Only an hour after entering Yellowstone National Park, our van got caught in traffic. Driving down the road, we had seen ducks, otters, part of a moose, deer, and a bunch of antelope. Curious as to what the big deal was, I jumped out of our group’s van to walk up ahead and check it out. Armed with only a camera and my curiosity, I made my way up the car line searching for what the holdup was. When I saw it, I stopped dead in my tracks. An enormous bison had emerged from in between the cars and was heading right towards me. I saw people closer to it begin running and putting distance between themselves and the bison with their cars. In a state of shock and excitement, I began to slowly back away while observing the strange beast. With sunken eyes, half of its body under a thick layer of fur, and a strange head bob with every step, I felt as if though I were in a sci-fi film. Taking pictures from every angle as I finally arrived to the safety of the van, the bison seemed uninterested in the surrounding commotion and seemed to be only focused on its future destination. I managed to hop into the van less than 20 seconds before it passed by us and then got a closer look at the sacred animal. Without it, an entire population of people, millions of people, in the central United States of America would have ceased to exist. Everything they needed was in this one, big animal and I couldn’t help but appreciate it in that moment. It was an unbelievable situation to meet one in person and one I could not be happier about.
Most days, what we do in 24 hours is about a week’s worth of effort for a student transitioning into college. Wake up, cook breakfast, pack all of your belongings into a 100 liter container, hike to your next home, unpack, build your house, have class, cook dinner, meet for more class, do awesome things, write, sleep. Everything we do is hard, but awesome. Yet the part of the day that stands out the most is right before writing and sleep. After our evening meeting which is full of classes, concerns, information, and appreciations, we sing. Regardless of how long the day was, everyone contributes that voice to at least one song. For the few minutes that we sing, all of the stresses of the day are gone and every member of our group is 100% present. Continue reading
Last night, I slept out under the stars with five other people. It was so fun to lay out there and just stare at them because the stars were so utterly amazing and bright. We were looking for shooting stars, and it felt like we were seeing some every couple of minutes. I saw the longest and brightest shooting star I’ve ever seen. Of course, when we all saw one, we would all freak out and make sure everyone else saw it too. It was so much fun just lying and talking out under the stars and a great way to get to know each other while taking in all of nature. Continue reading