While in Belize I took a picture every hour to document what my day would look like while there. Here is what it looked like on our day of open clinics:
While in America I took a picture every hour to document what my day would typically look like. Here is what it looked like on a day at home:
When comparing my day in Belize and my day in America there are several things that clearly differed. The first big difference is that I woke up much later in America than I did in Belize, and this is because I did not have any big deadlines or activities early in the morning that day. In Belize we would have to wake up around 7 am almost every day so that we would have time for breakfast, time to drive to our destination, and time to set up and have the clinic ready by 10:30 for the first patients to come. Another thing I noticed was that my breakfast in America was a lot more diverse and filling than what I would eat in Belize. Typically I don’t eat breakfast or eat it very late when I am home, and so while we were in Belize it was hard for me to adapt to eating heavy meals too early in the day. Therefore, I would typically keep my breakfasts very light while in Belize, and I would usually have fruit, toast, or some small amount of whatever main course option that was offered. I wish I had a bigger appetite in the morning because much of what they made for breakfast looked delicious but I just could not eat it because it would be too filling.
Comparing the late morning and afternoon in Belize with America it was pretty clear that I have a lot more free time, and time to do things like homework or relaxation while in America. In Belize most of our morning and afternoons were spent doing house visits or clinics. Specifically on the day we held open clinic we spent a lot of time at the community center because there was so much set up and cleaning up involved with such a large amount of people. I liked being kept busy during much of my time in Belize and I know what while I am in America and I am not doing school or work, I tend to get tired of the mundane patterns of my days. However, it is nice because in America I have time to go to the mall or hang out with friends in a more leisurely fashion. Though I would hang out with friends while in Belize, it was at a less relaxed pace because we would be moving around a lot and did not have much time to just sit down and enjoy each other’s presence.
Comparing dinner in Belize and America, on that specific day in Belize we went out to eat for dinner and so what I ordered was not a typical Belizean dish. Typically we would have rice and beans, chicken, plantains, vegetables, potatoes or other typical Belizean dishes when we would go to Ms. Yessenia’s for dinner. At other restaurants I would often order things like tacos, fajitas, chicken, or pasta dishes, which are actually fairly similar to what I would eat in America. Thus, the food in Belize was not hard for me to adapt to because it was all familiar to me and all very delicious.
After dinner in Belize many of us would sit in the lobby of the hotel and talk to each other while trying to get Wifi to contact our parents or friends. This is not something many of us were used to because we take it for granted that wireless connection will always be available for us. Overall though, I am glad I didn’t have access to internet because it allowed me to truly take in the experience and look outside the windows while we drove instead of looking at my phone. It also gave me and my peers something to bond over in the lobby and it was actually a great way to meet people and get to know them better. This trip taught me to take in the moment and enjoy and appreciate what was happening around me. When I am at home I tend to forget how precious time is and I have learned to make the most of the time I have with the people and places around me.