When I first arrived at Belize, I wanted to run away back to New Jersey. I was so uncomfortable and I felt so out of place. But as the days progressed I noticed a change in myself. I was actually not looking forward to going home. I could not get over leaving when I was gaining so much experience and having so much fun. I had made so many new friends, I did not want to lose them. I really enjoyed this course the most. I felt right at home with everyone and I could not ask for a better place to stay. I miss my neighbors that I visited frequently, the cat Rosie and her son Bun Bun we cared for and the program. I will miss Manon’s jokes and Cindy forgetting where she places things ( I will not miss her hair in the drain she left for the maid to clean, which she never did so I had to). I will miss Safa basically living in our room and denying George entry because we had our bloomers out. I will miss Zu’s personality and Dylan woes. Kayla’s awesomeness and Allie aka Annie the tourist pictures. Montana’s wholesomeness and Jordan’s teamwork. Most of all I will miss the animals of Belize, I wish we could help them all. I hope to go back and continue helping the community. Thank you to Dr. T, his family and all the CELA staff and the people who donate for our scholarship for making this possible.
This is our last day and I will truly miss it. We vaccinated cows for black leg, rabies and gave them dewormer and vitamins. Giving vaccinations to cows was different than giving vaccinations to sheep and goats. With cows, we had to stab them with the needle. With sheep and goat, we have to give them an injection that is subq. After the shot, we had to pound the hole where the shot was given. This is done to distribute the medicine. I think we gave injections to about 54 cows. There was a horse neuter which I was hoping to help with. I did not guess the number the TA was thinking about and I didn’t get to help but it was still a learning experience. I am glad I was able to watch from the side. Lastly, we gave an injured dog injections to help his swollen leg. Considering I felt kind of sick starting the day I felt everything went well.
This Saturday was the clinic. Some of the people here were in the last course with me and already did a clinic day. I couldn’t do it the last time because I was so burnt from the beach the day before, my whole body was swollen. I couldn’t move and it was hard to sleep. This time I was able to attend and It was great. It was fast paced and i think everyone tried their hardest to be on their A game. I was happy I got to try out every aspect of the clinic. We checked every animals weight, temperature, heartrate and pulse rate. We gave them dewormer, vitamins and flea medication and some of them even came in for surgery. We helped the town receive medical care for many residents, it felt wonderful to do that.
This was a fun day, we went to whistling ducks farm and learned about horses. We did a physical exam on one horse and each person chose a partner to help them. My partner was Mannon and she was the best. She knew a lot about horses and their anatomy. A few of the things we did was check the height, weight, and temperature. Then we wrote down her past and present history. We were able to see she was pregnant and heard her baby’s heartbeat. Later on we left the farm and helped Dr. T perform surgery on a few of the residents dogs. I spoke to the residents and learned some history about the area. Also, I met this young girl who was from California. She was visiting her mother for the summer. Her and her family gave me a bunch of mangos to take back with me, it was such a treat. We stop by the clinic and learned about palpating cows. Everything took longer than expected and we got home late and very tired. I had no idea this was going to be so hands on. I am loving how much exposure I am getting.
When I went to the clinic this morning, I knew we were going to have a talk from the BAHA representative. He was kind and was interested in answering any questions. After that we all had lunch and then we learned how to suture pieces of chicken. I thought I had the hang of it and was excited I was improving. Then we had a dog come in. Real life experience is difference from experimental chicken. I held some organs and looked at some insides. Next I was now suturing a dogs incision. A dogs skin is a lot tougher than a piece of raw chicken. A student started suturing before me, I tried to give her words of encouragement but it seemed mundane. She was nervous, like all of us were. Then I went, I was trying to be calm but I didn’t do the suture right. Next another student, she seemed calm too. After what seemed like forever, someone came to check the sutures, they were almost all bad. I redid one of mine and the other person fixed the rest. I was proud of myself for keeping my cool but disappointed that I couldn’t deliver the first time. Not only that but injecting whatever I gave to that dog was so thick. It was so hard to push down. I was surprised at how much pressure I would have to use. Now that I know, I am looking forward to trying again. I know this time will be much different. I just have to remember to keep confident and believe in myself. Also, the place we are staying has an AC and a bathroom in the same area you are sleeping yay!