The Long and Winding Road

37 hours and 1,450 miles later, we’ve finally reached our destination in Nogales, Arizona. We’ve bunkered down in a guest house 15 minutes away from the border, where we’ll be staying for the next two weeks. Most of us, if not all of us, are pretty tired from our two-day long pilgrimage, and I can imagine we’ll all sleep well tonight. But despite the exhaustion, this has already been a great trip so far, and I’m looking forward to what else the rest of this journey has to offer.

Our car rides have been filled with friendly conversations of trying to get to know each other, singing and jamming out to different kinds of tunes, starring out the window to appreciate the constantly changing scenery, and many spread out moments of quiet nap time. Though, to be honest, gazing out the window and taking long dispersed naps is what took up most of my time. And everyone else’s, for the most part.

Several Backpack group members sitting on the wall behind our guest house in Nogales, Arizona
Several Backpack group members sitting on the wall behind our guest house in Nogales, Arizona

But it’s been great getting to know everyone that I’lll be around during this trip and making new friends. I know everyone here will be an amazing part of this trip and contribute so much to the final product of our documentary, whether it be through filming, interviewing, editing, etc. Even within the first few days of boot camp, everyone was able to show where their niche was and what they’re best at, so that will all easily translate into all the hard work we’ll be putting into this film.

As we drove through the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona, I began to think about the people who risk their lives just to make it to the United States. Many of these people walk hundreds of miles through hot, dry weather just to find a better life, no matter how long that will take them. Seeing and experiencing the hot desert landscapes of these southern states gave me a little bit of insight into what some of these migrants go through, but I know I will not be able to fully understand everything they have to go through. It will be quite the learning experience to get some perspective from the people we’ll be interviewing over the next couple of weeks.

Tomorrow we’ll already be traveling across the border to take a look around Nogales, Mexico and see where we’ll be going around during this trip, and will already be conducting our first interview. I’m more than excited to begin this learning experience, and can’t wait to do it with all the people I’ve gained as friends the past week.

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