Day 1 as told by Emily Clark, a freshman student in our Belize study abroad research experience:
We began this trip with an early wake up call, lots of airport security lines, and crammed taxi cab rides. However when we arrived at Caye Caulker, the stresses associated with international travel flew away. The island is incredibly beautiful, with clear blue water, and white sandy beaches. We checked into the hotel, and almost immediately headed down to The Split, a divide between two halves of the island that has become a local spot for islanders and tourists alike. We all hung out in the water, and got to know each other, even making a few friends in the process. After we laid out in the sun for a few hours, we came back to the hotel and reviewed some articles for the group discussion at dinner time. Following that we had a reflective period where we were able to “get deep” and discuss our strengths and weaknesses (related to researcher positionality) as well as what we thought we could bring to the table. Overall I have really enjoyed my experience so far. We had a more relaxing day, which allowed us to get adjusted to the island time, as well as explore everything that the island has to offer us. Tomorrow promises another long day, so we are relaxing and getting a good night’s rest.