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Belize Dolphin Studies

DS21 Update — Friday, August 5, 2011

The Finale

I find it odd that time only chooses to move with great rapidity at the times when we humans least desire it to be so. Case in point: the last three weeks. Twenty one days has passed within the span of what seems now to be perhaps mere hours. We can’t halt time passing, and we can’t stop this unbelievable experience from ending. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to end our trip with a bang.

Today we awoke early to eat a delicious breakfast. After breakfast, we boarded a boat and departed Spanish Lookout Caye, our little home away from home. Leaving a beloved locale was perhaps not the most auspicious beginning to a day, but what can you do? The blow was softened a bit for myself and Galen, as we spotted dolphins during the boat ride out.

Once at the dock, we unloaded our bags out towards the street, where our bus arrived to pick us up. After a short stop at the hotel we had stayed at in Belize city to pick up our big bags, we were on our way inland, towards the rainforest. Our first experience of the day was a hike through the forest, and a few caves. We learned about several species of plant, including cahoon, which produced nuts similar to coconuts, which were tried by Victoria, Robbie, Galen, Chelsea, and Alejandro.

We then reached a wonderful river that ran through a system of breathtaking caves. Before anything else could be accomplished, a swim was in order. Mia, Nathalie, and the rest of the gang jumped straight into the water. We then boarded inner tubes, and prepared to go cave tubing. With Alejandro and Josephine at the front, and Caleb and Robbie at the rear, we formed a double row formation going through the caves. We floated peacefully through the darkness, as Sammie made our chain of tubes sway back and forth.

After tubing, the group spent a few minutes relaxing in the river. Some jumped in, others sat on shore, and Cooper, later joined by Sarah, Sammie, Caleb, Chelsea, Victoria, Nathalie, and Mia, relaxed in the current, holding on to a support rope to prevent from floating away.

After enjoying a delicious lunch, we moved on to our next adventure: zip-lining. We whizzed through the trees with the greatest of ease (Tarzan, eat your heart out), careening from one platform to another. It was a true adrenaline rush, and an amazing experience.

We left the zip-lining and came to our cabins for the night, which are in the middle of the rainforest, with life all around. After a great dinner, we had closing ceremonies, in which we wrote letters to ourselves that will be delivered in a few months.

The trip is now winding down to its last few hours, and I am filled with a mixture of emotions. Sadness at leaving this place and my new friends. Joy at going home to my loving family. Simple awe at having had this opportunity. It’s all very confusing, but in the end all that matters is that I will never truly be the same because of the experiences I’ve had here.

See you around. Go slow.

--Michael Weiss

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