Living in the “Land of Enchantment”

Last Saturday I left Maryland for the Land of Enchantment.

The plane ride was 5 hours, so like many plane goers, I designated my flight time as siesta time. However, when I woke up and heard the flight attendant utter “have a great day, and welcome to Albuquerque,” I was no longer dreaming. My summer days in Santa Fe were about to begin! Walking across Albuquerque International’s mud colored tile, I noticed an abundance of pueblo architectural features that would later greet me everywhere I went. I heard the penetrating sound of the traditional pueblo flute sounding throughout the baggage claim. The culture was breathtaking and there was so much more to see. When I boarded my shuttle to Santa Fe, I secured a scenic view by taking a window seat. As the shuttle made its way down interstate-25, I could see miles of desert plants and pale brown mountains. Being a typical millennial, I stuck my ear buds in, thinking music could add to my spectacular view. Yet, all I focused on was my captivating window view. Those first glances of New Mexico excited me. My First Day  This Monday was first day as a cultural interpreter at the National Trails Intermountain Region (NTIR) office. The NTIR office rests on the historic Old Santa Fe Trail Road, across from St. Johns College, Santa Fe. Created during the great depression by Spanish artisans, it is the oldest, known adobe office building in the U.S. Today, this nineteen person staff oversees nine national trails. After a few days at the office, I knew there was no better place I could be and here’s why: Historical Distinction NTIRMuseum   The Storyteller by Marie Romero of Jemez Pueblo, 1987  What sets this office apart from the rest, and what I believe makes it one the greatest offices, is historic preservation and restoration. The building has been restored over the years to suit the needs of a contemporary work staff. Additionally, historic artifacts (painting, figurines, etc.) can be found throughout the stucco hallways. Essentially, I work at an office and a museum all in one.

                                                                                      A Welcoming Staff

Carol Clark, Park Ranger Interpretive Specialist  CarolClark

On my first day, I was able to meet a majority of the NTIR staff. Each salutation exchange included a firm handshake and smile. I felt so welcomed! All my questions and concerns were willingly answered, my position expectations were stated clearly, and I was given unlimited access to the office sweet’s jar. I mean, what more could I ask for?

The Courtyard NTIRCourtyard The first time I entered the office, I was immediately greeted by a vibrant green wonderland, which is also known as the courtyard. It is the heart of the office. The courtyard hosts a tranquil pond, bushes filled with the sweetest roses I’ve ever smelled, and comfortable place to unwind any time of day. Despite embracing so much culture and history already, I know there is still more to uncover in the land of enchantment. I am thrilled to know what lies ahead in my upcoming ventures in our nation’s oldest state capital. Want to see more of journey? Check out my Facebook

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