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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

Where the Water Used to Flow

We started with breakfast: potatoes, fruit, breakfast sausage, coffee, and tea. Once it was over we all split up into our van groups and went on excursions. The seniors visited Owens Lake, or what used to be a lake, in the valley and learned about the water crisis and its major effect on the land. I was amazed by the beautiful sights, but was bothered by how the lake was less than halfway filled. I was confused by the “Property of Los Angeles” sign claiming the land that is so far away from the city. How they could buy the land but do no do good by it? Even though it was mostly dry, I was delighted by the fact that it was still clean drinkable water, but disturbed by how it has been taken by L.A. leaving the valley drier and worse off for it.

We had BLTs for lunch in 111˚ F weather with a cool breeze. We then went to a museum of the local history of the people of this land. It included artifacts like clothing, baskets and weavings and beadings, weapons, and so much more. I bought crystals for my mom because they show all the different healing methods they include and because I know she really likes them. On our way back from camp the facilitators bought us ice cream and cold drinks. It was super hot outside so we really enjoyed it! Ending the night, we had an Indian dish which was really tasty. While this is a different experience for me and I am still adjusting and struggling, I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds.