Nine days in the beautiful country of Belize, exploring the rainforest, entering gorgeous caves, swimming in a beautiful river, chilling by the beach while playing volleyball, taking nocturnal hikes, feeding exotic animals at the zoo, finding tarantulas in our bedrooms, learning about the local plants, visiting the Blue Creek school and going on excursions to the world’s second largest barrier reef. What a shame it all has to end here. This is how we decided to enjoy our final day of M-Term:
We awoke this morning around 7 am, and headed to breakfast for a wonderful meal consisting of scrambled eggs and rolls of local bread. When we finished, we all gathered at the beach for two and a half hours of free time. Some of us decided to try and get a tan before going back to New York, others left to hang out at the bar with friends, and the rest chose to play a couple of games of volleyball and then enter the refreshing water. When our relaxation time was up, we hopped on two boats and left for the Smithsonian Marine Research Station. There, we learned about different species of coral and observed beautiful conches as well as hermit crabs. The island manager also taught us about the beach erosion that was taking place and the spawning of several animals.
When we returned to South Water Caye, we were happy to receive another hour of free time. The final for the volleyball tournament we had started yesterday took place, and after Gideon’s team declared victory over mine we all decided to jump into the water. We slowly snuck up on Ms. Strong and Ms. Biscardi, and tipped their paddleboards. I wish you had all been here to see their faces. After having a good laugh we returned to shore for lunch. We had a delicious dish made up of spaghetti, vegetables and grilled pieces of shrimp. It was our best lunch yet in my opinion.
With our stomachs full, we prepared ourselves and left for Man o’war and Bird Island. When we arrived to our first destination, we all had hope that we would get to see a majestic manatee. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much luck, and left without seeing any of them. At our next stop, we observed the hundreds of frigget and booby birds that flew over their home island. We each received a stick and got to throw it up in the air. Since it was mating season, the birds all swooped down and took them back to their nests. When we were done, we all went straight to our snorkeling location.
Returning to the barrier reef for a second time, we really got the chance to take in its full beauty. This time though, we swam in much shallower water, which allowed us to observe the sea life from a much closer distance. In fact it was so shallow, that for about half of the time we were in the water, it was hard to keep our fins from hitting the corals beneath us. Among the seafloor and in between corals, we spotted seven stingrays, two baby squids, a moray eel, four giant sea urchins, a lobster, a highly poisonous scorpion fish and a handful of other animals. The sights were truly magnificent.
Now, back on the island, we await more wonderful evening activities. We can’t wait to sit around a campfire again and get to know each other better. I’m sure it’ll be a very personal and unique experience for all of us. With nothing left to say, I must sadly end these blogging entries, as our wonderful school trip to this amazing country has ended. We couldn’t have asked for a better nine days. I’m sure that we will always remember this trip, as we were the very first group to go on Middle School M-Term.
– Marco Marsans, Nacho