
We continued the class until the end of my project; in the last day we were a group of friends who knew each other very well and we share our dream together. Bernice is a single mom with a son, Armin and her dream is for him to grow well and look after her when she gets old. Minita was the shyest in the class, who dreamt to bake delicious cakes. Magdalena dreamt of a beautiful colorful dress to wear at the church. Safira’s dream was to have a son as she already has 3 daughters. Anna wanted to have some piglets for herself and her family and my dream is to bring the happiness to the world.
Safira, Anna, Minita, Bernice, Magdalena can take their farm products to the town and sell them now, they can take their child to a doctor because they speak English, and I learned it’s possible to make change.
There are many villages, many towns many invisible women worldwide who work all days and nights tireless with love to feed and clothe their family without asking for any gratitude. Nobody knows them, nobody knows how they feel, what their wishes are…
I would love to thank them for the great things they do and I wish I could show them who they really are and how important are the things they do.
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