During my first two rounds with NCCC I was so wrapped up in the project and team that I never felt a strong urge to get away, and thus coming into round 3 I still had my whopping three vacation and two "life after Americorps" days at my disposal. With round 3 in Deming turning into the roller coaster ride that it is I could not have been more grateful for those days. I used two a few wees ago to travel home and visit family, attend my cousins wedding, fight off my cold and catch up on much needed sleep. While it was nice to see familiar faces the trip didn't recharge me in the way I had hoped, I needed more of an adventure and change of scenery. This last weekend I used my additional days to explore New Mexico, outside of the confines of Deming and my team. When I coincidentally met a woman in Silver City from Alamorgordo who had nothing but positive things to say about the area, including Cloudcroft and the Lincoln National Forest, I was sold. Five days of solo travel, a night of courchsufing and some random exploration were just what I needed to get me through this last month of service.
zEarth 4 is still alive and well, sweating it out in that dry heat of New Mexico. Everyone keeps telling me that it has been unseasonably cool down here this year and honestly, I wouldn't want to see a "normal" summer if that's the case. The team has continued work on various projects, rolling with the punches and staying flexible. Over the course of the last few weeks things have settled down at the refugee shelter, thanks either to more organization being put in place or a decrease in the number of migrants being dropped in Deming. Either way this has meant the team has been able to step back a bit from our support there and focus efforts on different areas of the community. Unfortunately, things never fell quite into the rhythm we had hoped, projects constantly waiting on other factors before we can step in, but there always seems to be something for us to work on.
A Year of Service
My life, being anything but predictable, has taken another turn. Rather than moving to Jeju, South Korea - my original plan for Fall '18, I'm going to test drive Denver, CO and its surroundings, an area people just keep telling me "I'd love".