Blog Post #15
Day 15: When it’s Time to Find Home, We Know the Way
Written at 9:39 am on May 30th
Yesterday was mixed with bittersweet emotions, memories, and travel. I really didn’t want to leave Glover’s Reef or Belize. Going back to the real world will for sure be a transition.
After packing, we had breakfast and said goodbye to the Glover’s Reef staff, as well as the Coast Guard and Fisheries guys too.
As we made the crossing back to the mainland, we stopped by Carrie Bow Cay, the Smithsonian Marine Biology research station. We met with the station manager and one of the scientists doing research there right now! She was studying the resistance of an acropara hybrid (stag and elk horn mixed tougher) to heat stress. She could really help figure out how to save some coral reefs when it comes to ocean warming.
Afterwards, we stopped at Twin Cay, a mangrove island, to explore what life is like under its roots. There were tons of fire sponges and orange encrusting sponges. I had no idea that mangroves could host these organisms because I didn’t come across any sponge references in mangroves in my research before class. I was fascinated. There were also tons of upside down jellyfish, and I spotted my fair share of baby barracuda.
Before I knew it, we were back on the boat headed to lunch at the marina restaurant. I ordered creamy shrimp pasta and a fruit punch drink—both delicious!
As our goodbye salute to being TFBs, our van to the airport had no air conditioning, so we all sweated out the rest of the salt water from the mangroves. The flight home was captained by Claire’s dad again (it’s so fun getting a shout-out from the cockpit!), and before we knew it, we were back in Houston.
This was truly the best “study abroad” I could have asked for with my limited credits and availability. I feel so lucky to have gone on this trip. Reflection blog post coming soon.