Hey Everyone!! It’s Day 16 over here, and I am feeling a mix of emotions as the last program came to an end and we met our new classmates for the next two weeks. At least I also have Deanna and Angela for the next two weeks and am sharing a room with them! But now, here are some updates!!
On Thursday, our group went to the Horse Farm for our very last day of class and performed physical examinations on all the horses and gave them all vaccinations! It was fun to repeat the physical examinations that we learned on the second day of the course. Afterward, we got to ride horses through a jungle trail, and since I am really inexperienced with horseback riding, I got the “kid” horse. Everyone else’s horse was trotting and kept a relatively quick pace, while I was maybe 40 yards behind because of my horse’s refusal to go any faster. Regardless, it was a fun trail and it was a great way to end our last day of learning!! While the experienced riders galloped through the trail, we got to eat this delicious vegetable soup and watch the different hummingbird species around us! Once we returned to the resort, we reviewed for the exam the next day, added some final touches to our presentations and had a delicious dinner- easily the best chicken strips I have ever had.
On Friday, our very last day :(, we got to present our projects and ask questions. Some presentations were on: Ehrlicia, Rabies (Angela and I’s Project), Botflies, Biosecurity and more! Afterward, we took our exam, which only took maybe half an hour and returned for some final relaxation by the pool. It was sad to think that it was a day of lasts. Our last time together, our last time in the clinic, our last time by the pool. Later in the evening, we went to Dr. T’s house for some dinner, games, and celebration. We ate the best chicken ever, made by Chef Dr. T and watched a video made by our TA Shiloh which was 24 minutes long and made me heavily nostalgic. I also got to play soccer with Dr. T’s sons and accidentally scratched my knee- the first time I’ve been hurt on the trip! To close the evening, we went to a casino to go to the club which had about 10 people other than us, and enjoyed dancing with each other one last time before we all went different places! It was incredibly sad saying goodnight to everyone and saying goodbye. I am so grateful to Dr. T for everything he’s taught us, to Ruben for everything he has done for us, and to Shiloh for dealing with us and all the challenges associated with college students in a foreign country. All of my classmates were absolutely wonderful and I’ve met people from so many places: Iowa, Washington, Ohio, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia, Pennsylvania and home!! I hope I get to see all these amazing people again, who have experienced the worst and best with me: hot rides in the backseat of the van, sweating our faces off in a smelly pig farm, and successfully vaccinating hundreds of animals and performing dozens of castrations and spays and neuters.
In the morning, Deanna, Angela and I were transported to the Tropical Education Center, about 30 miles out of Belize City and settled into our dorm. The dorm consists of four rooms: one room can hold three people, another can hold five, another can hold four, and one is meant for the one boy of the group. After settling in, we got a tour, spotted a crocodile behind our dorm, found the showers, toilets, and sinks, which are all a minute walk from the dorms, and then swam in the pool. Around 1 pm, we were picked up and had lunch with Lauren, Dr. K (our professor) and some new wildlife and large animal students. Once all the wildlife students arrived, we all went to the pool and voluntarily played a few icebreaker games which turned out to be really fun! Then we had dinner together, which was stewed chicken and some rice and beans.
After an early breakfast at 7, the rest of the group went cave tubing and zip lining while Deanna, Angela and I stayed back to save money. We worked on our blogs, went to lunch at Cheers with Dr. K, and napped until the group came back. Then we had to go to the classroom to have Cynthia and Lauren give us a two hour orientation, which was informative but was my second time watching so it was a little boring. After, we went over the schedule for the next couple weeks with Dr. K and had dinner- meatloaf (my first time having it ever) and the best mashed potatoes ever. Dr. K brought up going karaokeing at a nearby restaurant called Little Texas where we sang and played cards for about two hours.
It’s really different here at the Tropical Education Center than Midas Resort. The van for this program is better, but we have no A/C or town and we only have two restaurants nearby. The dorms for this program include bunk beds and mosquito nets- which don’t work for me because bugs love me apparently. And there are still 12 girls and 1 boy! But I am so excited for the next 12 days and all the wildlife I will learn about, while simultaneously excited about going home and seeing my family and friends.
Days to go: 12!!!
P.S. Because of not that great of Wifi, it’s difficult to upload photos so for this post there are none, but I promise I will try for the next post!!!