The End…Kinda….
August 4, 2014

Where did the summer go? It seems like just last week I was in Texas learning what the OC was and figuring out what this internship would entail.  And now it is August and school is just a few short days away.  This means that I will be shifting from intern back into my “real job” of teaching.  This summer didn’t go exactly as planned and life threw some curve balls that changed the summer and my internship.  In the beginning I was set to work on a couple different projects.  I was to help with the Sr. Bundle Project, design a survey for the elderly population of the two counties and create a business plan for the local greenhouse.  Only one of these projects, the survey, will be fully completed when this blog is posted. Before you worry, let me explain.

Change isn’t always bad.

All food for the bundles is purchased through the High Plains Food Coop. Click photo for link!
All food for the bundles is purchased through the High Plains Food Coop. Click photo for link!

The greenhouse that I was supposed to create a business plan for has sat empty for a while and not been up kept.  When we evaluated the current state and the financial status of the property it was concluded to but the business plan on hold indefinitely.  More research had to be done by community members to determine if this was a project to even pursue.

Distributing our first bundle of local and fresh produce to a very grateful participant.
Distributing our first bundle of local and fresh produce to a very grateful participant.

The Senior Bundle program kicked off in July and will go through the month of October.  I have done extensive work with the promotion and application process.  I was able to be the contact for Cheyenne County and managed the packaging and distribution of bundles in St. Francis and Bird City.  It was been the most rewarding and fulfilling part of my internship.  Even with school starting and my free time magically disappearing, I plan to continue my role with this project through the end of the growing season.  The smiles on the face of the participants and knowing that they truly appreciated the produce made the work worthwhile.

Bundle contents.  All produce is from the tri-state area making it both fresh and local!
Bundle contents. All produce is from the tri-state area making it both fresh and local!

Through my internship I was met many people in my home community, explored my new hometown through a difference filter and been able to network with people across the OC area.  I have been able to plug into worthwhile projects and was reminded that being involved is always a good idea.  Through my challenges I learned that I still have growing to do in many areas of my life including time management and decision-making and that no problem is ever too big to be fixed by a deep breath, a cup of coffee and a few phone calls to ask for help.  Despite small town rivalries I was encouraged to see communities working together to promote healthy living and small town life. Overall, this internship didn’t go exactly as planned but it was an experience that opened my eyes to things happening right in front of me and got me involved with projects that will continue beyond the end of the internship.