Presenting, Running, Star Watching

Luis Vidal giving his presentation at Hot Springs National Park Visitor Center.

This has been one of the fastest weeks of the internship. It’s been exciting to see our Latino Conservation Week event really come together. We decided to split up our event into a volunteer event in the morning and an educational fair in the afternoon. Finding a group to attend the morning volunteer session was difficult, but we finally got commitments this week. We also spent a lot of the week creating promotional material for our event and keeping in touch with community partners. This week I also gave my presentation again, titled “Hot Springs of the U.S.” I enjoy giving it and I feel I can use it to enhance my public speaking skills. The picture above is of me giving my presentation. I’ve joined a local running group called the Spa Pacers, to help me get back into shape. I used to run a lot before college, both recreationally and competitively, but became too busy once I started school. Here I met a running partner and have been motivated again to get back to it. I am slowly realizing the benefits of exercise and how good it is for both one’s physical and mental health. Last weekend I had the opportunity to enjoy a star program at nearby Lake Ouachita State Park. We rode on a barge to an island in the middle of the lake where a state park ranger gave the program. There was cloud cover which limited the amount of stars we were able to see, but it was still great to go out on a boat ride at night and be on an island. On the boat ride back, though, there were a lot of spiders that came out from hiding in the boat, which was a little nerve-racking and alarmed some of the visitors. I’m not usually afraid of spiders, but they’re nowhere near as abundant in Utah as they are here so that will take some getting used to.

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