Two days from now, I’ll be getting ready for my final night’s sleep in Michigan before I jet off to Panama the following morning. Well, technically I’ll be jetting off to Chicago and then to Panama, but you get the point. Either way, it’s two days from now and I am freaking out. I feel like I have so much I still need to do! It’s honestly probably just the nerves talking, but you can never be too careful when you’re about to just go to a random country in Central America for three months and live in the rain forest. You know, super casual.
There have been many stress-induced tears, angry airline phone calls, and panicked conversations with financial aid advisers over the past couple weeks. Hopefully I can manage to get all my ducks in a row by Friday, because there’s no telling what kind of internet situation I’ll have when I’m in the valley.
Oh yeah, The Valley. So about this mysterious program that I’m apart of that everyone keeps hearing about but no one really knows what I’m doing. It’s an internship! I’m a business intern with an amazing institute called Kalu Yala. The program changes every year because KY is continuously making progress, but of course I’ll share with y’all what that entails as soon as I have my syllabus for this semester. But to get the gist of it, Kalu Yala is an organization whose mission and purpose is to build a sustainable city in the rain forest with zero emissions, 100% eco-friendly methods of life, and using energy from completely renewable resources. It will be a lot of work getting to the end-point goal, but the ball is moving and Kalu Yala seems to only move forward. I’m so excited to be a part of it this semester.
Actually, it would seem that I’m not the only one excited to be a part of it! SUPER COOL THING RIGHT HERE. Ondi Timoner, a two-time winning Sundance Film Festival genius, and Spike Jonze, a man with many hats in the industry, including, though not limited to, screenwriter, director, and my personal cinematic hero (Did you see the ad video he just did with Kenzo?!), thought that Kalu Yala was a pretty cool dig and wanted to get in on it! These two fantastic humans are joining us this fall in the valley to film a ten-episode mini-series on what exactly we’re doing down there, and throwing it on Viceland this February! More to come on that, I’m sure, and I am personally looking forward to watch this process and internally scream every time I see Spike Jonze… aherm, what????
Anywho. Lots of interesting things in this Life of Dest right now, lemme tell ya. I’m also trying to downsize whatever I’m packing, so here I am, trying to fit three months of things that I may (or may not) need into just a duffel bag and a backpack. It actually is easier than it sounds, but still a great feat for a gal like me. This may be the only time in my life that I’ll be putting comfort over style, so I may as well embrace those Columbia hiking pants, throw on some hiking sandals, and get moving.
Most of all, I think I’m just really looking forward to embracing a new lifestyle that I never would have thought that i could handle. Not once in my life did I seriously consider living in a rain forest, sleeping in a hammock, bathing in a river, doing laundry in a bucket… and yet here I am, about to just jump into this whole thing. I’m glad I’m not alone, here, either; there are ninety other people who are just jumping in on this, too. I guess we’ll see what happens, won’t we?