Friday, August 23, 2013

California Wilderness: Here and Now

The California Wilderness program was lucky enough to have one international student! A novice to backpacking and newcomer to California, Ye Eun (trail name: Sweet Sap) writes about engaging with the beauty of nature, learning about herself, and appreciating her Sierra Institute group:

In this program, I experienced what I could not have imagined. California was so beautiful that I could not help falling love with it. All nature such as trees, the river, the lake, rocks, and stars were breathtaking. In nature, I could enjoy it as home, a friend and a teacher.

The last and longest leg was in the White Mountains. At 10,000 feet, we had solo time for three days. Since I have never been solo for even one day, I was nervous. I was a beginner in backpacking, but soon I was used to it. I knew how to pack well and could enjoy beautiful trails even with a heavy backpack. During the solo time, I hiked up hills or explored around. Most of all, I had a lot of time to think about myself, time I never would have had if I were in the front country. I realized that I had been weak, but pretended I was fine. I am just a human-being who cannot live without other people. This whole six-week trip and three-day solo time enabled me to grow, both physically and mentally.

One more thing of my precious memories of Sierra Institute is our group, Here and Now. We each had a different personality but when we were together, we were in harmony. They were so cheerful, generous, and considerate. I learned from them about how we can respect each other and how we can take care of the nature. Sharing a passion for nature, all understood how important it is and appreciated how beautiful it is. As we shared about our lives, experiences and feelings, I was able to experience a group talking with open hearts. Here and Now became a treasure to me.

Writing this is simply not enough to explain what I felt during the trip and what I’m feeling now. Thanks a lot to California Wilderness, and to Here and Now.

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