Thursday, May 23, 2013

Here I Am!

After three-and-a-half hours of driving, my dad, my 10-year-old sister Abby, and I arrived in the Grand Canyon Village around 10am on Wednesday. I'll have to write more about our roadtrip when I have time, but right now I'm typing this up as fast as I can between training sessions for my new job.

On Wednesday morning, I checked in and went through drug testing, brief training, and signing forms until my hand was about to fall off. Then I received my housing assignment: Colter Hall.

Colter Hall is like a college dorm, but maybe a little seedier. There are rumors of bedbugs, but I’m told they are all cleared out for now. The rooms are simple and bare, but with a few photos from home, it didn’t feel so bad. A couple other girls from ACMNP are on my floor, too.

My roommate, let’s call her Mary, has been working in the Grand Canyon year-round for about three years. Initially, I thought she was horrifically unfriendly, but it turns out she’s autistic and just a little uncomfortable with new situations. She’s quite nice, actually, and explained a lot of things about the park. Mary likes romance novels, Catholic shrines, and the NRA. She works nights, so I probably won’t see much of her.

After I was checked in, I went to a job training session for my paid job – guest room attendant (essentially, hotel maid). I’ll be cleaning 14-15 rooms a day, 6 days a week. It sounds like a pretty tiring job, but not awful. I’ll work my first full day on Friday.

After training, I had dinner with the ACMNP team. They all seem like great people, and I’m excited to get to know them! The team comes from all over the United States, and comes with all sorts of different abilities and passions. We’ll have our first service together over labor day.

But I haven’t even mentioned the Canyon… the Canyon! I counted, it’s 97 steps from my back door. I can wake up in the morning and in less than a minute, see THIS:

I visited the canyon when I was about 4 years old, but I didn’t remember it, and had this view in my head of a deep sort of crack in rock. I didn’t dream of this expanse of striated color and cliff faces, dagger-sharp edges and rolling corners, and the Colorado River at the bottom of it all. It’s the kind of beauty that leaves you gasping for breath. You want to throw your hands out and sing, or else you want to sit and be very solemn. It makes me want to laugh and cry and pray, and I can’t wait to spend the summer exploring.

More updates to come!

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