Whirlwind

Right now, everything seems to be happening all at once, leaving little time to prepare for this upcoming trip to Texas.  We leave in less than a week and finals are just beginning.  Between finishing finals, preparing the lab for our move, and getting ready for Texas, it seems like a never-ending impossibly long list of tasks that need to be accomplished before the end of the week.  It’s scary and yet exhilarating at the same time.

Ever since I first learned about the work we do in Texas, I knew I wanted to go.  I’ve heard the stories about the 2 seasons of back-breaking excavations and the fulfillment of work that will hopefully lead to individuals being returned to their families for a proper burial.  I’ve heard the stories of last year, of the emotional but life changing experiences of interacting with the migrant families at Karnes County Residential Center, of the gratification of building the water stations, and of the knowledge that our work has helped successfully reunite 6 of the deceased with their families.  These stories are the reason why I’m in this program, and why I cannot wait to continue the good work that has been done in the past 3 years and return with my own stories.

For the moment though, my work consists of preliminary packing, passing my classes, and mentally preparing for this emotionally consuming endeavor.  I plan on reviewing my skeletal analysis skills and Spanish before we leave in addition to packing for a climate that I have not been exposed to for awhile.  This wont be my first time to Texas, I used to spend 3 weeks of my summers at ballet camps in Austin and San Antonio.  I remember loving those two cities, and I’m very excited to go to San Marcos and Falfurrias, which I’ve never been to before.

Right now, it feels like I’m trying to get everything ready in a whirlwind of obligations.  But I know that it will all come together and that we’ll all be prepared by the time our flight leaves on Sunday morning.  Words can’t express how grateful I am for this opportunity and the impression it will leave on me and the experiences I will gain from it.  I hope that I’m able to give back just as much.

~Helen

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