Day 4

Beyond Borders team with Dr. Spradley on Day 4
Day 4 photo with Dr. Spradley

Today was our last full day at Texas State University. We powered through today and finished three whole skeletal analyses. At this point, our team and the Texas State Team have collectively met our goal for the week and tomorrow we will surpass it. We’re feeling pretty accomplished right now. Our success was mostly due to our amazing teamwork. We had a good routine that we had perfected throughout the week. On days when we did not have any other events planned, we were able to do about three cases a day. To give you some perspective, back at the Archeology and Forensics Laboratory, it takes several weeks to finish one forensic case. Of course, the students have classes, TAing and other responsibilities to do in between working on cases. The professors have even more to do on a daily basis, so doing this many cases at once is amazing. Our days here at Texas State have been both exhilarating and tiring.

Tomorrow we only have a half day at the Osteological Research and Processing Laboratory. We will probably be doing another case or two if we can. In the afternoon, we will pack up and head to Houston where we will be participating in Missing Harris County Day on Saturday as volunteers. We will be helping enter information into missing persons databases, taking family reference DNA samples, and possibly helping to collect information from family members with missing loved ones. I am excited to be participating in this event and helping with this effort.

Tonight we went over to Dr. Kate Spradley’s house for a small party. We got a chance to hang out with all our Texas State friends, which was nice. When we’re in the lab, we are focused on our work and don’t have a lot of time to just chit-chat. At the party, we had the most amazing tacos and really great pineapple salsa. I have had so many tacos since I’ve been here. We probably have tacos at least twice a day, but they’ve been a different type every time. Texas is definitely the place for good tacos.

Team member's lunch of ahi tuna and salmon tacos

Now that we’re at the end of this leg of our journey, I’m looking forward to Houston and Falfurrias, but I know I’m going to miss Texas State. Everyone at Texas State has been so friendly and welcoming. They are motivated and hard workers and I had a great time collaborating with them. Luckily, Dr. Spradley and Dr. Gocha, will also be volunteering at Missing Harris County Day, so I’ll get to see our friends again. I can’t wait to continue on our adventure tomorrow.