10:30 p.m.





It has been three days since the start of Backpack Journalism 2016. I am physically and emotionally drained. Even now, as I am writing this blog at 10:30 p.m. I can barely keep my eyes open. I am reaching for the special k bars that my mom sent me back with in order to keep me awake.

This has been a tough week. I’ve had moments where I’ve thought about giving up and moment where I’ve had break-throughs.

Coming in to this program, I knew little to no information on cameras and how to use them. My biggest fear (and still to some extent) is how to use the camera. But, luckily I’ve had some really great and patient teachers who have allowed me to fail and to triumph these past few days.

When I go to bed (hopefully soon) I know that my head is going to be running in circles about aperture, shutter speed, ios and white balance. I am not confident in my abilities with the camera right now, which is making it very hard. I am constantly questioning myself and what I think is the right or wrong way to do something. Hopefully my head shuts up soon so I can take a step back and let my head and hands to connect.

Today, after a pretty long and successful day, a group of us went shopping to get some “adventure pants.” Look for a picture soon! It was nice to be able to talk about our current feelings and reservations thus far. I left feeling better and a little more secure and confident in my abilities.

After shopping we went to the Holy Family Shrine a place I have never been to but have seen incessantly on fellow backpacker Maria Watson’s Instagram.

The Holy Spirit is a presence that calls us to create an environment where God can express his love to us through miracles and everyday actions.  The inspiration for the shrine  came from the idea that the place was intended for travelers. To help them seek out the intervention of Holy Spirit, to be at peace, to heal, to be comforted, to pray and to discover or re-discover the power of Jesus. It is a place of peace and rest and solitude for people of ALL faiths and allows the Holy Spirit to have free access to their soul.

What a better way to end my day then to go to a place meant for travelers to recharge and reconnect with themselves and God. I hope to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit during the journey to Nogales. I already can see his presence in my friends and fellow backpackers. I plan to keep the image of the shrine in my head as I begin this journey in Mexico and Arizona.

A very tired Maria and Maria watching the sunset in the middle of nowhere at the Holy Family Shrine. Notice Maria’s hat. It’s new and very soft. If you ever meet her, touch the hat, you won’t regret it

Going to the shrine allowed me to recharge my brain and to gear up for another long and fun day in Hitchcok 205.

11:05 p.m. Time for bed and one more special k bar

1 thought on “

  1. Maria, it’s OK to feel a little insecure. We will work as a team to get much of what we will be doing. I am excited about this group and what we can accomplish. This first week is hard as we balance info and excitement.

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