Week one in Belize is complete. I’ve been emailing and journaling and texting about my week to my hometeam but I realized I need to also blog, as a recap. It started out how all new things start out- unknown, scary, uncomfortable. 12 graduate students from all over the world after traveling for many hours all in a new place trying to figure it out, being thrown in to patient care, living in a rainy jungle. It was rough.
We all clung to the internet on our porch at first and were quiet. Patient by patient, Land Rover ride by Land Rover Ride, meal by meal we got closer. Highlights of week one: swimming in the Caribbean Sea, candle-lighting and movie night (The Hangover and 500 Days of Summer), making chili with Lacey, laughing and gagging taking out the compost, evaluating and treating neck pain in two other students, morning hilly runs as the sun rises. As we drive to the villages to set up clinics, everything is green. Belize is part jungle but also right on the Caribbean Sea. I got into a routine of bed by 9 pm, up by 5:30 am to run before clinic. This week I saw back pain, neck pain, hip pain, and vestibular issues.
Now the God-moments: reading “The Lord is my Shepard” on a bus on my first run here, having a patient’s sister grab my hand and prayer the Our Father out loud during a home visit, finding out one of the other girls has Joel Osteen podcasts downloaded to her phone, discussing faith because of the journal Jess gave me, Lacey putting holy water on our foreheads, my quiet beach morning before the storm on Sunday. God is so present here. I’ve been clinging to the Psalms all week, and found God’s strengthening presence in His word.
Friday we traveled to Placencia, Belize by a bus and a water taxi and found ourselves eating on the beach and drinking drinks with rum. We were grateful this weekend to have breakfast other than instant oats, and real brewed coffee instead of instant. It also rained all weekend so we walked around with umbrellas and rain coats and ducked into beachside bars. At night, we danced. It was really fun even though it was raining, because it was about the little things like coffee and coconut rum and sitting on Lacey’s bed and wifi to call Sanjay and our crazy trip back with highways that were closed due to flooding, then opened for us just in time.