Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Adios To New Friends

By: Ashley Demers
November 7, 2017

An early morning it was for us but that was not much of an issue because Ramón came to the rescue with his super strong coffee. After I grew some chest hairs I was ready to tackle this long hike out of the canyon. I really didn’t want to do the hike, not because of how extraneous it would be, but how I did not want to leave. I fell in love with the way of life down here, by learning about the culture in the canyons through the cave paintings and the stories told by Ramon, Ricardo and Gertrudis. We hiked our way up, with the heat on our side and our sweat pouring down our backs, it was no match for us.

We kept our brains pumping with ideas to solve the riddles given to us from Jeff. Some of us were also worried about Boz, she started just a few minutes before us but we did not find her along the way. Until the end, guess we are slow hikers. We made it back to Guadalupe, and we packed our belongings up. We picked out any food we could not bring and gave it too our guides, it made me feel good seeing their eyes light up when we said that the food was theirs to keep. We took a picture with them all and said our goodbyes; of course Ramón had to be a jokester and pretend to sob while giving me a hug as well as everyone else. I’ll truly miss that goofy man!

I hopped in Francisco’s awesome and gorgeous old school suburban which reminds me of my brothers but way cooler. We hit the bumpy road and we were slowly off. Along the way, Emily and I had some good conservations and interesting at that too. I found out she has two joints in her pinky toe… odd right. After the long drive we finally made it too Casa Azul our home away from home.

As I sit here and write this all I can think about is how grateful I am to be on ECOEE, to enjoy it with everyone here and to experience everything that I have. Through learning skills, going places, meeting new people, just seeing what the world can offer us is a great opportunity. Writing this is reminding me to be happy and to not sweat about the small stuff, like me losing my ECOEE USB. Always remember to not dwell on the past or worry about the future. Just live in the moment and that moment is ECOEE. (Laying on a cot in shorts and a tank, on the patio of Casa Azul, in Bahía de los Angeles and its 70 degrees at 10:30 at night in November.)

Adios Casa Azul

By: Ashley Demers
November 15, 2017

As I lay on my thermarest once again, looking up to the stars and making the connection that my thoughts are just as lost as my eyes. They’re just wandering. Today I woke up on a cot at Casa Azul for the last time. Which I never thought a cot would be so comfy. I sat there and watched my group; some up and in the kitchen, some waking up slowly and all I thought to myself was that this is ECOEE 2017, and were in Bahía de los Angeles but only for a few more hours.

As our morning got started we did some lessons and then off we went to Biosphere Reserve Bahía de los Angeles. While there we learned that the whale sharks have decreased in size from 200 to about 40. We also learned that this area is home to many different species, especially the sea lions on their little island. We had some more lessons and then we were on our way to lunch at Las Hamacas. I got my fix of some amazing Mexican food and of course chips and salsa. Sitting there watching the third judge aka Emily eat the salsa that was a bit spicy and just thinking how proud I am of her for eating that salsa, she’s grown a flavor of taste buds. As we left we gave some loving to a cute little gato with gorgeous blue eyes. Then we were off.

 On the drive I sat there for a while just in thought of what I have learned so far and how grateful this opportunity is.

If Mexico has taught me anything, it’s to not take life for granted. Too cherish every moment, and too make the most out of them. To learn from your experiences and teach what you know to those who are around you or who you may encounter. Tonight is our last night in Mexico and with Francisco, and I will never forget this opportunity. They’ll be a special place in my heart for Baja California, Casa Azul and of course Francisco.

Buenos noches, Baja California.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Day Of Change

Ashley Demers
October 30, 2017

Today we were blessed with some yummy sugar for breakfast! Crepes! That had some amazing cream cheese, cool whip and fruit filling mixture. We packed up the climbing gear and put it back away because we were done climbing. I am actually kind of sad about this I enjoyed climbing, although I definitely need some practice.

After that our plans got a little switched around, when it came to the leadership position. Jeff became our LOW. Our LOW’s were not withholding to the standards. So we packed up our bags and we left Bowler campground. To go to the famous town of Bass Lake where the Great Outdoors was filmed. After we got into town we went to Summit Adventure where Jeff worked here for ten years doing a variety of different positions. They let us so kindly soak up their Wi-Fi and for some of us do our laundry and of course I cannot miss that we were able to take a nice shower.

 Some of us went into a bigger town of Oakhurst to do laundry and buy whatever we needed too. I myself went to a few stores one of them being the dollar store to buy more razors to shave my head again since I don’t have an electric razor. With the help of Emma we were able to get my head shaved lets just say I am glad it is not my whole head, because it took so long. I also kind of bought five monsters, but two of them are not mine.

 While in town I found this cool coffee shop and had some really good pumpkin spice coffee and soaked up some Wi-Fi. They played some great music too, had me jamming.  While soaking up that Wi-Fi I was able to pick out my spring classes and send them off, so someone else could sign up for me. Then the rest of our night was monster and staring deeply into our computer screens. For some the night never ended nor did they ever blink.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Getting to Bowler

Chris Friday
October 27th

This morning began with a quality breakfast from Ashley of French toast and bacon. Many of us thought we wouldn’t be getting out of Yosemite due to our van striking an illness and not wanting to start. Thankfully, a nice man with a pickup truck helped cure it. Before we left Yosemite, we stopped at Glacier Point, mildly illegally with our trailer attached. It was a truly beautiful view of pretty much the entire valley. What I thought to be the most interesting part was that we could see where the forest fire was occurring. We couldn’t see any sort of flames, but a large section of smoke was visible. After this, we made our way to Oakhurst to go shopping. Us leaving was slightly delayed as Jeff ran off to a sandwich shop with the card we needed to pay with. I must say it was quite amusing to hear “Jeff Tindall to check out” ring throughout the store. Once all the groceries were packed up, we went to a gas station nearby where Emma realized her phone was gone. She learned here not to trust technology as Find My Iphone claimed her phone was at a destination we had not traveled to, but in a grocery bag in the trailer. Better than in her backpack again I suppose. Once the phone was found and we got gassed up, we made our way through Bass Lake where we learned where The Great Outdoors was filmed. Now we have taken residence in Bowler Campground where Ashley had us create several different kinds of poop out of Plato. It was definitely one of the more entertaining outdoor ed lessons so far. Tomorrow we begin our climbing seminar. I hope it goes well for us

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Teton Science School

Sean Dowling
October 17, 2017

Today we woke up very early in the morning, around 5:30am, because today we were visiting the Teton Science School and had over an hour drive to get there. After shiver through our breakfast and packing things up, we headed out. on the bright side of getting up early, we saw some awesome views of the Tetons and even two moose, though it seemed like the sun was trying to blind us for looking in their direction. When we pulled into TSS, we were greeted by Jordan who gave us one of the greatest gifts you could give someone in the morning; coffee. After a brief description of what TSS does and how they design their curriculum, he sent us off to view how they work in their different groups. Today they had some middle school kids from St. Anthony's. Boz, Kara, and I saw the TSS instructor, Sam. He lead them in a lesson about Geology. He started them off by having them do a team building exercise called "chocolate river" and taught them one of my favorite games called "camouflage". Everyone then headed out to continue the lesson on a trail loop in the Tetons. There, Sam taught the group how old the rocks were and gave us all a dance lesson with Rockity -Rock-Rock while we learned the three types of rocks. Throughout the hike, students did a skit about the rocks types, investigated some scats and tracks on the trail, and made their own stories about rocks they had found and their journey to how they found them. We could not stay with them the whole day sadly but before we left they gave us "three cheers" and a heartful goodbye. Walking back to the van, the three of us got to see a huge bull moose while crossing a bridge over Glacier Lake, which made arriving back at the parking lot a tad late worth it. We then went back to TSS to finish the day with a more in depth discussion with Jordan. When we got there, he surprised us with even more gifts of coffee cake and more coffee! What a great guy! After a video, discussing our day, TSS, and our future plans, Jordan then introduced us to a wonderful lady named Dorris, who Boz was overly excited to meet. Dorris spun and dyed her own wool that she used to make a variety of things from colorful butt pads, tapestries, and even 3D animals like bison and sheep. She then let some of us try a team braiding technique that they spent a good time trying to do and having lots of fun doing it. Before we left, we had to give some gifts of our own to Jordan, Dorris, and the three instructors we followed before giving our goodbyes. We then headed to our campsite and to keep this short was a small adventure in itself.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Yosemite Adventures

Kara Sahagian
October 25, 2017

This morning Tracy and I woke up well rested, warm, safe, and free from falling pinecones. Why you might ask? Because we slept in a tent! We were blessed again when we all stuffed our bellies full of Austin's wonderful breakfast. Thanks, again, Emma, for making the fluffiest warm pancakes only an angel could make. We cleaned the kitchen up and packed into the one van to see some sequoia trees. I knew sequoias were big trees but I did not actually know until I saw them in person. My mind was blown. The rest of the day we had to ourselves. Some of us went to the visitor center and then the village store. Once we were done being typical tourists, Sean and I sat at the shuttle stop waiting for a shuttle so that we could take a glorious shower at our next stop. We waited and waited. I was getting antsy. I kept thinking about that shower. Why wasn't a bus coming? I went to look for times that the shuttles ran when I saw it...A white sign that said :This shuttle stop is closed. Please go to stop #4 for the next shuttle." I cannot begin to describe how stupid I felt. We successfully got onto the next available shuttle towards the marvelous showers. Once I got into the women's bathroom, my joy quickly turned into sadness as I saw around 15 high school school girls an their teachers waiting in line to get a shower. One by one, I moved up the line. I wanted to cry tears of happiness but I knew these ladies would not understand the struggle of how rare a shower is on ECOEE. I held the tears in as I walked down to the newly opened shower. The steaming hot shower did not disappoint. Thank you, Yosemite for your beloved, warm showers. ECOEE 2017 is grateful. I was so clean that I did not even care that I got lost on my back to camp. Thanks to our wonderful graduate assistant, I was rescued. This reason #43 on why she gets paid the big bucks.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Emerald Pools

Ashley Demers
October 22, 2017

Waking up to knowing I would not be in Bryce anymore to look at the stars a night I was bummed, but going to Zion today I was excited! Doing the research and planning the week was just making me want to come more and more. We start our drive into Zion and my eyes lite up like kids at a candy store. Seeing the mesas when we first arrived and driving through the one miles long tunnel I was smiling ear to ear. (P.s. there’s a dead spider on this page, right about this spot.) Every turn I took, every look up, the beauty of the sandstone took me away with the iron giving the rock that red tint. We made our way to our campground, which was very cool, due to the cacti, I think but is very tight corridors. We hung out at the camp for a while, while Kara, Boz and Jeff went to town to get Kara some hiking shoes for her tendinitis. We couldn’t wait no more so Chris and I took our group on a hike, but first we took a shuttle. That’s where I dared everyone to do the limbo and Emma of course tried, while Chris and a few others shared Sean’s chew five gum dare and truths along the way. We make it to our stop where we all stick together and start our hike to upper Emerald pools. But at the trailhead a dew of us had to take our pants off to continue in the heat. Once we had layers off we set off on our hike. We passed over a bridge that looked out to the Mountains, with the creek flowing through. The further we got the more colorful the trees became with reds, oranges, yellows, greens, and some blue from the juniper berries. We made it half way to the little waterfall which was more of drips but still beautiful. Once at the top we enjoyed the view.

            “When the peak is worth reaching, the climb won’t be easy. You can’t grow without growing pains. It’s impossible to get to your success by skipping the process. Just because everything isn’t going right, doesn’t mean your path is wrong.” Trent Shelton