Day 15: May 29th 2018, From Belize to Houston
Today we woke up, at an early breakfast, and said goodbye to our little paradise island. It was so hard to say goodbye. We boated out to Carrie Bow Cay which we toured the a small Smithsonian Research Station. Researchers were currently there looking into the heat tolerance of Acropora cervivornis- Acropora palmata hybrids (Elkhorn and Staghorn coral hybrids). I picked up my last hermit crab for the trip here, and let it grip and walk across my hands. After we had toured, we found and invaded their hammocks as we took in our last day of beautiful views and hot sun.
After the tour, we set off to our last stop: the mangrove island of Twin Cay. Here we snorkeled around the roots of the mangroves, observing sponges, starfish, Cassiopea jellyfish, and many small fish living amongst the roots. Apparently, a manatee swam by our boat while we were snorkeling, but we didn’t end up seeing it. Stinky and salty, we then boated back to the marina on the mainland where we changed and ate lunch. It was at this restaurant that we had our last meal together as a TFB family.
We then drove to the airport, went through security, explored the souvenir stores, and hopped on our plane to Houston. We all stunk from the mangroves, so lets just say the people sitting next to us could tell that we hadn’t been in vacation. Also, Claire’s dad was the pilot again, and he had traded flights so that we could fly us home! How fun! We got a nice shoutout which was pretty cool.
As for the actual flight, I spent the hours reflecting and thinking about our trip. First of all, how did we do that much in just 2 weeks? Also, how do you form a family like ours in just 2 weeks? We learned so much. We changed our definition of what it meant to be clean and privileged. We also learned a lot about ourselves. For example, I learned so much more about my research interests on this trip which should be a fun thing to explore this summer. While I was thinking about all of this, I didn’t realize that I was blankly staring at the seat in front of me for about 3 hours. Really… I actually think that I scared the people around me. Ah well, we’re all a little weirder after this trip, and the experience and people are worth any funky smell or awkward plane encounter.
Goodbye Belize! This won’t be the last I see of you!