There hasn’t been a lot happening in the city lately, so I haven’t had a reason to blog anything. But I have tried to take some more photos lately as my time here in Belize is coming to an end – so here are some snapshots of dancing, hanging and lunching with friends from the last three months.
The Halloween party in Caye Caulker was easily the highlight of the last couple of months. After spending two years here I think that Halloween, together with the carnival, are the two best parties in Belize. And the Electronic Music Festival in January, of course. ;)
A very very welcome break in every day monotony here have been the visits from afar. My darling Den visited me for the Thanksgiving weekend in November, Natasha came for work in October and stayed at my place so I dragged her out for some fun.
And then there have been some random nights out friends and with Nuria who lives far but comes sometimes. Michelle had a nice birthday party by her pool and a very sweet hangout session with her four legged friends.
And I’ve had my weekly lunches with Jahmai and trying to meet up with other friends as well. I’ve been doing quite well here in keeping my rule of eating outside of the office – well deserved moments away from fluorescent lights and my windowless space.
It is a great pleasure to share with you all the freshly produced short documentary, Beat a Pan, Not a Man that I have worked on for UNICEF Belize together with the much talented producer Brent Toombs.
The production is a journey through emotions and an insight into the lives of young people living in the very violent parts of Belize City – and shows us how a UNICEF Belize supported initiative, implemented by local partners Restore Belize and the National Institute of Culture and History, helps these children get out of their violent environments and instead focus on learning how to play music and having fun.
The video producer prepared a cool 1 minute trailer for the video, and then we released the full length 10 minute documentary last Friday. Enjoy!
Last week we celebrated the UN Day here in Belize, along with the rest of the world. I supported in planning the event and supervising the two video productions – one to commemorate the 70 years of the UN in Belize, and the other to document the event in itself.
It was great fun, but I was accidentally caught on camera while taking a photo and holding my sunglasses – you’ll see it below. An otherwise cool image, I had to ask the producers to cut it out due to the quite obvious accidental super-fail. Haha!
Today, we supervised the delivery of family hygiene kits to the Government for distribution to the families affected by the recent floods in Belize. But instead of a photo of a person wearing one logo handing over a box to another person wearing another logo, I took a “what’s in my bag” kind of photo of the kit itself.
Because what’s more interesting than the fact that access to soap can be life saving for small children? These are important basic hygiene items that some families have been deprived of.
I’m really enjoying the storytelling workshops that I’m doing with our partners here in Belize.
Sharing insights and advice on storytelling, fundraising, reporting and, as an added bonus, photography, is a way for UNICEF to strengthen the capacity and sustainability of local initiatives.
Important to point out about the UN in general, is that our goal is to eventually “not be necessary” and to create independence rather than being a “forever financial supporter”.
Teaching organizations how to raise funds from international donors and make partnerships with the private sector in the country, how to document their activities through stories and photography, how to give their beneficiaries a voice and space in their communication, and how to tell a good story to highlight the importance of the work they are doing – the added value in that is far larger than just supporting their activities financially – and is very much in line with the values of UNICEF.
I shared a video of my Belize City home when I first moved in, with the furniture that is included in my rent and the otherwise empty spaces and big empty white walls. I can’t do much to the place other than putting some stuff up, and I haven’t been wanting to invest in it as I’m moving out in a couple of months. But I moved the furniture around a bit, bought some Mexican blankets and colourful carpets – and this is what it looks like today. I really like my place, I love the breeze, I like that it’s airy and clean, and I love that I have an extra room to host friends. And as a cherry on top – I have free wifi from my very kind neighbours (a company) who don’t mind passing me their password, which is an amazing deal in Belize where wifi is ridiculously expensive.
As I said in my last post, this is a tradition that I wish I had started already when I started moving around, because the place you live in is a very nice memory to keep. Here’s a nostalgia tour of my previous homes, since I started doing this in 2011: