I’ll be leaving for Belize in four and a half days! The reality of the situation hasn’t quite sunk in yet–I just took my last final of the semester today, and a lot of my focus has been on studying for that last exam…and packing, and taking care of scheduling, and getting ready for Christmas. I’m not going to lie, it’s all a bit overwhelming right now, from the minor details like packing and trying to schedule a haircut that’s about six months overdue, all the way up to the fact that this will be my first trip outside of the United States. I’ve lived in New Jersey my entire life, and I’ve only ever been west of the Mississippi River once–and since I was only about five, I don’t remember much of it. Therefore, going to Belize is going to be a huge step out of the world I’m familiar with–and I can’t wait! I’ve been hoping to participate in the CELA Large Animal Veterinary Practice in the Tropics program since I came to Rutgers, and I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am for this study abroad experience.
I have a very type-A personality, and like to have a good idea of what to expect before I dive into something new; I like to have my “who what where when why hows” all lined up, if you will. Not surprisingly then, I did a ton of research on the program and Belize the past few months: what types of animals we’ll be working with, what foods I should try, which excursions I should go on, you name it, I’ve looked for it! Throughout all my info digging though, one thing in particular really stood out to me. I’ve spoken with so many fellow students who have participated in (and loved) this course, and every single one of them has told me “words can’t do it justice.” And, as cheezy as it might sound, it’s starting to sink in that I actually have no idea what to expect in some regards. Despite all my preparation, I really have no clue what this experience is going to feel like–but I can’t wait to find out.