Today was about movement. In the morning, I moved out of my apartment, and, in the afternoon, I moved into a new country – Belize!
Before my eyes even caught a glimpse of the wildlife, I became fixated on the sheer differences between the U.S. and our neighbor just a two-hour flight south. Everything seemed less commercialized, less polished, and less reliant on technology. The infrastructural and cultural differences between the U.S. and Belize was something I never thought about before stepping foot on Belizean soil.
Witnessing these differences adds an anthropological element to this trip, something unexpected but enriching.
About an hour after exiting the area surrounding the Belize Airport, we arrived at the Tropical Education Center. Rainforest surrounds the Center on all sides, providing us with an excellent first look into tropical rainforest life.
My most memorable tree sighting was a bullhorn acacia tree (Acacia cornigera) on the trail. The tree was about 15-feet tall, covered in paired black thorns and housed many small dark ants.
We took a tour of the Center’s campus. I felt like I was at camp again, except with a much higher humidity rate.
The Center had its own diverse array of wildlife. While I am unsure of their exact names, I noticed epiphytes with roots hanging down, a big black beetle, and a dark green frog with black spots. My superstar sighting was a green iguana (Iguana iguana) lounging on a tree branch, snacking of some leaves.
The first day has been extremely transitionary, but I feel energized for the adventures that lay ahead.