I am so grateful to be returning to South Texas to continue the humanitarian work on the border! As I anticipate our departure in less than a week, I find myself far calmer than I felt the first time. Surprisingly, I feel that this is at least partly due to some of the differences between this upcoming trip and the last one in January.
We will be starting our time in South Texas working in the lab at Texas State University, helping to analyze some of the remains being curated there. I am especially eager assist with these analyses and to have the opportunity to work with faculty and students from Texas State and observe the way they do things in their lab and how that might differ from our normal procedures. I also know that they have some very nice facilities and equipment, which will be very cool to see! More importantly, however, I feel that the lab portion of this season will be an emotionally impactful experience. Being so close to the remains of the migrants and contributing to the creation of biological profiles that may someday help to identify them will be a very rewarding and, at the same time, heartbreaking experience. I am excited to have the opportunity to help with another step of this very important process.
I suspect the field work portion of this season will also be quite different, in that we are moving to a new city and a new cemetery. With this new area, I believe our motto of “expect the unexpected” will never have been more appropriate.
All of the differences between this season and the last should scare me, but really, I’m excited! I believe that the experience that me and my fellow teammates have gained from our previous season in Texas, as well as from all of our previous training, will help us to overcome any obstacles that may come our way. And I am excited for the challenge.
See you soon Texas!