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The Gap Year Blog

Project Blogs - Belize


Stepping off the plane in Belize City I could tell that Belize was a special place. Leaving the terminal I was greeted by a friendly and charasmatic driver called Rob who, while driving me to the water taxi, told me a little bit about the people and customs of Belize. He also told me about life on the frontier base and the people I would meet there.

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Only 12 days til Krismos (Creole spelling) and things are getting a little festive on camp and we are planning how we like to celebrate here on base. For all of us this will one of the fist christmases away from family back home and for me away from chilly England. Being in the sunshine in Belize requires extra effort to get in the Christmas mood.

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During my second day in Belize, we went to the Swash for a lobster survey. For my first-time free diving on a coral reef it was an incredible experience. There are many fishes I vaguely recognised from my prior research of the local species list.

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I decided that my two years out here in Belize with Frontier needed to come to an end. It’s been an incredible two years. I feel proud of what I’ve done here and I’m excited for what is next.

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Coral reefs are the second most diverse ecosystems in the world; second to tropical rainforests. One of the many incredible species that inhabit the Belizean barrier reef are sea turtles. There are seven species of marine turtle, three of which nest in Belize and one that migrates through Belize. All species of marine turtle are endangered.

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I’m coming up on the end of my third week here now, and having seen mostly sunny weather. I was starting to think the weather would stay like this for as long as I am here. Alas, that was not the case.

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So after just over a week on the island paradise, I was tested on my knowledge of local fish and corals. Although I didn’t pass I did extremely well for the time I had been learning. I managed to get 76% on my fish test and 74% on my corals.

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‘Go Slow’ is definitely the correct motto for Caye Caulker, never have I been somewhere so laid back and so the opposite of the buzz back in England. I’ve been told countless times to “slow down” when just strolling around town, but the excitement of getting into the water, or grabbing a delicious coffee from Ice and Beans, means taking it slow is tricky, especially when a person has as much energy and excitement cooped up inside as I do.

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I have lived on Caye Caulker for six months and as I plan for my departure home I have reached a point of reflection, what I am looking forward to having back at home and what I am. I notice one thing I definitely have not missed from home is cars.

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Exhausted, sweaty and over laden as a Saharan camel I must have been quite a sight when I first met Doryan and the rest of Frontier Belize. However, within an hour all thoughts off rest were out of my mind as we sped over the azure waters of the Caribbean.

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