Colin Crist – Fall 2015 Post Reflection (Valmeyer)

Valmeyer, Illinois is not unlike any other place in America; it is a home, one that delves deep into the heart of human sentiment. The people who call Valmeyer home are extraordinary people. The resilience they have shown convey the beauty of human will. In 1993, Valmeyer was forever affected by a flood. Yet, instead of moving to another town, the people of Valmeyer came together to rebuild. They unified, and instead of fighting the nature that destroyed their homes, the people of Valmeyer embraced it – nurtered it. Today, the people of Valmeyer volunteer in their spare time protecting the wilds of their county, a task that I was blessed to take part in. The Valmeyer Alternative Break Trip group was tasked with removing invasive species from the forested hills of Valmeyer. Fortunately for me, I was able to utilize my knowledge in physics to aid my task, as removing large plants from the soil requires a great deal of force and understanding of how mechanics work.

The trip to Valmeyer really affected me in a way that is hard to explain. I have always had an appreciation for the outdoors, yet this trip strengthened that appreciation, transforming it to sentiment. The people of Valmeyer were as hospitable as one could be, and inspired me to act the same. Their love for their homes make me want to one day purchase lands and preserve them.

The trip to Valmeyer was truly an enchanting experience, one that will resonate in the depths of my memory until the day I die.

– Colin

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