Well, it’s been a pretty bittersweet day. After tossing in one last load of laundry at the employee village office this morning, I headed to lunch at the EDR with Jesse. Nate walked in just a little bit after we did, and sat down with us. He went into work at three today; Jesse had the day off as well. After lunch, I went to the upstairs lobby of the lodge and picked up a few keychains from one of the gift shops- I can’t leave anywhere without grabbing a few of those! I also picked up my final clearance form from HR, which I’m supposed to fill out as I turn things in (my keys, uniform, linens, etc.). After putting away my laundry and cleaning up my room a bit more, I grabbed the box that I’d packed up yesterday and walked over to the lodge to ship it back home. Basically, it’s been a day of getting ready to leave this beautiful place.
Nate told me at lunch today that he was originally scheduled to work the morning shift tomorrow, but Rebecca had asked him to switch shifts with her, so he’ll actually be working the later shift with me. I thought I wouldn’t be working with him anymore, so that was nice to hear. Tomorrow evening will be Nate, Maggie, Jen, and me at the desk. I think it’s supposed to be another pretty slow day. It’ll also be the last time I’ll get to work with Nate and Jen, which is kind of sad.
I just got back to my room from having dinner with Brian in the EDR. I’ll miss all of the bellmen in the lodge; they’re a lot of fun to hang around. Later this evening I’ll probably go hang out in the Whistle Pig for what’ll be one of the last times. That place is always so much fun to go hang out and relax with other staff members in; I’ll miss not having it.
Well, I probably only have a few more posts to add to this blog before finishing it off. I’ve had a lot of fun writing these posts, as well as being able to look over previous posts to remind myself of all the fun I’ve had this summer. This blog has been a great way to keep friends and family back home updated, as well as a great way to document this wonderful summer for me to look back on. This is my 120th post to this blog; that’s definitely a lot more than I expected I’d make. When I first made this, I thought I’d probably make updated once or twice a week. I certainly didn’t think I’d be able to make one every day. After I started making daily posts, though, I felt obligated to continue to do just that, even if there wasn’t much news to report about the day. Part of the way through the summer I realized that people that I don’t know at all were reading my blog. I know that part of the point of a blog is the fact that it’s public, but that still surprised me. I found it pretty cool that people that didn’t know me still wanted to keep up with this blog. I’ve also had several people even tell me that I should just find a new topic and continue to keep a blog after I get back to San Antonio. It may be hard to keep that interesting, but I’ll think about it.
I guess this is a good time to announce on here what the title of this post means. A song called Closing Time by Semisonic says multiple times, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” I think that, right now, that quote applies to my life. As this new beginning ends for me, the beginning of a new adventure is in the making! Anyone that knows me can tell you that one of my biggest dreams is going to Africa. Now, after many years of dreaming, I’ve officially started planning to make this trip a reality! With some help, I’ll be in South Africa from January 15 to March 23 of next year. My plan is to spend four weeks working with a great white shark conservation project, and then five weeks working in a baboon sanctuary that a friend of mine worked at a few years ago. Hey, depending on the connection there and the amount of free time I have, I might be able to keep a blog of that adventure as well.
I think that working here in Grand Teton National Park this summer has opened a lot of doors for me. I’ve met people who have previously worked and lived all over the world, and that’s just kind of opened my eyes to what other opportunities are out there. This has been a truly unforgettable summer, and I’m so glad that I made the decision to come out to this spectacular place for these past few months.