Disclaimer: Every time I’ve tried to write this last and final blog post, I’ve started to cry. Which isn’t ideal because I am in a public place. This is my official apology to the customers and workers of Beansmith Coffee and to Aly Schreck and Maria Watson for putting up with me. Be prepared for sap
I’m not sure how I want to start this last and final blog post. I’ve tried to write the opening at least ten times. But I am struggling to come up with a clear and coherent way to describe all of my emotions. Currently I am depressed, overjoyed, elated, excited, tearful, emotionally drained, full (mentally and physically) and so much more.
Today is the final day that we will all probably be in the same room together. It’s been an interesting 4.5 weeks. All 15 of you have grown into my favorite friends. It’s hard to think back to when we were awkward acquaintances all pretending that we weren’t nervous to talk or show our true selves. Look below to see us all in our awkward glory.
But here we are 4.5 weeks later. Best friends. Journalist. B-roll experts. Camera aficionados.
After a stressful and difficult past year, I almost thought about not coming on Backpack Journalism. My grandma who turn 89 yesterday has been in and out of the hospital for the past year.
Before I was about to go on the trip my grandma was hospitalized for the second time with pneumonia. I was anxious to go on the trip because I was worried about my grandma and her health.
While in Nogales, my grandma was hospitalized again. I didn’t tell anybody in the group. I also found out the same day that my 18 year old cousin was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I immediately regretted being there. I wanted to be with my family and with my mom. I discussed with my mom going home early, but she told me that I needed to do this trip. That it was important for me to be apart of this. I listened to my mom and decided to handle how it how I usually deal with things. I threw myself into the program. I distracted myself by reading, cooking with the group, hanging out with everybody and being truly present in Nogales.
While it was hard for me to do, my sadness and tears quickly turned into a smile. I was told by a couple of group members that I am always smiling. While I do this unconsciously, I am smiling because of them. They didn’t even know what was going on, yet they managed to encourage and push me to do and be my best. I think that says a lot about the people who were on the trip. They are some of the best people I’ve met. During our last and final reflection, I told the group that I was thankful for them. These rad kiddos are so wonderful that I can’t even begin to thank them. Even now that our trip is done, I am still left with a constant smile on my face.
Too happy to see the haterz
During the trip something I kept thinking about was what can I do now? So it’s appropriate that Carol asked us this question in our final blog post, What is one thing you can do differently based on what you learned?
After meeting and listening to peoples stories I think the best thing I or anybody else can do is to stay informed and to inform others. It’s important to humanize immigration. It’s a complex human rights issue. I hope that because of what I experienced in Nogales I can be a source of information for those who have question or to challenge their thoughts on the issue. By no means am I an expert, but I feel as though our documentary will encourage others to go and bear witness to the conflict at the border.
While I’m not necessarily satisfied with that I think it is important to realize that I can only do the best I can with what I have with where I’m at.
I don’t want to end this blog post because that means this is all truly over.
I am thankful for all the individuals that I met. I am thankful for John and Carol for bringing this project to Creighton (you guys are amazing).
If I can take anything away from this experience it is to say yes. Thank you Carol for teaching me to be open and to say yes to things even if it is difficult.