Day 12: Today we had a lecture about BAHA (Belize Agriculture Health Authority) and about the animal health division. It was interesting learning about the different diseases that affect the livestock in Belize. Afterwards, Dr. T brought in the reproductive tract of a cow and helped us identify the different parts.
After lecture we went to a goat & sheep farm. After practicing giving the sheep vaccines the previous day, everyone was a pro. We did an oral dewormer instead of an injection. I think I’ve mastered subcutaneous injections. My partner and I were very quick and consistent with giving the injections. I definitely got a good work-out in.
After giving all the sheep the injections, our teacher showed us how to take blood from a chicken. I had no idea they had a vein on their wings. The vein looked huge before injecting the needle. However, as soon as he did, the vein became smaller. I was surprised to learn that on some birds like a parrot, you have to be well aware and experienced with drawing blood. Parrots become very stressed so leaving the needle in too long can cause them to freak out and eventually die within seconds. I couldn’t believe this!
Day 13: Today we visited a beef cattle farm again and practiced giving injections. Beef cattle scare me because they aren’t as friendly as dairy cattle. These cows were worse than the previous ones due to the farmer not having a ton of hands-on interaction with them. Dairy cows are constantly around the farmer and are much much more friendlier. We gave injections to 90 cows. I was so exhausted after only the first 20.
After finally finishing giving all the injections, we were able to feed the horses bananas. I couldn’t believe that horses even eat the skin of the banana.
At night, everyone studied and practiced for our presentations and exam that we would have the following day.
Day 14: Today was our last full day in Belize 😞 Each of our small groups had to present a presentation to the class about something we had learned from the past two weeks. My group did our project comparing the two different spays: flank vs midline. In Belize, a flank spay is typically done where the incision is made on the side of the animal. In the U.S. most spays are on the midline, right below the umbilical scar. This was super interesting learning and presenting the two types of spays.
After the presentations, we had our final exam. The exam was mainly free response/open-ended and multiple choice. It was actually super easy. All of the information we were suppose to know came from the hands-on work we did in the field.
We visited the Green Iguana Conservation Project. We were able to hold and feed a ton of iguanas. They were actually very friendly. Later, we had an end of the trip party at our professor’s house where he made us authentic Belizean food.
Day 15: We got up super early today and ate breakfast for the last time in Belize☹️ I finally tried “fry jacks” which is very popular in Belize. They are similar to Pillsbury crescent rolls but have more air. They were delicious!
We left for the airport afterwards. My flight got delayed and I was scared I was going to miss my connecting flight. Once we got to Charlotte, NC, there was another delay because of the storm. I finally got back home to Philadelphia, PA around 11:30pm and was exhausted from flying ALL day.