Hi everyone,

It's summer (and has been for a while). Unlike last year, I had less time to pause once the school year ended. I went straight into helping out with a conference at school for a few weeks. I won't go into details but I did get the chance to meet intelligent and dedicated people from around the world who reminded me of two different but related things: 1) that (as much as media tries to make it seem), life is not centered around the United States/Western Europe and 2) that having English as my first language is a privilege. These are two things I know from growing up in the Caribbean but I forget them sometimes.

What am I up to now? I'm back in Seattle for the second part of the program I did last year - the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington (DDCSP@UW). Rather than travel around the state like we did for Year 1, the returning students are working on specific projects in Washington. The projects range from interviewing millennials in Seattle to gathering data on post-fire recruitment in central Washington. My group is on the Olympic Peninsula and we're working with the Quinault Indian Nation's Department of Natural Resources (QDNR). I wrote about our time there last year in this post but this time, I get to spend five weeks there. We just finished up our first week and it was better than I hoped it would be.

I've mentioned before that I am concerned with what other people think and about what other people think of me. I think it's a mix of sensitivity/self-consciousness/empathy. (There's also a chance that I'm just extremely egotistical and try to play it off as if I care about other people - I won't throw that out the window.) But what I've noticed is that I have a hard time talking about myself and what I've done, especially if I think it may cause someone else to feel down. That's part of why I worry about blogging. While that's true, I also realize that people have autonomy. I told the sibling about my first concern and she understood but also said that part of it has to do with comfort levels and trust. Trusting that if someone asks how you're doing/how has x or y or z been, that they actually want to know. Her advice about my second concern is that I can't make people read my words so if you're reading this now, it's because you chose to see what I have to say.

Now that's off my chest, I shall talk about how the past two weeks have been. Or I'll show you because I'm not sure what I should say and I'm not in the frame of mind to form sentences.

Loading up the car for our 151 mile drive

Shannon's convinced he saw an orca out there

Learning to use actual maps and compasses

Yung map-readers in action

Driving by a clear-cut on the res. Timber is a major source of income.

Pulling over to let a logging truck go by

Wild blueberries and strawberries. Artificial selection is essentially magic.

QDNR plans to do a controlled burn on this prairie to replicate traditional land management strategies. 

Examples of basketwork/weaving in a museum

Filling up water at a spring

My first time in a helicopter. No lie - it was a pretty awesome experience. 

Went hiking at Discovery Park with some friends since we came back to the city for the weekend

It's not doing a great job of blending in but the effort is what really counts

I'll leave it at that for now. We should start working on our individual projects in the next two weeks and I'll let you know how that goes. Depending on my free time, I may post about bead/art things I'm working on but I'm leaving that up in the air.

I didn't leave a song last time! I know, I know. Keren's slacking. The song today is "Here Now (Madness)" by Hillsong United.

I hope you're doing well wherever you are and if not, that's also okay.

Thanks for reading,


Keep them coming but keep them clean!

Keren Creates. Powered by Blogger.