So, I’ve officially spent a week in Alpaugh, CA. Hopefully one day, I’ll have enough internet service to post pictures of this beautiful place, but for now you’ll have to just take my word for it. We live in the “Ameri-mansion,” a ranch style house with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a kitchen, washer and dryer, tv, and an incredible collection of old VHS tapes. The land here is flatter than even Iowa was, so the sun rises and sunsets are spectacular. Our work with the BLM has so far consisted mostly of weed removal, particularly the invasive species Bassia. My new best friend is the Mccloud, a tool with a rake on one side and a sharp flat edge on the other, used to hack away Bassia and other pesky plants. We’ve also spent time doing trash removal, cleaning out storage sheds, removing tumbleweeds (they clog canals), and trimming trees. Through this work, we’ve gotten very familiar with the black-widow spider. Black-widows are poisonous, so knowing they live in our garage is not a comforting thought. We’ve also gotten used to having dust around us all the time. Fairly often we clean the entire house and van, but within the hour they’re covered with dust again.
One of my favorite parts of this job so far has been seeing the BLM’s wetlands. They have this beautiful pond, with a lookout built by a former AmeriCorps team, surrounded by marsh. Working there we get to see all kinds of birds, and fairly often we’ll see a coyote off in the distance.
When we’re not working, we spend a lot of time watching movies and playing cards. While it is not a far walk into town, the only things to do there are eat at the cafe or shop a the convenience store. Once a week we drive to another town to use the internet at Starbucks and go to the grocery store. Overall there’s a lot of time to just sit and relax, which is good because my muscles are usually pretty sore after a day’s work.
Looking at today’s date, I just realized that I missed the midnight showing of Hunger Games. It’s amazing how life still goes on while I’m sitting here disconnected from the world. For example, my new twin cousins Timothy and Joshua were born almost a week ago, and soon after my brother got engaged! Congratulations on both events, I’m so excited!
Well, I believe that’s all I have for now. As always, feel free to shoot me a letter or a text, I love to keep in touch but unfortunately phone calls don’t work right now. Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. 🙂