6/21/2006

The Rain in Maine

Hello everyone! I am finally back and in this civilized life again. Though my living wasn't really that primitive. It is true that at the New England Literature Program, telephones, ipods, computers and whatever else was prohibited and physically taken away from me. So that made things very interesting. As sad as it was to miss the rest of my world, it was easier to concentrate on the present moment, because really, there wasn't anything I could do about the situation and where I was, so I just entered full speed and at full charge. The result was a gradual and total evaluation of myself, my beliefs, goals, values. I feel like this program and the experiences, the people, the way I was included and became a vital part of the community, helped me understand my worth. I can now try to describe myself in words, I know what I am good at and what I like to do. The mystery of poetry has been slightly cleared up for me, and now I am gradually accumulating a collection of memorized poems in my head. I hope to make that a regular activity. It really gets me excited about the literature and life, as corney as that sounds. I'll try to illustrate the trip for you, but the best pictures will come later. I have to get them developed.

Our van there stopped a lot, and so we were late, but as opposed to the others that HAD to get to the hotel, we saw some cool things.


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Remember how excited I was about the vans spelling out University of Michigan on their sides? Well this is all we got.


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Scooby-doo type scary house.
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The first week, they taught us how to use a map and compass and then drove us in little groups very far away from the camp, early in the morning, and told us to get back to camp. I was very surprised, though some kids new about it. So we were dropped 12 miles away and walked the whole way through forests, down roads and through peoples' property. It was crazy, and every once and a while a truck or car would pass us, heavy with other NELPers, screaming at us in triumph while we trudged so tiredly down the road. It was a great experience though. Here we are sitting exhausted 2 miles before we get back to camp.
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Acca and I in celebration.
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Then we had a story telling circle, describing our feats. One team brought pockets full of spent machine gun shells.
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A few days later, we had a day hike up Burnt Meadow Mountain, and had lunch at the top. This is Bryan Kelly, who took russian in school and we spoke a lot in secret.
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Coming down steep terrain.
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The next trip was an over night hike up a mountain to the summit. This is Sanjay. It rained the whole 36 hours we were there and then for 5 days after that. Did i mention it rained for 3 days after we got to Maine?
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Nels, one of the instructors. I won't even get started on this incredible person.
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Shaelyn.
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Eating dinner, wet and cold.
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What the evergreen forest looked like. The other photos are of the hardwood tree layer of the mountain.
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And here is Kevin right at the timberline. The rain produced zero visability, but it was almost surreal and neat that way.
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Back to camp, i don't have many pictures of it. But this is the dock, and I bathed here everyday, and didn't shower for 3 weeks. By the end of the trip, it was covered in water from the rain raising the lake's water level.
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The Next trip was to Acadia, a national park-island where we camped on very nice campgrounds. People described this place as a vacation trip, and small groups broke up to go see things all over the island. It was wonderful to see the ocean.
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That evening we climbed an incredibly precipitious mountain in about an hour, using all of these rebar steps and handles drilled into the rock. Crazy.
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And then we journaled. Obviously, we were very serious about our journalling!
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The next night i had my lobster that i paid for months in advance. I also finished off 5 other lobsters. My fingers were wrinkled from the lobster juice.
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This is a very very good friend of mine now, Rachel, and an instructor, Alistair, who was a student at Nelp a few years ago.
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Journaling about my own islanded place. If you remember my germany experience, I described that i am on an island when I go for walks, which is all i did in germany and do every saturday morning in Ann Arbor
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The Coast.
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Rachel and John's art project. Framing nature. Is it art? There was a long discussion.
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So THEN later that week we went on an extreme hike in the northern Maine wilderness. It was crazy. Stream crossings and shit, just like Ryan is doing here. He was a staffer too, and from West Virginia.
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Serious bug protection.
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Eating lunch or something.
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Moose tracks!
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with packs on.
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Here, good Kate is drinking from a Natural Spring. Delicious!
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we selpt in some shelters on this pond.
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and walked around on such platforms to protect the marshes.
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BEAUTIFUL weather the next day. Lots of hiking around looking at stuff.
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Here is a dragonfly metamorphosizing from the larvae. Can you see whats going on? Its weird. The dragonfly is hanging upside down, coming out of its former skin/life. It was dragonfly birthday or something, because we watched lots of these things happen.
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Waterfalls
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The Moose has become one of my favorite animals, without a doubt! Wow they are so so so cool.
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Tomorrow i am flying to DC to visit my friend Gabby, but after that, I will show you the rest of my pictures! I have great film ones i need to scan.



Drawn out goodbye:
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3 comments:

The Tattoed Librarian said...

Your pictures are awesome! I find it hard to believe you'll be posting "better" ones, but if you do I'll come back to check on them.

I went to NELP back in '99. I wonder if your teacher Alistair was the one I was with. Kevin also looked pretty familiar...was he a teacher who had been a NELP student too?

Your post makes me nostalgic, though my NELP was in New Hampshire. I'm so glad that NELP is going strong and having such a positive impact on students still.

The Tattoed Librarian said...

I found your blog using blogger's search all blogs function.
I did a couple first with NELP and then with New England Literature Program as an exact phrase.

Not too much out there really.

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