Monday, August 5, 2013

don’t get too comfy with me gone

All of us "happy campers!"
So this is the last blog entry from me. Wow, how fast this month has gone by. I feel like just yesterday I walked through the door of the hostel in Conway. This month helped me meet new people. These people are Sara, Lindsay, Joanne, Wink, Jeff, Ray, Cara, Christa, Megan, Mark, James, Tom, and more. These people are amazing. They’re kind-hearted, sweet, and love what they do. They are people I want to stay in contact with. I’ll miss each and every person I’ve met.

They all have a special place in my heart. So does New Hampshire. This place brought me a lot of new memories, like today with walking along a swamp picking purple loosestrife. And yesterday with camping. I’ll definitely come back here to visit everyone; I can’t wait to see them again! I’ll really miss it here. The girls too, of course—Jen, Marquia, and Ariana are great people to work with. They’ve made this trip a blast. They’re hilarious people and sweet, too. Each of us worked together and were in sync.

Sara has also been amazing. She worked well with us and didn’t snap at us so I was happy, lol. This is my goodbye to you, New Hampshire. But don’t get too comfy with me gone. I”ll come back soon, and this time I’ll bring my family J

~Darlene Valenzuela

Friday, August 2, 2013

Didn't see it coming

I promise I'm a smiley person! Especially when it comes to botany.

In my past week I spent most of my time in the Lubberland Creek Preserve, which basically means in the mix of plants( multi flora rose), insects (mosquitos) and the rain! On the other hand, I loved it. In my time spent I've become in tuned with my interest in botany. Joanne and Lindsay have become my personal Botany 101 teachers and now I know how to differentiate many of the trees and invasive species in Lubberland Creek. My colleagues and I have spent time building character and muscle by searching for invasives, monitoring trail work in the rain and building water bars to keep water off trails.

What I wasn’t prepared for was a tick bite, which I really didn’t see coming. Literally didn’t see coming because it was on my back. I was pretty freaked out at first til I went the hospital and called Wink, who made everything better. In the end I was stoked that I was bitten because now I’m official. In what? I don’t really know but its official.
~Ariana Mitchell

Thursday, August 1, 2013

it'll last for generations

All of us in our trash bag fashion!

Omg! Times are passing so fast, it’s already the end of the 3rd week. Everything just happened like in a blink of an eye. Starting from being strangers with the girls and now being friends. I have learned many things from working in nature and with the group. I will never forget the experiences of working outdoors in nature and the fun activities that we did together. For example, last week we went to fix the steps that we built with Lindsay after the heavy rain while wearing garbage bags to prevent us from getting wet. We felt proud and successful when we were done.

Also we did many fun activities on the weekend. We went to the beach in Maine, and it was an 84 degree sunny day. Aren’t we lucky to have such a good weather day. After the beach we went to fill our tummy with good hamburgers and of course ice cream for dessert. Haha. Oh oh oh! I am not done yet J We ended the day with watching dancing performances and the play “Annie” in a park in Portsmouth. It was such a wonderful experience. I recommend you guys go watch it! Okay. I am done now J Haha. Thanks for reading. Goodbye, have a nice day!
~Mei Juan (Jen) Gao

Hanging out at Northland Forest Products with CEO, Jamey French.

Did you know how much money you spend by buying cheap furniture not made from real wood, but with scrap wood? You pay a decent amount for a piece of furniture that will only last a couple of years, just to save you some money. That right there is the problem, when that same furniture breaks and is damaged, you have to buy it again, to only last you that same amount of time. To stop this cycle, buy products that are made from real wood - these will last you generations because of their high quality.  I've learned all of this from my trip to Northland Forest Products. This is a company that sells wood to furniture stores who then sell to us. Yes, because the pieces are made from wood and that makes it pricier, but we should still buy it regardless of the price; it’ll last for generations.

~Darlene Valenzuela

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Best summer ever!!!!

Just about to rub the nose of the Wildcat!
Hey there!!! The week has just begun and the fun I'm having is unbelievable. I think today may have been one of my favorites. Today we visited the University of New Hampshire.  It’s a great school and one that I probably would have never given a chance if not being an intern for LEAF. No one except for the interns in the New Hampshire chapter can say that they’ve had three tours for one school in the same day. Lol - it was wonderful. The first was a general tour. The next was a tour given by a professor at the university, Tom Lee.  That was my personal favorite because he brought me to the department of physics building. It was very hard to keep from smiling like a maniac when I entered the astronomy and physics library. After that we had this AMAZING lunch at the university. Lastly Megan who is an alumni from UNH gave our final tour. She gave us the cool 411 that no one else would know.  It was just an amazing tour and a great school. 

To top the day all off, we went to a park with swings!!! I feel like I haven’t smiled so much in one day in a long time. I think I can say for everyone that being an intern for LEAF has given us sooo many different experiences and opportunities that we wouldn’t have gotten if not for this program. I want to let everyone know that this is one of the most amazing summers of my life so far. Many people, throughout the duration of this internship aren’t even aware of the fact that they’ve taught me so much and have influenced many of the decisions I will be making very soon.  BEST SUMMER EVER!!!!!!!!

~Marquia Williams

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

livin' the dream

Visiting UVM with the Vermont LEAF Crew!
My time spent in New Hampshire has been a life changing experience. From the places we have visited to the people we have met it’s different, but in a good way. The first hours in a hostel meeting Wink and Lindsay to staying in a Bed and Breakfast, which is owned by Mary Margaret with the long hair, three cats, and funny husband, has placed my life into perspective. In the last two weeks I have met more than 26 people who have taught me something new or have giving me a chance to make an unforgettable experience. If I could, I would go back and thank everyone for the little things. For teaching me how to get on a horse and for helping me decide on the school that I will attend for college (UVM). But since I can’t thank them in person all I will thank them in spirit. THANK YOU ALL.
~Ariana Mitchell

A tough job building erosion steps is complete.

Hey there!!!!! Soo today we built steps!!! I know how strange that must sound but we did it. Lol. We used the land and shovels. It was a shocker how successful we were. We were pros by the end. The weekend in Burlington was sooooo beyond awesometastic!!!!! We went horseback riding (my horse’s name was Luko). Great first experience. UVM is a great University. I feel like the more schools I visit, I get more and more excited about college each time. We also went bike riding and that was very fun!!! This weekend was great and so was today. I cannot believe the time is going by so quickly. Anywho, talk to you all soon. J

~Marquia Williams

Livin' the dream!

Yay!!! Can you guys believe if I tell you “My dream came true?” Ha-Ha, I know this might sound silly but since I was little I know one of my life long dream is to become a princess and ride a WHITE horse J. Well…we all know that the princess part will never happen (ha-ha) but at least I got the chance to ride a white horse. I am so happy that I joined this program, and because of this I get the chance to participate in all these fun activities and also meet all these awesome people. In work I learned a lot about the environment, for example like all different kinds of invasive species and how they harm the environment and what we can all do to make a difference. Thanks for reading J  

~Mei Juan (Jen) Gao

Riding along the shores of Lake Champlain.

Hey guys, so yesterday we all went bike riding and on our way down a hill I forgot to use my breaks to slow down, so I lost control. In losing control I fell off my bike and slammed to the ground. As I fell down I skidded a little and scraped the back of my thigh and a bit on my hand. Surprisingly it didn’t hurt, just stung a little. It looked much worse then what it actually felt.  Haha! Weirdly enough I found it so cool, because it’s battle scars and battle scars are cool. Today it felt better and it doesn’t bother me to walk. Oh! Last night as we bought groceries including non-stick pads to cover the wound. When I went to put it on we didn’t have tape so we had to use band-aids. As the day went by and I started to sweat the pad started to fall off. It sucked. Lindsay told me that by now the wound is fine so now I'm all good and happy. That’s what I got to say to you all today. See ya!!!

~Darlene Valenzuela

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

being with the girls

Combating the bugs at Vickie Bunnell.

The past days working in New Hampshire was fun. I had met many amazing people, did many fun activities that I had never experience before and had learned many interesting things. Some amazing people I met on this trip are Lindsay and Wink, both of them had taught me a lot about nature and always made this working experience fun. My mentor Sara Rust has got us doing many fun activities, such as Zip lining, drive-in movies and ICE CREAM! And I can’t wait to go bike riding and horseback riding in the following weekends. Other than being homesick and missing a lot of people back at home, everything is fun and I really enjoyed the times being with the girls.

~Mei Juan (Jen) Gao

Monday, July 22, 2013

taking the plunge

Taking the plunge...
I learned! At the Vickie Bunnell Preserve in New Hampshire my ability to grasp new plant life was amazing. Botany seems to be my strong suit when it comes to nature, which is cool. I learned about sugar maple and yellow birch and ferns. I loved it. From that experience I decided to study botany as a minor in college. My mentors Sara, Wink and Lindsay are really persuading me more and more into looking in to The University of Vermont, which is right next to New Hampshire. I'm still a little skeptical because of the distance from family but day buy day I get more anxious.

~Ariana Mitchell