Hi there!! My name is Kayla Luis, and I am a soon-to-be sophomore majoring in Animal Science and double minoring in Spanish and Portuguese. For the next four weeks, I will be studying in Belize through the CELA: Belize Program. I will be taking two courses: Large Veterinary Practice and Wildlife Health, Ecology and Conservation. I am so thankful for the SEBS Scholarship and the opportunity to show you all my experience! I always neglect reflecting so this should be a good thing.
There are a few reasons why this is titled “Last Minute Addition.” If you know me personally, and especially if you are my mom and are reading this, you know that no matter how many lists I make, or how many plans, I am always last minute adding important details. For example, today I had to buy 2 pairs of scrubs at a much more expensive store because I couldn’t manage to order earlier from Amazon. Regardless of my procrastination habit, I still manage to get things done and I hope that habit will break in the meantime.
I am SO excited for Belize. Not only do I get an opportunity to adventure- something I love to do- but I also get to learn, work with animals (one of my favorite things to do) and get to take a break from the world I am in right now. Ever feel like sometimes you need a fresh start, a chance to reboot? I feel that more than ever right now. Of course, since I am big on family and I would be clueless without mine, I couldn’t imagine more than a month apart, which is why I decided to do a short-term program for my experience. Yet I also do need a break from the culture of fast-paced deadlines and responsibilities and a break to reflect and stop being the negative Nancy I have become. Hopefully, you will get to see that journey. To my family and friends: I still love you. I mostly need a break from myself in this environment and maybe I will be a better me when I come back!
For students debating whether or not to come on a trip, or are preparing for their own, here are some tips I did to pack and get ready:
- Because of the fact that I was doing 2 programs, and the lack of washing machines during the second program, I packed 14 of everything (other than pants and shoes of course).
- I went to my doctor and got medicine for some digestive issues that may come along with eating in a developing country- which I already know will come in handy.
- TONS AND TONS OF BUGSPRAY AND SUNSCREEN! YOUR SKIN IS SO IMPORTANT!
- I made a list- I love lists but am terrible at keeping to them- of all items I could possibly ever need. Not only did I do that, but I also packed over a few days so I wouldn’t forget any important, yet forgettable items (like toothpaste).
- If they ask for donations, donate as much as you can! I have an extra carry on bag full of children’s books to donate.
- Take all your records (and copies of them) with you. You can never be -too- safe.
Can’t wait for this journey and to share them with you all! Thank you for allowing me to be the center of attention in something (lol). I’m always willing to share and be open and honest and I hope you will see a lot of that the next 4 weeks! It isn’t forever, but it is enough to be life-changing.