So, before I left for Belize, I really knew nothing about the country outside of its physical location on a map and what little I was able to read up about the culture through a travel guide I ordered about 2 months out before officially deciding to study abroad. I was prepared to discover that Mayans were the first to inhabit the region but little did I know how our own country’s history tied into that of Belize. It turns out that Belizean logwood was donated to help fund the construction of the steeple of the Old North Church (now better known as Christ Church) in Boston, Massachusetts. If you are thinking about Paul Revere right now and the beginning of a revolution that continues to kindle our spirit for freedom and independence, then you are on the right track. Many actually do postulate that without this generous donation from Belize that the Christ Church steeple would not have existed when it was needed most to signal whether the British were coming by way of sea or land. Learning about American ties to Belizean history made me realize how we are connected to people in more ways than we know possible even when we were are not fully aware of the possibility. I felt this note was important to include as it continued to frame my experience while abroad and my hope is that it encourages you to do the same while reading my posts.
Now, I realize that you did not come here to have me narrate to you about the history of Belize—I am not a history major after all ;)—so I will go ahead and dive into our first day of class. I won’t lie and say that it was actually a bit of a frustrating day for me as it took me almost a full hour to learn how to suture. However, it also was probably one of the parts on this trip in which I could look back on myself and feel what it was like to have a dream actualized. My imagination never has really grown quiet with getting older and it probably is one of the major reasons why I feel I have been able to stay in continued pursuit of my goals. Looking back on only a summer ago, I was just learning how to cross-stitch and while sitting on the couch with a bicycle pattern at my lap, I began to visualize myself with a different needle and thread in hand. So, it came, as no surprise while suturing for the first time that I still felt fulfilled even while erroring at every stitch along the way. I am just glad it was only chicken legs we were working on although I cannot wait to experience suturing during real surgeries at our free animal clinic this weekend!
My apologies for these late posts! I got sick on my return home and we had limited Wifi as we were out in the field most of the time working with their large farm animals. More posts will soon be coming! 🙂