March 29, 2010 - 11:49 AM
Well folks, I'm home. Bleary, but home.
It was a fabulous spring break. Really, as good as it could possibly get. It ranged from the heartbreaking to the hilarious, sometimes only moments apart. I have tons of stories, pictures, and even video of my time with No More Deaths this spring break. The overall picture is a week of camping in the Arizona Desert, doing humanitarian aid work on the boarder to end suffering and death of migrants crossing from Mexico. This meant hiking the trail to offer aid to anyone there, from people suffering injuries like sprained ankles and blisters to giving water to people in serious danger of dying of dehydration.
But I'm not quite ready to tell those stories yet. A trip with as much emotional strain as this needs a little digesting before it's ready to be inscribed on the internet. I want to tell you about the people I met, the beautiful landscape I saw (with its heartwrenching reminders of people racing across rugged trails by moonlight alone), the wonderful times I had with friends old and new, and my renewed resolve to continue working for social justice and change.
I am realizing that there is no word for my experience. "Powerful" is the closest I can come, but that doesn't express the reckless joy I experienced, either. The singing as we bounced along in the back of trucks along steep gravel roads. The sunrises in the desert. The nights around the campfire, telling stories of our days. It doesn't quite capture the beauty of our campsite, or the dubious pleasure of the bathroom situation: a beautiful view, but in the end you were still pooping in a bucket. This week was complex, challenging, renewing and demanding.
And on either side of this week was the long, long drive to Tucson. On our way south, my roommates and I headed down Highway 101, taking the scenic route through redwoods and along the coast. It was glorious-so beautiful and so freeing to be on the move right after finals. We stopped to see the beauty, and to visit old friends and family. On the return journey we put speed over beauty and headed up I-5. Parts (Northern California and beyond) are beautiful. But most of I-5 is flat and grim, mostly smelly. I'm writing now as a means of recovery from that journey: that long, long time in the car, heading north. We were in the desert mere hours ago, and now we're in Eugene and it is RAINING. Really, really raining. Needless to say, I'm a bit disoriented.
I hope you will understand me when I plead a couple more days before I begin to spin this tale in earnest. There is much to be said, and much to work out in my own heart before I can share it with you. In the meantime I'll be compiling video, arranging pictures, and trying to decide how best to share my story. It'll be coming soon, I promise.
Off for desert dreaming on this first day of my last term as an undergraduate. Oh goodness, I just wrote that sentence. Before I wrote it I'm not sure I had fully realized: this is my last first day as a college kid.
I'm overwhelmed. Goodbye for now, and keep a lookout for the stories to come!