Day 1: Waking up at 4am to catch a flight was brutal. However, my flight to Belize went well. There was a bunch of students on my flight. We were able to all find and meet Cynthia (the program director) at the airport in order for her to drive us to our hotel. The drive was around 2 hours long.
Once we arrived at the Midas Resort, we checked into our little cabins. There are so many insects and birds everywhere. The weather is also super hot and humid.
After settling in, we walked down the street to a restaurant/bar called Hode’s for dinner. I ate a chicken burrito with French fries. It was amazing! They also had fresh juices that a lot of the students tried.
After dinner, we walked back to the hotel. Belize’s time zone is two hours behind the United States. So by 8:30pm I was exhausted😴
Day 2: The hotel provides breakfast for us so at 8am we all went to eat. I had fresh fruit with toast and local jam. During this time of the year mango is in season, so it was incredible juicy and fresh😛 After breakfast, we walked into town (San Ignacio) and went to the grocery store, local fruit market and other stores. We ate lunch at the Guava Limb Cafe. I ordered fresh baguettes with layers of vegetables and local cheese. It was delicious!!
Our group went on a tour of one of the Mayan Ruins Sites named Xunantunich. We had to travel across what the locals called “the ferry” which was similar to a moving bridge.
Walking around the Mayan Ruins was incredible. It was nice having a tour guide to explain the history and to answer our questions. On the way home we stopped by local crafters where we were able to buy handmade crafts.
Day 3: After eating breakfast, we went to PAWS clinic where we learned about the different breeds of cows, pigs, horses and sheep. We also learned about the different viruses and bacterial infections that are common in Belize in the animals. We learned how to do different sutures and practiced on uncooked chicken breast. Dr. T (the main vet in-charge) allowed us to assist in spaying and neutering. I was able to practice my suturing skills as well as learn how to give vaccines.
Day 4: In the morning, we had a few lectures on animal health. We ate lunch at a place down the road where I got tacos for only $2! At a lot of places in Belize the meal size is very portioned compared to the U.S. Most of the time I finish my meal.
After lunch we went to a horse farm🐎 We practiced doing physical exams on the horses. I learned how to use my stethoscope by taking the heart rate, respiratory rate and listening to the gut. I learned how to check a horse’s CRT (capillary refill time) by pushing on their gums and counting how long it took for them to go back to their original color. This checked to see if the horse was dehydrated. I checked their PLR (pupillary light response) as well their temperature. I actually found my horse to be pregnant and due in a few months. Overall my horse was pretty healthy🐴 We were also able to watch a male horse get castrated. I couldn’t believe how fast the procedure went. It was less than 5 minutes long!
Tomorrow were learning more about animal reproduction and get to visit a dairy farm 🙂