How does becoming more mature even work? At the end of a school year, I expect to be a completely different person - older, wiser, and that much closer to successfully executing a backflip - but it never feels like that has happened. Then, there are times when I calm down and look at differences in how I navigate certain situations. That's when I see change most clearly.

DDCSP@UW is a two-year program and the schedule for the Year 1 scholars was roughly the same as ours last year. This means that early last week, Taholah's population increased by about thirty individuals and six UW vehicles. The Year 1s visited the reservation just like my group did last year. It was fun going around with them and touring the res again. My favourite moment may have been visiting the canoe stand in an old-growth forest. In my post on Quinault last year, I wrote about feeling discomfort in the forest but also feeling incredibly blessed. I realized this year that I'm a lot more comfortable in the bush. I'd like to extend that to also being more comfortable being away from home, and more comfortable voicing my thoughts, more comfortable pursuing my interests but I might just stick to being more comfortable in the bush. 

The past couple of weeks have been good. Filled with karaoke in the car, fanning away flies, nearly twisting an ankle, d o o d l i n g, driving an ATV on a beach, wondering if I speak too much, l a u g h i n g, involuntary squeaking, protesting an oil rig, feeling conflicted about whether I should be in the States or at home, hiking to the furthest point on the lower forty-eight, c a m p i n g, waking up with a slightly scratchy throat, self-induced awkward moments, practicing riding a bicycle, being concerned about budgeting, running on treadmills, e a t i n g, getting way too invested in The Bachelorette, wondering if I speak too little, playing games with a psychedelic football, good conversations, jumping into a lake at midnight, being confused, c o o k i n g, making new friends, learning to take those low-key pics, eating junk food, (regretting eat that junk food), joking around with old friends, feeling unsure about my project idea, visiting a new city, accepting that I truly love books, and doing many mini crossword puzzles.

There are about two and a half weeks left and I know the feels are going to hit hard this year. I'm going to have to sit alone in my room when I get home and process all that happened. (My parents might be a bit concerned but I'll be sure to emerge for nourishment.) But I won't think about that yet because I'm not there yet. I leave you with photos and captions that take a lot more time to come up with than you might guess.





Joining tribal members and people from Grays Harbor to protest the proposed crude oil by rail expansion

Their street system made me so happy. 

Deer meat, potatoes, vegetables heated in foil. One of the best meals I've had.

As artsy as this looks, some people should not be trusted with fireworks of any form


Yung explorers on a trail

At Cape Flattery - the westernmost point on the lower forty-eight

Lunch: tofu...

...and baked sweet potato

After Google informed me that wax paper should not be exposed in ovens. I removed it in time [=


Finally made it to Pike Place Market this year

It's carnivorous!

I know I'm not the only one to find this disconcerting





The song is "The Birdwatcher" by Vulfpeck



Thanks for reading,
Keren


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