The City of Roses

If you have ever been in a car with me on a sunny day in the Portland area, you will quickly learn of my obsession with Mt. Hood. Whenever I get a glimpse of this beautiful snow capped volcano, I am filled with awe.

I had heard so much about Portland during my final year as an undergrad. Many people spoke highly of this city. It was renowned for being an environmentally friendly city, and I wanted to be there. I wanted to be in Oregon with its beautiful trees and forests, mountains and waterfalls. Right after I accepted the internship offer with EFTA, I image searched the place I would call home for the next six months.  I was not disappointed.  I saw beautiful photos of Portland’s skyline with Mt. Hood in the background. It was love at first site.

The Portland skyline across the Willamete River. We got to see this every time we went up to our Sun School program.

The Portland skyline across the Willamette River. Luckily for us this was our commute to our Sun School Program.

One of my brothers told me not to hold my breath. That Portland looked beautiful when it was sunny, but that it would be gloomy most of the time with those infamous cloudy days. I told him I couldn’t care less about the cloudiness. I had never known a more depressing time in my life than the winter months in Illinois. I do love the snow in the winter, but I can only handle the frigid cold and shortened days for so long. I really missed birds and insects scurrying about.  I missed seeing life and I knew there would be plenty of it in Oregon, with or without the rain.

Right now the insects are only just making a come back, but the birds have kept me well entertained. I have only been here a few months, but I know I have become a better birder and I am so happy about that.

Liliana Calderon
lcalde4@illinois.edu
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