“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
When I first arrived in Mexico, I felt anxious about living in another country by myself, but guess what?! I more than survived. I thrived in Baja! I met so many interesting and amazing people. Making new friends was easy; I truly made life long friends in Baja. How could I not? Everyone I met was kind and genuine. I debated how to share with you all my wonderful experiences in Baja, and I chose to include photos that illustrate special events and people that I got to meet and work with. I am definitely missing some people that I would have liked to include but may not have photos of.
This is from the time I decided to join the embroidery club in Ensenada. Unfortunately, their club’s schedule didn’t work with mine, but it was cool to see there are groups like these in my community. The girl in the middle hosts embroidery workshops once a month and offers great new embroidery techniques to beginners and advanced embroiderers.
From left to right is Claudia (Terra’s community outreach coordinator), Mirna (Terra’s education coordinator), me, Christine (another intern), and Marcie. When we traveled to San Quintin to do the artisanal workshop, we stayed with Marcie in her guest house. She is hands down one of my favorite people I met down in Baja. She makes the best mango margaritas and has a deep kindness for all animals, especially dogs. She has six black dogs, all ranging in size and quirky attitudes!
Don Chava helped everyone set up their fishing poles and untangle their lines. I learned that he helped with the sculpture in the San Quintin reserve called “la ola” or “the wave”. After fishing we had a big cookout at this house, where I gutted my own fish (for the first time!) and hung out with him and other community members like Santiago (pictured left) and Natalia (pictured in the bottom photo to the right).
I also made traveling friends. The photo below includes Libby, a traveling Spanish student who came to Ensenada to become a better Spanish speaker. This is a photo from the second day in Ensenada. Jonathan, the conservation biologist from Terra, took us birding in Ensenada near the agricultural fields, where we saw a Burrowing Owl, and lots of Long-billed Curlews. He also took us to La Bufadora (The Blowhole) which is a famous tourist destination. There we saw Black Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, American Oystercatchers, and their hybrid. It was a wonderful precursor to the Gordi-tour (bird survey trip) to come.
To the right is a photo of Abril, a student working towards her Masters who is writing her thesis on bird disturbance. In the photo, Christine is holding Tiberius, a Harris Hawk that Ernesto, a bird conservationist, rehabilitated and has kept for educational purposes. It was amazing to be able to hold Tiberius and to have seen many of the other birds Ernesto has helped rehabilitate.
Below is a photo of Christine and I on the roof of UABC Ensenada. I could not have picked a better co-intern. It was an honor working with her and getting to know her. Here’s us being the best interns anyone could ever have!
I will never forget the friendships I made and the beautiful places that I got to explore, and as cheesy and cliché as this sounds, it isn’t a goodbye – simply a farewell!