I apologize that this post reflects that exhaustion.
It’s a bit all over the place.
Belize was absolutely incredible, and coming home was definitely an adjustment. There are so many people in New Jersey. So many people! And so much traffic! Granted, I have never before appreciated just how quickly the NJ Turnpike can get you across the state until I was bouncing along the dirt roads of Belize for three hours.
My time in Belize also showed me just how “in a hurry” Americans seem to be all the time. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to every single American at any given moment, but the general mindset of Belize is just a lot…slower? Quieter? More laid back? I don’t really have a good word to describe it, but compared to Belize, everything in America seems to be hurry hurry, rush rush. I love how in Belize, when you finish eating, you go up to the register to pay and get your receipt. You can sit at your table for as long as you’d like and chat after dinner without a waiter breathing down your throat and shoving a receipt at you (again, not saying this applies to every American restaurant ever). There’s such an emphasis on family, faith (almost nothing is open on Sundays), friends, and just being together that was really refreshing to see and so nice to be a part of.
And this doesn’t even begin to touch the veterinary side of things! I’ve already covered a lot of this in my prior posts, but I could really feel myself growing more confident with suturing, castration, injections, etc. as the weeks went on. I can’t wait to try out some of my new skills now that I’m back at home too. The hands-on experiences I got were absolutely incredible, as were all the people I met and places I went. I’m so thankful for the CELA team, the people at Loop Abroad, and of course, the PAWS clinic crew; they made all of this possible, and I cannot thank them enough. I’ll be using the skills I learned on this study abroad trip for the rest of my life–both the veterinary skills, and the life skills. This trip showed me how big the world really is, and just how much of it I haven’t seen! I don’t know exactly what’s in store for me in the future, but I think I’ll be looking into a Vets Beyond Borders program, where veterinarians volunteer their services to developing communities around the world.
Finally, I want to end with a HUGE thank you to the SEBS global scholarship committee/donors/sponsors/etc.! Participating in this particular program has been a dream of mine since I first attended a SEBS open house as a high school student (yes, I know it sounds ridiculously corny and cliche, but it’s very true). Thank you for helping make that dream become a reality!
So long for now! 🙂