I was never good at saying goodbyes. I always cry. But just when I thought I was doing OK for holding up my tears when all of us at the Wetlands Institute said our goodbyes, I broke down.
That was all because of Kaity, one of our Research Assistants. She was the first Research Assistant that I met upon arriving at the Wetlands Institute, and before our internship began, I volunteered to go grocery shopping with her because we needed food for our first cook-out. But so much have happened in the 10 weeks that followed, and I pretty much forgot about it. Until she reminded me of our “first grocery shopping” and how cool she thought it was, and how she was going to miss me, and then down came my tears.
I thought I was going to cry when I said goodbye to Jon and Liz, because over time, both of them and Koulang and me got really well together, and we pretty much hung out (at the kitchen) together most of the time. We went on road patrols together, we went grocery shopping together, we had dinner together, and we were always on the lookout for one another.
But of course, of all the interns whom I have had the chance to meet this summer, I am going to miss my roommates, Liz and Sasha, most. We shared a fairly small space together for 10 weeks, and we have also shared gossips, laughters and tears (Liz was in the room when I received news that Prof. L passed away) and needless to say, we have bonded over time, and both of them were like my sisters to me.
And of course, Koulang, my fellow Asian Scholar from Cambodia. He was like my buddy from Day 1, because we were the only two Asians in a
group world of Americans. We were always on the lookout for each other because we were the ones who would most likely be “forgotten” or “missed” because we were not like the rest of the interns. We don’t party. We don’t drink. We don’t get drunk. We don’t play loud music and start dancing in the kitchen. But most importantly, Koulang had been very good at making sure that I had food for dinner (because he’s a good cook).
Last but not least, the first two interns I met at the Wetlands Institute were Cassie and Heather. They have been teaching me “the American way” since the day I met both of them and if I was Americanized (in any way), these two girls would be the ones responsible :D Mac and cheese, anyone?
A THANK YOU NOTE
To Dr. Roger Wood, Dr. Roz Herlands, Dr. Dan Hernandez, Dr. Patrick Baker and Ilene Eberly, THANK YOU for the guidance and advice so generously given to me.
To Lysa, Jane, Chanelle, Doris, Joyce and Margaret, THANK YOU for your concern, care and conversations.
To all my dear fellow interns who are reading this, THANK YOU for the friendship, laughters, love and memories.
To William Espenshade, Director of the Asian Scholarship Program for in-situ Chelonian Conservation, THANK YOU for the opportunity. Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t be in the United States today.
More pictures taken during the research seminar and farewell party.