Yesterday was officially the last day of the People of the Big River Field Class trip! We wrapped everything up a day early so day thirteen marks the end of our road together. It does not, however, mark the end of our journey together. We have approached a crossroads: one that has a million different paths branching off from it. We have all chosen a different path, but I know that our lives will intersect again. And I know that our individual paths have been guided by the experiences that we all shared together. Looking back on day one, I know the amazing things that the tribes taught us have impacted us all.
I have made some fantastic friends, and I hope that these friendships will grow and flourish in the years to come. I will always love my Huckleberry Girls and cherish the moments that we shared. I encountered so many new things in my first month in the Northwest. Some were intimidating or even frightening, but my girls got me through it all. Thirteen days ago, I was a stranger, a foreigner, and the new girl. I felt uncomfortable around Native tribes, Washington residents, even people who had come from other states like I had. Now, I feel welcomed. There is no division between the people in my community and surroundings. I don’t feel homesick because Washington is my second home, not the place I happen to live in. I want to stay. I want to help. After all I have learned, how could I not want to?
For all the difficulties the People of the Big River Field Class has faced, I will never, not even for a second, regret coming on this trip. It was exhausting, exhilarating, amazing, and one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but it was also the most incredible thing I have ever done. And I am determined to find an experience that will top it.
Goodbye, my dear readers