August 16, 2011 - SOY and Blue Birds

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We've had 2 more SOY (Strength of Youth) trainings this week--One in Orange Walk and one in Belmopan.  Berly, Eric, and Kerben, our SOY experts, came again from Guatemala. Actually the trainings are mostly for the SOY counselors, but we are asked to be at all the meetings.  Enthusiasm is contagious, as more people get involved with the conference. 

In small groups, the soon-to-be counselors learned teaching techniques that will really make learning fun for the youth.
These conferences have been held in the USA for 30 years, and in some other countries for several years--usually called Especially for Youth.  The name has been changed here in Central America to Strength of Youth.  Since this is the very first SOY conference in Belize, we are working hard to make sure it will be successful. 

Sister Pattee had a hard time keeping up with line dance instruction,

But the young counselors-to-be, thought it was a piece of cake.

In the next activity the counselors learned how to make a banner and a cheer to represent their group based on a scripture they were given. 

 A panel of judges was needed to decide the winning banner and cheer. Guess who the judges were?  The oldest and wisest people there, of course.  (Pattees at left, Sandbergs, right.)

We pronounced this group the winner for their "Leap of Faith" banner and leaping cheer.

Then Eric and Berly demonstrated how not to dress for a dance.

No extreme clothing or too short skirts. The youth will for sure love this little skit set to music. Hopefully it will teach them not to wear extreme-type clothing to the SOY dance (or any dance).
Sunday evening we helped Paul finish up his Perpetual Education Fund application.  Tenica, his wife, was with him.  She is also going to school with the assistance of a PEF loan. We enjoyed our visit with them.

Monday evening Herb and Melanie (nonmembers), plus Sisters Clark and Rodas joined us for dinner.  Melanie showed us how to make some delicious Belizian food--black soup. Herb and Melanie own the store where we buy our drinking water.
Buses are a very important mode of transportation here. 
Ever wonder where all those school buses go after the U.S. schools are through with them? 

Most buses used here are just Blue Birds, with a new paint job. 

Often, they get new engines, too.

The buses mostly run city to city.  They make only a few intercity stops. 

These buses seem to serve the people well.

We both spent quite a bit of time training branch leaders this week.  Elder Pattee works with all 5 branch presidencies and also the Belize District presidency.  

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