Ropes and Fears, and finally feelin’ eco-friendly

From the top of the rope

We started the day by Facing our Fear!

(trust me, even if you’re not that afraid of height before this, standing on one string of rope 16 feet above the ground is going to make you feel a bit nervous – or A LOT in my case)

Climbing Wall became a piece of cake when compared with Rope Elements. I think I’m quite okay with height, and I imagined myself to be all calm and cool up there. In reality, though, standing there on the rope I just shook a lot – the whole time! It might be my legs or the rope or the wind or whatever, I just shooooookkkkkkk and thought ohmygodohmygodohmygodwhattodoooooo. I think I made Millie, my partner up there, shook too – I’m sorry Millie!

Perhaps the scariest part of this activity is to move on while we’re shaking, to keep going when we still have our fears – but that is not the most important part. This activity proved that even we’re very much out of your comfort zone and still have our doubts and fears, we can reach our goal with the support of our friends. Trusting team members to take us all to the end of the journey is incredibly necessary for our success. Even though we made mistakes and couldn’t reach our goal yet, we have friends to catch us when we fall, and we can always start over and learn from our mistakes. Those are the most important lessons that I learnt today, and that I’ll keep reminding myself from this day on.

An Island in Missoula

After getting to know more about what is expected of us academically, we role-played (kind of) in Environmental Policies and Politics class by Dr.Len to feel how challenging considering both environmental and economical sides of a policy. I’m curious about how governments decide on these things – maybe we will know the US way soon in our next classes.

After riding a bike on Salmon Lake (yes you read that correctly), it’s time we meet our host family! Everybody was chatting and mingling and enjoying fabulous dinner and having a great time : ) The huckleberry pie was marvelous!

Something else entirely, something else finally

Since the start of the program, I always feel kind of uneasy with the food arrangement. More like, the food container arrangement.

We came here to study about Global Environmental Issues, right? Oftentimes, however, we use paper plates and Styrofoam containers and plastic cups and plastic cutlery and we just throw them away. We did that yesterday in the park near Clark Fork River. We did that today at McCormick Park when we drink the water and had lunch (even though all of us has a personal tumbler, we still use paper cups). And we did that today at dinner.

I always felt like a hypocrite when I did that.

However, after dinner today, some actions happen.

I felt the pain every time someone just throw the plastic plate we used today into the bin. When I mentioned that to Mal, she said she’s gonna keep hers – why don’t I keep mine?

Yeah, why not?

So that’s how the plate-saving movement happened behind the counter. We organized how to take plates from people and how to take them back. Mal was the source of encouragement and she help me with tons of thing, without her this plate-saving movement couldn’t happen. Thank you a million times, Mal!

But it doesn’t end there. Coming back, there’s plates to clean – and lots of them! When I was washing up, Colors magically appeared and helped me with everything until the end! Without her great help, this action couldn’t be completed with such great speed! Thank you so much, Colors!

The plates we rescued!

p.s. I apologize for the lack of pictures today. I took like a hundred, but my phone goes awry and this is the only picture I was able to recover. If editing is possible in the future I will find the pictures of our activities to put here!

Bye!

Alena K.

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