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Passionate about the environment, education and nature…

July 25, 2017
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Cathy, Taylar and Brittany enjoying a traditional lunch

 

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Tropical relative of a lady bug beetle – Chrysonelidae

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The head of the soldier Leaf Cutter Ant – they have been used to cut woulds because the mandibles will pinch  the skin together. then you remove the ant body and the jaws will stay clamped for a long time.

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Howler Monkey

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Soldier Leaf Cutter Ant

Looking at Monkeys

Watching the Howler Monkeys

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Our group at the airport

Anxious to get started on our Belize adventure, we found it difficult to sleep last night. We were looking forward to getting to know the other educators selected to travel. The flight from Fort Lauderdale provided beautiful view of the Mexican coastline. The beautiful turquoise waters below were inviting, even from an altitude of 36,000 ft.
As the plane made the descent into Belize, many of us were amazed by the number of trees and limited amount of built-up areas.
After clearing customs and immigration, we were thrilled to see that our luggage had arrived with us. Happy to finally meet the two Belizean teachers selected to join us, and our guide and our driver, we set off for the bush.
Getting acclimated to the change in temperature and humidity created little worries for us, probably due to the excitement of being in this tropical environment.
Upon arriving at the Baboon Sanctuary, a beautifully prepared lunch was presented, all cooked by the wife of our guide Nathan.
Happy to jump into the culture, we enjoyed a lunch of roasted chicken, beans and rice, plantains, fresh avocado, potato salad, watermelon and orange juice. We were introduced to the way to eat avocado. Squirt a little fresh lime juice and sprinkle lightly with salt. We were also introduced to Belizean pepper sauce, which has a little more of a kick than NC produced, Texas Pete.
After lunch, a walking tour provided views of Howler monkeys, and plants native to Belize. The Howler monkeys, known to Belizeans as baboons, make the most incredible sound in the forest. We were able to see the monkeys up close, making this walk a dream come true for many. We found in intriguing that Belizeans are very aware of the medicinal benefits of many of the plants that were observed on our walk. This of us teaching plant behaviors were thrilled to see tropisms in action, particularly thigmotropism. The sites and sounds of our surroundings abounded.
Heading across Belize through a varied landscape of lowlands, valleys, and hills, we stopped when animals or plants native to this area came into view.
After several hours, we came to a tranquil place nestled deep in the jungle, which would be accommodations for the next three nights. Welcomed by a special beverage and a buffet of Belizean dishes, we compared notes from the day and enjoyed time at the dinner table together. We quickly found out that we are all passionate about the environment, education and nature.
Following our meal, we donned our headlamps and did some exploration for nighttime creatures, which were plentiful. As we write in our journals and reflect on the end of our first day in this tropical environment, the sound of the rain gently taps a soft tune on the roof. Thankful for this experience, we looking forward to the next 8 days together.

(pictures coming soon!)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lori permalink
    July 26, 2017 5:08 am

    Enjoy every minute – it is the trip of a lifetime!

  2. austin permalink
    July 31, 2017 8:04 am

    All the plants and scenery look so nice, and the animals are so cool!

    • July 31, 2017 9:16 am

      Austin it is amazing! I have never seen anything as beautiful as this country. If I see any goats I will take a picture! 🙂

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