by Steve Richards, 2 week Belize trip volunteer
They came here in June, expedition 18,
The first of its kind Bacalar Chico had seen,
Where BV cram everything into two weeks,
Which went pretty well, it just needs a few tweaks,
Like a compressor engine that doesn’t explode,
And finding a breed of sand-fly-eating toad.
There was Kelly, la chica from Frisco who packs
An amphibious fairy in the small of her back,
Sarah from New York, which became her new name,
Determined to beat Jake at every game,
But the Kentucky Kid holds a game-winning hand,
He’s the expert at Frisbee and benthic exams.
Our techie was Roy, the man with the kit
In his shorts with the pockets where all his tools fit.
The mosquitoes think Bill is their favourite food,
But even the sand-flies can’t dampen his mood.
The Godmother, Lee, from the New Jersey crew,
Who found you sink faster when yours weights are with you.
Rachel from London who loves dogs to bits,
You’ll find her at the shoreline, bathing with Fritz.
Scots Dr Marie who’s an expert at fish,
But whose choices in candy are frankly rubbish.
Southern Belle Leslie, with a knot in her hair,
Whose foot was just broken but she doesn’t care.
Anne and Steve up above in BV’s penthouse suite,
Overlooking the camp with the world at their feet,
Steve juggles iguanas and shouts at the mutt,
Anne flops into the boat and exposes her butt.
Eleven lost souls who washed up on the beach,
Who the poor BV staff have the honour to teach.
There’s Sam the team leader, who remains pretty zen,
He’s in charge of the site, though no-one told Jen,
He teaches you coral by disclosing the fact,
That you don’t want to put your bits into that.
Jen runs all the science and keeps people in line,
Except for poor Fritz who just struggles and whines.
There’s non-New York Sarah with Essex-girl charm,
Whatever is happening she will always be calm.
K is for Klavdija, who swam with whale sharks,
Doesn’t yet know her coral but in fish she’s top marks.
Desi who fills up our stomachs with food,
Delicious and healthy it restores our good mood,
Samos and Fito who take us through the cuts,
Then sit back and laugh as we throw up our guts,
And Edgar the watchman, the strong silent type,
Who scares off beach walkers in the deep of the night.
They all do their best to protect the reef,
From amateur divers with slates in their teeth,
Who can’t tell a Grunt from a Snapper but still,
They bring all their money and a lot of goodwill,
And together we hope that the reef will survive,
To keep both the fish and the fishers alive.
When we go home we’ll have all played a part,
And Belize will forever be here in our hearts.
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