Saturday, March 16, 2013

Parting Paradise

Bittersweet emotions filled the air as we wrapped up our service trip to Belize.  On Thursday, at the completion of our last work day, the students of Georgetown performed a traditional Garifuna dance to bid us farewell.  The singing and dancing, and overwhelming gratitude, was more than enough to bring tears to our eyes.  It's amazing the impact a group of people can have on you in just a few short days.  I am already planning my annual budget to include funds to return to Belize with the ISLP trip next year!  I can honestly say I left a part of my heart in Belize.

After a tearful departure, and countless embraces, we returned to the Pelican Resort in Georgetown for one last night. After dinner, we had the pleasure of watching a traditional Garifuna dancing group perform.  We even had the chance to learn some sweet dance moves and join in! Again, the hospitality that has been offered to our group throughout the entire trip has been tremendous.

As we wait for the departure home from Atlanta, watching the Cards game at an airport sports bar, I am filled with a mixture of feelings.  Exhaustion and a bit of homesickness are producing anticipatory feelings for returning home.  But, at the same time, I long for just one more moment in Belize.  This ISLP trip was truly a life-changing experience.  I am now surrounded by amazing new friends who share my passion for serving others-- could it get any better?

I could write for days about my love for the people, culture, and scenery in Belize, but it's time to grab a drink and cheer on our CARDS boys! Farewell.

Gina Perronie
Senior Nursing Student



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