Brenda Myers | Wednesday, June 03, 2015
“The upside of time on the mountain side”
I just had a phone conversation with a friend who wanted to know about my experience on this Earthwatch expedition. Roughly 15 minutes into my enthusiastic monologue, she asked "Well, were there any downsides?" I paused, and thought, but I could not think of any.
The expedition was a truly incredible experience. Here are some of the upsides that I mentioned to her:
* The beautiful Pyrenees -- ahhh, so amazing. We got to enjoy them in all their variable Spring glory.
* The scientists -- really engaging and passionate folks who freely shared knowledge.
* The other volunteers -- endlessly interesting people from the US and Europe - great conversations and great fun.
* The work -- it can be hard (the hikes long and the slopes steep) so take the fitness recommendations seriously. But, I loved every minute of it: I learned a ton about the habitats and inhabitants of the Pyrenees as well as about scientific methods for studying them.
* The accommodations/food -- exceeded my expectations. The owners of the inn were very hospitable, and worked hard to navigate the maze of dietary requirements we presented.
* Making a difference -- I *hope* that my small contribution will help inform the research and make a difference in the Pyrenees; I *know* that my time spent there has made a difference in me. I came back with renewed energy and commitment to seek out opportunities closer to home where I can make more regular and sustained contributions.