A Shift

It is officially rainy season. We’ve gotten some heavy rains in the past few days, a nice relief from weeks of temperatures hovering around 104 degrees by midday. The nights are cooler again, and this morning I sat out drinking tea and writing in my journal, enjoying a bit of a breeze when I would usually be baking. I welcome the change.

My work life has shifted as well. I’ve been contracted for a project in Dangriga with POWA (Productive Organization for Women in Action), where I’ll be going twice a week this month to provide mental health counseling to children impacted by gender-based violence. The project has me working with adolescents again, which I’m excited about. I have a long history of working with youth, particularly with teens who I love in all of their messiness. Another family in town has also been referred to me to work with their young son. The kids are coming into my life, and it’s not what I planned or imagined but I’ll take it.

The shift in direction toward working with young people is another reminder that things can change at any time. While I wasn’t necessarily focusing on working with kids, that is what’s being presented to me and I’ve opened myself to expanding my ideas about the kind of work that is possible for me to do here. When I moved to Belize, I honestly didn’t know what to expect in terms of how Belizeans would respond to the work I do and if it would be useful. Having been here for almost a year, I’m glad I took the time to talk to folks about my work and didn’t try to set up shop right away. It feels really good to be recommended within the community as a mental health professional. In the larger and long-term sense of things, becoming a part of the community and making connections with people has been the bigger goal. It’s amazing that now those relationships I’ve been building over time are supporting me in traveling the country to offer my professional experience. And getting paid. I am so grateful.

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