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Instructor Introduction from Minu

Hello friends! My name is Minu, also known as Alex to some folks, and I am humbled and excited to be one of your instructors on the Colorado River Basin Semester.

A little about me: I was born in Los Angeles but mostly grew up in Hamilton, Ontario and in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Home currently has been my little house on wheels for the past two years. Growing up in Hamilton, I developed a deep love for nature from sitting on park benches and walking next to Lake Ontario, often until the morning sunrise. There I graduated high school and attended business school but became increasingly dissatisfied with the path I was taking in life. At twenty, I made the decision not finish my degree to try something new – to seek meaningful experience.

And for the last seven years I have continued to seek meaningful experiences. First working in downtown L.A. as a fashion salesman and then living in Edmonton, Alberta and going on my first backcountry hike in the Canadian Rockies. Later working as a park ranger in Georgia and then backpacking in Poland to visit Auschwitz-Berkenau. In 2019, I started working for NOLS as an instructor leading backpacking expeditions in the American West every summer.

From my travels, I have come to understand that any experience, combined with reflection, can profoundly transform and broaden one’s beliefs and perspectives. It was only after traveling across North America, I started to discover the absolute beauty of this land but also its troubled history and current exploitation and degradation. More importantly, I have begun to learn the history of the people who originally inhabited these lands and their battle for sovereignty.

With this past year of quarantine, rising social divide and inequality, and the ever-growing problem of climate change, I believe this semester is a blessed opportunity to discover and travel through this beautiful land, to reflect deeply on our histories, and to practice and find ways to live sustainably.

I applaud and admire you for taking the first step in this adventure.

Soon we will be in Phoenix embarking together on this semester through the American West, each of us carrying a rich story and personality, united by our willingness to experience something new. I am so eager to meet you all and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out!

With much love,

Minu