I arrived in Belize for my second trip to ReefCI in April 2015 for six weeks... Little did I know that my six week trip would turn into four months!
November 2014 I made my first ever trip to ReefCI where I gained my PADI Open Water and Advanced courses. As this was my first trip away from home by myself I felt a little apprehensive of what to expect but all of the friendly staff made me feel right at home, to the point where I was already planning my next trip with Polly before the first had even ended.
ReefCI is where my passion for diving and marine conservation flourished and became part of my life style. I loved seeing and getting involved with the conservation work with all of the Lion Fish dissections, conch surveys, coral watch and ReefCI checks, which are all really well managed and conducted by ReefCI. I also love how they incorporate the easy and laid back lifestyle of Belize by giving you the freedom to choose whether or not you want to participate in a survey or dive, you are more than welcome to sit out and relax at any point!
On this second trip I did my Rescue course and more importantly my dive master internship, which is the first step in the professional ladder of diving. I decided to come back to ReefCI to gain my dive master as I felt the organisation was fun, reliable, dedicated to my development and that I would gain both knowledge and experience at the same time.
The training I had previously received here was to high standard and I trusted that I'd get the same for my Dive Master. Whilst doing my dive master internship with ReefCI I have formed a really good relationship with my instructors who I now see more like family; they've helped me through my course, continually pushing me to exceed and encouraged me to do what I love - to carry on travelling and seeing the world through diving and conservation.
During my time at ReefCI I've met some amazing people, many of whom have inspired me through shared experiences, memories and interests. Ive built friendships and bonds that will last much longer than my time spent here.
Since being at ReefCI I have decided to change my university course to Marine and Natural History Photography; As my internship has progressed I've also planned to go on and do my instructor course, with the help of my mentors Tom&Hayley. Without my trip to ReefCI I wouldn't have realised that I wanted to change my career path and develop my skills as a diver and conservationist.
Along with the amazing dive sites, views from the island, wonderful staff (including spot the dog) you really will feel like you're in paradise.
It has been a truly unforgettable experience that I can highly recommend.