Wrapping up round 3, tying up loose ends in Deming, saying goodbye and preparing for the trip home consumed most of my attention, so it wasn’t until we were back on campus that it finally began to sink in that this was the end. Our 11 months of service with Americorps NCCC was coming to an end, and it was time for us all to say goodbye [see you later] and begin looking forward to the “What’s next?”. With my past of consistent travel, continually meeting new people and not long after saying goodbye, that part didn’t phase me too much, what was a shock though was having a wide open schedule. I had grown accustomed to having somewhere to be, people to look after, rules to follow and work to be done; now released on my own after graduation I finally had time to relax, or rather crash.
While Deming New Mexico is a place I never in a million years would have imagined I would one day end up, I’m grateful for the time I spent there. It was a challenging three months, to say the least, but it taught me a lot, lessons about life, team members, the politics of our country, immigration laws and loopholes, and most importantly humanity. Deming is one of the poorest cities in the country, but the amount of generosity, passion and love that came from the people of Deming was remarkable and something I won’t forget. The team and I began this round with hesitation, not sure what path our project would take, where we would be living or how we would be received in the community, but over time those worries were answered and we managed to discovered the beauty lying under the dusty surface of Deming.
While the teams time in New Mexico was a continual roller coaster of ups, downs, twists and turns, it also presented everyone with numerous challenges and learning curves. Towards the end of the round the pace of everything began to pick up speed with the end of our service, and return to Colorado, quickly coming into focus. Before leaving this unique spot on the map the team wanted to fit in some R&R, taking in some of the beauty, history and culture of the cities surrounding our small home of Deming. Up first was a day trip to White Sands National Monument, where we would also have the opportunity to meet up with Earth 5, another team from the Aurora campus serving in Fort Stanton, New Mexico. The trip required approval from staff, considering it was nearly a two hour drive, a possible exhorborent use of Government resources (Black Betty our trusty Ford Transit family van), and we were grateful to get that approval.
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".