03 Oct Farewell
When I first arrived at Hagerman National Wildlife refuge I drove through the amber hills of bluestem and passed the deciduous trees baring mistletoes. It was typical Texas winter, the weather around the 70’s. Being from South Texas, I felt I was prepared for the seasons ahead. I met Spencer Beard, the new visitor services manager, after I had pulled into the work campers RV shelters. We exchanged greetings and he guided me through the nearby facilities. I was to be living on-site in the refuge’s mobile trailer. I settled in and my journey on living solo began. Living on my own was a little different than what I had been used to. My family felt the same as I did. They were not used to me not being around to annoy them with my goofy antics. Almost every day my family and I would converse about our day-to-day and future prospects. Video calls have been a savior during my internship. Being able to maintain connections with others really helps someone get through the lonesome moments in life.
I have had a positive experience with my work environment. My supervisor and colleagues took me in not only as a trainee, but as a team member as well. They took my input on project ideas and assisted me on projects I had set out to establish for the refuge. I had taken up responsibilities without supervision and attended events as a representative for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. I received many certifications, CPR & First Aid, off-road vehicles, and heavy equipment just to name a few. I enjoyed working with the refuge’s enormous volunteer group. There are so many knowledgeable people that dedicate their time to help with refuge projects. I had been able to experience so much in the time I had been here at Hagerman.
As each month draws closer to my departure, my co-workers and supervisor have put great effort in assisting me with my leap into the federal system. I enjoyed communicating with staff at the refuge and forging positive connections with everyone there. My Point-of-Contact with the Environment for the Americas, Katherine Rubiano, has been a very supportive of all of us interns and was always willing to help us with any issues we faced. I appreciate the amazing opportunity I had been given and hope the best for everyone at Hagerman and all the people who support the Environment for the Americas organization. Soon my one-year term will subside, and I would be leaving North Texas with the same Texas winter as I arrived. As for my future, I had partaken in many interviews within the federal system and even received an offer of employment.
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