24 Jun Día de los Padres
These were the best two weeks of my life as I got to meet my new baby son John Carlos, born on an early Sunday morning in a downtown hospital just a few blocks away from the Alamo (no one will ever be able to question his credentials as a Texan 🙂 !). My amazing wife and I have had to learn a lot about taking care of a newborn very quickly—it has been a lot of work (with soooo little sleep!) but his beautiful eyes and his little “oohs” and “ah!’s” make the occasional loud crying and waking up every three hours worth it! I am so grateful for my family’s help and for the LHIP staff that have been so accommodating, letting me take a few days off for this special time. Becoming a father makes the work in preservation that I am able to do through the LHIP that much more meaningful—I now have a very personal stake in the future, and hope to do all I can to make sure my son will get to enjoy the parks as much as myself and previous generations have been able to. Fittingly, on my first day back at work for the internship I was tasked with helping out at a Father’s day event held by NPS at Mission Concepción, called ‘Picnic at the Park.’ The event had live music (an amazing 70’s funk band, headed by a longtime park employee), food trucks, guided tours, and activities for kids (including an extra-large size connect-four game for the kids to play). Though my own little one was too young at 6 days to make it out in the San Antonio summer heat, I was happy to see kids from the diverse community of this city given an event to enjoy a historic landmark and begin to appreciate the ruins and the importance of conservation. It made me immensely proud of my adoptive city and my National Park Service. The Picnic in the Park event was also used as an opportunity to let the community know about the Vote Your Park competition being held by National Geographic. The competition will award up to $2 million to historic preservation projects between the top five parks as determined by online popular vote at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/voteyourpark/. This is an especially important opportunity for the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park since the historic mission buildings ARE the park! Sign up and vote for us daily thru July 5th!