Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Today marks day 115 of ECOEE. This trip has been so long and we have seen so many cool places. From the beautiful lakes and rivers in Canada, to the various desert national parks, such as Arches, Bryce, Zion, and Death Valley. We were even able to see Yosemite and the Grand Canyon as well. To top it all off we were able to witness the many neat places that were in Baja California.
However, we now find ourselves looking to the end. Trying to finish final projects, evaluations, and gear cleaning before day 120 comes around. We are finding that we are becoming very tired while still trying to do the best we can. Yet, there is still rarely a time when you won’t see a smile on all of our faces or hear the laughter of our group. We are still getting along and enjoying every minute of ECOEE that we can. Soon enough the trip will come to an end and we will have to figure out what will come of our lives so we make the most out of this long and hard trip called ECOEE.
Here I lie in bed, contemplating the day’s events. Today I received extensive feedback from both my leader and my peers. I heard the good, I heard the bad, and I heard the ugly. It was pretty nerve racking to say the least, but I am fortunate to have had the experience. I am grateful to be surrounded by such honest and caring individuals.
But enough about me, this is the group journal. The gang rose to enjoy a scrumptious breakfast cooked by the one and only Dalton Schaller, and his lovely assistant Sarah Welsh. After breakfast the group got down to work evaluating yours truly. For hours they toiled, taking only short breaks to cook lunch and finish some last minute expedition chores. They seemed to have accomplished a lot in the limited time. I take pride in the efficiency of our group. After hearing all that they had to say, we moved on to the important task of our second to last low debrief. It was out with the old and in with the new, as Dalton, Sarah and I assumed the role of the final low team. We ate a savory Italian dinner in an elegant Italian lodge, and then began our personal homework. As the night draws to a close, I can’t help but be thankful for my ECOEE family and the experience as a whole. I have learned so much about myself over the course of this trip; it has been a truly wonderful experience.
Today I awoke with little sleep. I was lucky enough to be the first to be evaluated by my instructor and peers. I had little sleep because I could not help reflecting about how fast this adventure has passed. It felt like just yesterday I was sleeping in this same bunk nervous not truly knowing what to expect. In My reflections of the past one hundred days I did a lot of thinking about self-achievements, inner growth, and overall leadership qualities . When I awoke in the morning the main thing on my mind was not to fight my feedback but embrace it, knowing ultimately in the end it will help me be aware of my faults. After the fact of being evaluated, I may not agree and understand all that was stated, but in the end it is all going to help me become a better leader in one way or another. I feel a great weight off my chest and personally I am proud of my triumphs, still learning from mistakes, but growing as a leader every day I am with you guys.