Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The end of an amazing adventure

We spent our last day in Belize on the island of Caye Caulker. It was a playful way to end a trip during which everyone worked so hard. As we were walking along the sandy roads and bouncing across the water on the ferry boat I think all of us felt a little sadness about leaving Belize. It is always nice to be home, but it is sad to leave a place where so much is learned about life. In a short nine days we all learned so much about ourselves, about health care, and about humanity. At some points along the trip I think we all had experiences that will now affect the way we view the human condition; whether it be rich or poor, sick or healthy. Though we went to Belize to provide health care, it is safe to say we came back home with so much more than we could have ever given.

On our last night in San Ignacio before going to dinner, we all sat together as a group and gave Miss Juliet some feedback about our experiences. As a whole it seemed the general agreement was that the trip was better than we could have expected and the planning was a perfect balance of work and play. I can only speak with certainty for myself, but as individuals I think we all learned little things about ourselves that we will always be able to give this trip to Belize credit for throughout the rest of our education, careers and life. 

One thing that we all noticed about the people in Belize is how generally happy they are in life. It was a humbling experience to work with people who have so little, but are willing to give so much. They are so kind, generous and welcoming. It is refreshing to see that when we come from a materialistic and greedy society in which our lives revolve around what we do and do not have.  Juliet said to us on the final night "we don't want to be rich, we just want to survive". She said this after we had made comments about our observations of the people living in Georgeville, San Marcus, and San Ignacio; everyone just seemed to be happy to be alive, and so very thankful. The people of Belize may be poor by monetary standards, but they are so rich with happiness and humility that wealth in possessions is not necessary.  I have fallen in love with the country of Belize, and I know many in the group would agree. I cannot wait until a day when I can begin to plan another trip to the beautiful country.

As for our experience from a nursing standpoint, the trip gave us all a chance to gain some confidence in our abilities. Learning to trust ourselves in our assessment takes a lot of practice and being able to work with the population that we did gave us each a chance to comfortably practice without the fear of being judged. In addition, the doctors we worked with provided us with a wealth of knowledge and resourcefulness that we will be able to apply to our educations and careers forever. Dr. Cuellar and Dr. Yorleny stressed to us the importance of looking at the person as a whole and as a human, and to ALWAYS ask "why?". For many of us the people in Belize that touched our lives solidified our certainty of becoming nurses. To everyone in the group, remember: the differences we are able to make in the lives of people who need our help make any stress and frustration of our education, and any obstacles we come to so worth it.

Thank you to Miss Juliet for being such a wonderful team leader and to Miss Rita for sharing her wisdom and intelligence. Many thanks to our parents for supporting us on this adventure, and for staying tuned on the blog.  As a group, we should pat each of ourselves on the back for making the trip great for each other by working so hard and keeping up the humor, we had such a colorful group. And I don't know if there are enough thanks for Nilda for being such a wonderful adviser, stand in mother, and leader.

We absolutely had an "unBelizeable" adventure!

Casey worked so hard to entertain these kids all day!

Caye Caulker.. though windy, beautiful and relaxing all the same.

Well deserved after working so hard all week.

The future of nursing.

... Graduation in on May 11, two months from the day we left Belize.
A look at the smiles on these faces can make any bad day brighter.

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