The days before my departure for my internship as the environmental educator at the Grand Canyon are creeping up quicker and quicker. The people closest to me give me questioning looks when I mention the butterflies I have for this newest journey. This is because I am the one who saved up when I was 16 to travel around Vietnam alone, and I was the one who graduated high school a year early and took off to the West Coast to backpack the same day as my ceremony.       Maybe I do seem fearless in other people’s eyes, but this particular internship has caught me off guard. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been one to speak publicly and it will now be my entire summer, or maybe it’s because I don’t really know what environment I am really walking into. This looming unknown is slowly hitting me harder each day. With that being said, the nervousness I feel is nothing in comparison to my excitement! I am ready to break out of my shell and embark on my biggest expedition yet by leaving my cell service behind for ten weeks, and using this time to figure out what I want my future to look like. Words cannot describe how eager I am to explore a whole new environment: the geology, the culture, the ecology, and everything else this unique ecosystem has to offer. I truly miss working with kids and I know that this adventure is going to be so much more fun because they’ll be involved. During my time working I plan on using my love for the environment to inspire people younger than me. I hope to be influential on the families vacationing at the mighty Grand Canyon. On my time off I look forward to exploring the area, reading a lot of books, progressing in yoga, creating art, and maybe even learning that instrument I’ve always been too busy to learn. I know that this technology-free time in one of the most beautiful places on Earth will lead to growth and reflection like I’ve never experienced. I am nervous, but I am ready. I recently spent five days on the Salt River rafting, hiking and learning about the ecosystems. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to, and to think that I will be traveling to somewhere similar, but grander, leaves me speechless. I want to thank the Latino Heritage Internship Program, Environment for the Americas and the National Park Service for this life-changing opportunity. I will make the most out of every second. Eleven days and counting!!!!

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