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As I departed the plane into Belize, I was blasted with extreme heat. I knew that it was going to be hot, but I was not prepared for this kind of heat.  We were greeted outside the Belize airport by our tour guide, Martin. Our group of 13, our tour guide, and our driver (15 people) piled into a van and headed to Punta Gorda. As we drove on the highway to our destination, I saw numerous fires and ash from previous fires.  This is Belize’s dry season and apparently these fires are started from careless people disposing of their cigarettes, people randomly starting them, and dry lightning.

My first full day in Belize, began at a school called Little Flower R.C. School.  We knew little of what we were going to present to the students. We knew that our presentations were to include personal and dental hygiene. The first session was challenging, but we adapted very well and proceeded with confidence. The younger students were curious and eager to demonstrate techniques for washing hands and brushing teeth, but I noticed that the older students participated very little. I also observed that some of the teachers were not involved with our presentations. The second school we visited was called Punta Gorda Methodist School. As we demonstrated our presentation, the students including the older students were anxious for us to answer questions about Canada and answering our questions about Belize. I showed a class a photo of snow, and they were all amazed. They noticed the dog in the background and said “That’s an iguana!” (a long object on the deck). The teachers were also involved with each demonstration we presented.

Since the beginning of this wonderful journey, I have adapted and been flexible and embraced the diversity and cultural aspects of Belize. And I look forward to more experiences.

Elaine Shukys

Community Services

NSCC, Burridge Campus

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