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.
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.
In stark contrast to the first two rounds of my service term with Americorps NCCC, round 3 has been nothing but curve balls. The team came to Deming, NM expecting to build a test vineyard and work on landscaping at a park development project. We have now been here for just over one month and have done none of the above and a little of everything else. The team and I started this week with a meeting at the charter school, outlining some upcoming projects the team would tackle, but by the end of that meeting all was swept under the rug and new game plan was under way. Our meeting ended with the sponsor, Mr. Lyons saying "Why don't you swing by the fairgrounds and see if they could use your help", such a casual statement, but the one sentence that may alter the trajectory of the rest of our time here - but first let me give you a little background.
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".