I begin my final year of university tomorrow something I’d never imagined to be possible I supposed because of how long it took now that I am a quarter of a century old and the amount of ‘Nos’ I would’ve gotten in pursuit of this dream.
Though very exhausting it was a fruitful summer in my favourite place on the planet, Belize, and as always filled with happenstances of “fool me once” as I continue to learn the lesson of Mike Tyson- “Everybody you fight is not your enemy and everybody that helps you is not your friend.”
It was a Summer of Work, of Collaboration, of Failures but I give thanks, though sometimes not as enthusiastically for this journey I get to navigate.
Here are some of the cool things I got to do, some chatting,some research, some development work, some fun.
1. My friends and colleagues Jhannel Tomlinson and Ayesha Constable invited me to be a speaker at their GirlsCareJa Seminar for young women and I also moderated the AGYLE webinar on environmental action.
2. Ever grateful to Dr. Christopher De Shield for inviting me to be a panellist on the University of Belize’s Monarchy, Justice and the Future Republic Panel Discussion with Dino and Dr. Vernon.
3. The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at UWI Cave Hill also invited me to speak at its 7th Town Hall meeting to chat about the youth perspectives on Constitutional Reform and the Republic.
4. I got the honor of being the guest Speaker at St. Martins De Porres Primary School and the Leadership Intervention Unit Graduations.
5. I appeared on CYEN’s special climate Justice Episode with the Caribbean Media Corporation and was also interviewed by the British Broadcasting Corporation in Rwanda.
6. Contributed to the Planning of the Caribbean Development Bank’s Board of Governors Youth Forum
7. Of course, hosted and guest appeared on Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes and Jules Uncut!
8. I was installed on the Commonwealth Youth Council as the regional representative for the Caribbean and what made this sweeter is that it took place on the Continent of Africa in Kigali, Rwanda.
9. I presented my first academic paper at the 23rd Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies Conference under the theme Caribbean Lives, Disruptions, Resilience and the Way Forward. You can look forward to hearing ‘Sugar and Cream’ at the Kulcha Symposium of Heritage Belize this October!
10. Co-Wrote two successful house committee papers on the removal of the trade licensing fees for artists and a seat for youth on the People’s Constitutional Commission.
11. I managed a 17KBZD Climate Justice Project in southern Belize along with invaluable Partnerships across NGOs and Government. Under this project I wrote and produced my first documentary with one of the best in the biz, Olynn Kingston. Can’t wait for you guys to see it!
12. I got to collaborate with Miss Earth, Destiny Wagner, in Co-designing planning and implementing a girls empowerment camp.
13. I was consistently in the gym.
14. Met up with my best buds whom all live in different timezones!
15. Like clockwork and in the esteemed company of Kwame Scott, I made it to almost every Reggae Sunday while home
There were some failures too, I had to reject the offer to be an exchange student at my sister campus at Mona, didn’t make the cut for an awesome fellowship at the Tony Blair Institute, didn’t get to attend Martin’s community fest and got a driver’s permit I never used
Gratitude for all these and the things in between
Despite that, know this: ladies and gentlefolk, I was here! Catch you on the flip-side!