from a friend...
Just had a visit at the Sacred Heart Catholic High School in San Ignacio with the Taiwanese immigrant music teacher Mr. Li. Told him about the music festival on Friday the 22nd at 6 p.m. He did not sound, or seem interested? We invited him to bring some children players.
Went to Bishop Martin Primary School. Very muddy track into there, it is out the Bullet Tree Road quite a ways. Seems the RC Diocese has bought a big tract of land in the middle of no where! But counting on West San Ignacio growing out towards Bullet Tree and swallowing them up eventually, like they did with St. Johns College forty years ago. As an aside, I have not been able to get the SJC College, Belizeans Studies book out at my Santa Elena Public Library. I would like to read it, as I saw an interesting article on it in the last weekend's newspapers. From sales outlets it seems to be just a port city book though? Maybe SJC would donate one to our library out West? Anyway, getting back to Bishop Martin Primary School on the outer edges of West San Ignacio, I met the Principal and the music teacher. Ayumi Okuno, ( music teacher ) who works with some kind of Japanese Peace Corps in Belize. This is the first time I have heard of them and I will go back to interview her with camera next time I get a chance and do an article on what the Japanese AID people are doing in Belize. I recollect that the ITVET in San Ignacio said the Japanese were helping with car electronics teaching or something? But meeting Ayumi Okunok, a very beautiful young Japanese lady, all excited with youth and vitality at helping children, there must be a very interesting tale to tell of the Japanese here in Belize. Something I was not aware of. She and the Principal are going to bring 5 children from Primary School, to play Recorders at 6 p.m. in the evening of Dec. 22nd.. Dr. Eve Aird from Galen University said they were the best players of Recorders in the West. Ayumi was very appreciative of that opinion and jumped with pride and joy. I mistook her first for Mr. Li's wife the Taiwanese music teacher at Sacred Heart. But nope! She corrected me, she is free and single and in her early 20's and from Japan.
There are quite a few web sites on the internet covering the ANNUAL MAYA MOUNTAINS FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL for the Belize Development Trust NGO done each December. Here are a couple of links, or urls.http://folkmusicfl.tripod.com/2006marimbamusicscholarships/http://falconview0.tripod.com/mayamountainfolkmusicfestival2005belize/
By the way I might mention that our Festival donations will run out this year, so if anyone wants to help out, a hundred, or fifty wouldn't go amiss! We usually pay for the Alma Belicena Marimba Band, which has a website. The oldest member died this year at 93 years and our goal of training new youngsters has not yet accelerated. We are still trying to get a marimba and a Guatemalan teacher. Hopefully next year? The kids usually get cash prizes for performing. We like to see them get the experience. The clay flutes from Magana Pottery Works were not successful. Magana said he had trouble keeping them tuned when baking. He has only worked on it sporadically. He did a fabulous clay bust of Lord Waters though, ruler of CARACOL a thousand years ago thereabouts.
Went into the new Salvation Army building also on the Bullet Tree road. They are still working on it and it is behind schedule. Looks like a large part will be a THRIFT SHOP and piles of clothes were in there, but not sorted. Construction was ongoing, but the contractors said they had so much work they were unable to devote much time to it. I met the Salvation Army family and they are currently living in Georgeville. Which is a bit out of the way. I really would like the Salvation Army in different District Belizean Towns. It is the only reputable charitable community help organization I know of. I don't agree with the Christian religion, but the work they do is fabulous at the Salvation Army and pretty much 100% given to the needy in the community. Having helped me when I was a young teenage boy and seeing them in post war torn Europe I believe in them.