The last few days have been filled with a lot of emotions, great memories and traveling. On Thursday we woke up at 4:40 to meet everyone at 5 to head to a dairy farm. There we got to meet the farms owner who told us about the history of the farm and how he started his business. We toured the facility and got to practice milking a cow. The cows were all free range and got to roam around the farm when they weren’t being milked. The owner told us that each cow gets milked twice a day, every day. Two of his cows had nasty eye problems. In one of the cows, Dr. T said the eyeball had ruptured and that she had most likely poked it on something in the pasture. The second farm we visited was a farm that specialized in artificial insemination. We reviewed the anatomy and general information about AI. Than we got to perform a palpation on multiple cows. Some of the cows were pregnant and others were not. After the first palpation we got into small groups and each took turns palpating the same cow, then we had to determine we could feel if the cow was pregnant or not without any help from the technician.
On Friday we went to Mountain Equestrian Trail which was a small bed and breakfast that offered guests the opportunity to horseback ride every day, enjoy delicious home cooked meals and get off the grid. Shortly after arriving we paired up and started examining the horses. We did physical exams, took body condition scores, and recorded their height and weight. Most of the horses had bad tick infestations in their ears, we were informed this was due to the environment. Each horse got three injections, one of vitamins, dewormer to kill the ticks and antibiotics. After caring for the horses, we were allowed to go on a trail ride. The owner asked us how many people had experience horseback riding and who did not. I have been riding since I was 8 and it is one of my favorite activities. Everyone with experience went had lunch while the non-experienced riders went out to the trails first. We ate a delicious homemade soup with rice and had brownies for dessert. This was my first brownie since leaving the states and boy oh boy it was delicious! Once the other group returned we headed out for the trails. The jungle was unbelievably beautiful. It was a something you would see in a magazine. Since our group had experience horseback riding, we got to canter through some parts of the trail. After the ride we went back to Midas and started studying for our exam which was the next day and finishing our projects that were also due.
The next day went by in the blink of an eye. We started the morning a little earlier than usual because Cynthia was coming to talk to us. After we did a course review, the group presentations and took our exam. Just like that we left the Paws clinic, never to return again together. We went to a few stores to do some gift shopping and then returned to Midas. That night Dr. T invited us all over to his house for a cook out. Even though it rained beforehand we all enjoyed our last dinner together. Our TA Shiloh made a video of pictures from our time together.
Again, me being me, I cried after the video when we all said our goodbyes to Dr. T, Ruben, Dr. Stephanie and Zamar. In the morning depending on what time your flight left dictated when you were leaving in the morning. So that night was the last night some of us would see each other. It was really hard to say goodbye to some of the girls that we spent the last two weeks getting to know. Only a few students went to Rutgers so most of the girls were going far back home.
The next morning (yesterday) we had our final breakfast at Midas, packed our luggage in the van and said goodbye to the remainder of the girls. Just like that we were on our way to the Zoo which is almost 30 miles outside Belize City. We got to Tropical Education Center (TEC) before any of the other students who will be in our class because they were getting off their flights. Only Kayla and Deanna (and myself) were doing a second class here in Belize, all of the other students from Large Animal went back to the states. We spent the afternoon getting settled in, spent some time at the pool and when some of the other girls arrived we all went to lunch together.
The TEC is much different than Midas. For starters we don’t have wifi anywhere except the dining area. There is no air condition anywhere here…. Only fans. We are sharing the same sized room with more people. We have to walk to the bathroom, shower and sink which is all communal. The landscape here is very beautiful since were in the jungle now. They advertised signs for common species of animals around the TEC and venomous critters as well. On our walk back from the dining hall last night, me, Kayla and Deanna saw a baby snake scurry across the path, which startled us. There was also a crocodile in the pond. Meals are now served buffet style, we don’t order from a menu anymore like we did for breakfast at Midas.
Last night, our first night here was a little rough for me. It was sad not having the same group of people and the three of us tried not to isolate ourselves from the others. We were all given bug nets to put around our beds but it didn’t cover all the way down (we had bunk beds). Against my better judgement I sprayed myself with bug spray and tried to get some rest. Before going to bed Kayla, Deanna and I played cards on the floor all night and had a lot of fun. I taught them how to play rummy and Deanna taught us Egyptian rat screw. I woke up multiple times throughout the night due to a huge rain storm. I could hear the rain pounding on the metal roof above me. Before we came to the TEC Ruben from the large animal course told us what it would be like here, which really prepared us. If he didn’t let us now I think the transition would have been much more difficult. Overall, I am really looking forward to what the next two weeks hold.