Posted: December 8, 2011

Name: Natalie Meyer
School: University of Minnesota/Twin Cities
Major: Forestry
Program: Tropical Rainforest Studies, Australia

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions for us here at The SFS Centre for Rainforest Studies. It began with a combination of wariness of a change in pace and excitement for what is to come as we made the transition from regular classwork to the beginning of our Directed Research projects.  This excitement pulled us through two busy weeks of data collection, but quickly spiraled into a stressful atmosphere as deadlines began to approach and the frantic writing of our papers began.

These moments of stress, however, have been mercifully interspersed with some of the most memorable and enjoyable days we’ve experienced yet: a therapeutic volunteer experience at the Tolga Bat Hospital, a satisfying Thanksgiving feast and wonderful dessert that we shared with members of the community for whom we were most thankful, and an inspiring two days of DR presentations that renewed our excitement and passion for the research we’ve each poured ourselves into.

Now, as DR’s wind down, new feelings are emerging with the realization of how few days are left to us here at the Centre. There is sadness for the beautiful place we are leaving behind, and anxiety at the thought of saying goodbye to one another. But there is also gratefulness for the valuable experiences that have made this place so hard to leave, and an air of excitement for new adventures that will begin for each of as this one comes to a close.