The People

The diversity of personalities on this trip is ridiculously AMAZING.

I won’t name names so I don’t violate confidences, but here is a sampling of the characters I’ve come to know over the past week.

One guy who left a six-figure job and a family business to become a law enforcement professional.

A mother of two who worked in a strip club starting at age fourteen, beat cancer and is now finally able to finish her education at the age of thirty-six.

A recent high school graduate whose family fled Lebanon when she was fourteen and Israel bombed her town.  She speaks four languages and is capable of doing much more than she realizes.  We all hope she comes to know how much she is capable of.

An oil-rig worker trained in chemical agent deployment with a tattoo parlor and ten person jacuzzi in his house right next to his tiki bar.

A cruise ship musician that lost 140 pounds in about a year with more stamps in his passport than I will ever have.

A seventeen year old girl who lives alone with five dogs and a cat in a trailer, but has an amazing cable package and beautiful mind.

A waiter at Stevenville’s Hard-8 who says the artist Jewel comes in once a month and always gets brisket. (It is my secret goal to play piano in her band some day.)

A fashion major and an education major who out dressed us all with their sleak fleecy cuteness.

A six foot tall girl from a small town who in the fourth grade had to deal with the fallout from her mom divorcing her dad for another woman in the town.  She says the town was full of beauty shops and churches and neither one would let her set foot in them again.  (This one made me very angry and sad. And I think she should get the heck out of that town.). She loves to dance – even without music playing.

A former illegal alien who swam the river from Mexico at the age of eleven who recently obtained his US citizenship.

A star of the high school drama department with the biggest hair I’ve ever seen and a beautifully Disneyified young perspective. She’s not naive, she just chooses to seek the good and bright in life rather than negative pessimism.

A self proclaimed pothead miffed at the police officer that arrested him for impounding his dog too.  (He was only trying to get to his farm with that weed – and it wasn’t even his)

Two madly in love twenty-somethings celebrating their third month of dating by breaking rocks with a bunch of total strangers.  He’s a member of Best Buy’s geek squad who also happens to be a talented church musician, she’s a future sex therapist.

A former small town police chief turned geologist discovering mind and mood altering effects of metoprednisolone.

A small town girl from the wrong side of the tracks that proved everyone in he small town wrong by becoming a respected and loved mentor and teacher.

A lab tech that can out hike most of us to spite the color of her hair.

There are some other hilarious people on this trip that I didn’t get to know well enough, but who certainly made me laugh – particularly this last night in the bunk house.

I am truly thankful for this time getting to know these people. They are truly a wonderful collection of human beings.