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The Gap Year Blog

My Final Goodbye to Belize

26 Feb 2020 11:50 AM

The day that I thought would never come had finally arrived: my final day at the Belize Base Camp. After beginning my adventure with Frontier Belize in 2017, the real world back in the UK seemed like a lifetime ago. The final week had been a week of lasts for me, an unfamiliar feeling, after experiencing so many firsts during my time here.

The serene silence of base camp, swinging on the hammock watching the rhythmic tide roll in and the stars begin to paint the night sky, whilst the glowing sun sets for one last time. The only noise being the distant laughter of the team prepping dinner and the calls of our fellow graceful neighbour, Arabella the grey heron. I never expected to fall head over heels for this place and this project, but even after enduring three high seasons, I feel I have left a piece of my heart anchored into the sand alongside the seagrass and mangroves that lace the shoreline of base camp.

It has not always been a smooth ride, but what adventure is? I have learnt to grit my teeth and get on with things, and even when it was tough, I have learnt to stand up for what I believe in. I have learnt to drive a boat with howling winds and intimidating seas, I have learnt to see the positive in even the most challenging situations, and I have learnt to be compassionate and see the light in every person who has come through this project.

I arrived a nervous timid student and I have left a fierce, driven marine biologist. The incredible mix of personalities that have come through camp both staff and volunteers have pushed me to see things from perspectives I could never even imagine before. This project provides a platform for anyone with a love for the sea and the environment, to bond, learn and grow. You will challenge yourself more than you ever have before. The environment is not for the faint-hearted but if you allow yourself to see the best in any situation, that sweet wooden shack will become home within moments of stepping foot onto the dock.

I came to Frontier Belize to learn about the ecosystems and the marine life, when in fact I learnt far more about the wonders of human beings than anything else. Thank you, Frontier; I will cherish this adventure forever.

By Sophie Pipe - Principal Investigator, Frontier Belize

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!