Tomorrow, myself and the rest of our group will be heading to South Texas to start another field season. This will be my second time in Texas and I am excited to be able to participate in this humanitarian effort. This field season will be different from the last because the first part of our trip with be spent at Texas State University to assist with skeletal analysis. This will be a first for me and I am not entirely sure what to expect. I am excited to visit the lab at Texas State University and to see their facilities. As for the skeletal analysis, I suspect this will be especially challenging for many reasons.
The second part of our trip, our group along with Texas State faculty and students, will be traveling to Starr County Texas to start excavations of graves of unidentified border crossers. Although I had the opportunity to go to Texas in January, I feel like these two trips are going to be vastly different for many reasons. In January we certainly lucked out with the weather; in fact, one day it felt like we never left Indiana with how cold it was. Our group also benefited with having been to Sacred Heart Cemetery in Falfurrias, TX for several years before the most recent trip. This field season we will be going in the middle of May where the temperatures will most likely be in the high 90’s (if not higher) not to mention we will be in a completely new area. New city, new cemetery, new soil- all of these things play into our old saying of ‘expect the unexpected’. I am confident in saying that the title of this trip, like so many in the past, will be centered around the unexpected. The excitement I feel for this trip also comes with a heavy heart knowing that this trip would not be happening if these people had not died in an attempt to flee their home countries. Something that I find comfort in, is knowing that at the end of every field season, we are one step closer to getting identifications and one step closer to returning them to their families. This will be the most challenging field season yet and I’m confident in my group, as well as Texas State, that we will be successful in our endeavors. I can also say that I’m not terribly excited to be faced with my only true enemy, the dreaded sticker burrs. They are literally the worst.
I see this excursion as an adventure of hope, happiness, and hard work. I love the challenge and the inspiration that comes afterwards, it just shows how rewarding this experience is to all of the volunteers. Here’s to a new season of hope and adventure- stay tuned for our blog posts and if you have not already, check out our short video that our team members made! You can also help support our trip by donating here or here.
Thank you! Jessica