Week 3 was quite the transitioning week for us. As we returned to the United States and experienced the somewhat of a culture shock that came with it, many of us were torn about how we were feeling. We delved right in, however, and began orientation for the everyday life that will be the rest of our summer. It all felt so different than the jam-packed, emotionally draining BorderLinks delegation. As we started learning and doing at our internships, it was easy to forget some of the personal stories behind the work.
Then we traveled 9000 feet to the top of a mountain. Yesterday, we took a group trip to the top of Mt. Lemmon. From the small village 1000 feet from the top to the 40 degree temperature difference, it was easy to forget about Tucson and the desert—to take a step back from the everyday life we had just gotten into. From the top of the mountain, everything below looked so different. Not only were the buildings of Tucson nearly invisible, but there were actually green trees and plants to be seen. Still a part of Pima County, how could this place exist amid such barren land? And it didn’t seem fair. We could come to this place to escape our normal, busy, everyday lives, while others must escape theirs by dying in the desert. We could enjoy the view, the weather, and each other without a care in the world.
As we sat atop Mt. Lemmon, we reflected back on our week. Many people expressed the difficulty in blogging each week—in trying to do justice to the everyday life of the people in this region without someone experiencing it first hand. In using the same words over and over, and the monotony of doing so. But when it all comes down to it, we can’t explain it; we can’t do it justice. You, the reader, are only getting a far off glimpse of what we are doing and feeling—a look from the top of the mountain.