What advice do you have to give to the next group that travels on this trip?
Before going on this trip to Belize I really did not know what to expect because I didn’t know anyone else in the class and I had only heard a few things in the past about the trip. Because of that I was somewhat reluctant before going on the trip because I was scared I wouldn’t make friends or that I wouldn’t have fun or like the work we were doing. Even though I did not know anyone I just want the next group to know that it will all be okay and it doesn’t matter if you don’t know anyone in the class because everyone will be amazing and you will make friends during the trip. I would also say to do your best to get out of your bubble and try not to hold yourself back from experiencing new things. On the first day in Orange Walk a group of people went out to explore the area at night, and I was going to join but I thought it would be a bad idea to go out at night even if I was with people. Even though I know my parents would not have been happy if I had gone out, I regret not going because I feel like that would’ve been an exciting way to see the area and meet new people.
Another thing I would say is that house visits will be hard and you will be hot and feel like you are going to pass out, but you can’t let that take you over. Instead of focusing on the heat, focus on the houses you see and the beauty around it and try to take your mind off of it. During house visits I think I got so caught up with how hot I was and how lightheaded I felt, that I didn’t have my mind and spirit in the right place. That second house visit day is somewhat of a blur to me because I was not focusing on the task at hand as much as I should have been. Also I would say take a lot of picture during house visits of the area around you and of houses and interesting things you see. I do not have that many pictures from house visit days and I wish I had more of the houses because I want to see more of what the houses were made of and the conditions people were living in.
Last I would like to say that the trip will go by really fast and before you know it you will be at the airport to leave. While you are on the trip make the most of every opportunity you are presented with. Don’t take naps or try to waste your time trying to get Wi-Fi. Instead go outside, walk around, go to the pool, go to the beach, just go somewhere and experience the culture you are in. I should have spent less time sitting in the lobby trying to get the internet to work and instead I wish I had gone to the pool more or talked to more people. To remember the trip, I strongly recommend journaling every night and just summarizing the key points of the day and how you felt during specific moments. Include the good moments and the bad moments so you can see exactly how you felt during the trip. Also take a lot of pictures of everything cool you see and all the food you eat. I ended this trip with over 2000 pictures and I know I will look back on them fondly in the future. Don’t leave the trip with any regrets and have an amazing time!