Being from drought ridden southern California, the very first thing I noticed about this area was how green it was. On our way over from the airport in Minneapolis, all I could do was look out the window because I was impressed with all the greenery. I was born and raised in San Diego and lived there for 21 years. I moved to Los Angeles two years ago to study Geography (emphasis in GIS) at California State University, Northridge. I didn’t really know what to expect from Menomonie except that it would be much different than the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. That is one of the main reasons why I chose to come here. I find it really enjoyable and educational to visit places that are completely different than what I am used to, especially when given the opportunity to live there. It is a learning experience like no other because you get to really immerse yourself in the local culture and actually be a part of the community.
In my 5 days here, my experience has been nothing but positive. The people are extremely welcoming and very friendly. Every day I’m impressed more with how different it is here than where I am from. The sights look different because southern California is nowhere near as green and the lakes don’t have much water. The sounds are different because of the wildlife, I heard different bird chirps than the ones I’m used to. The smell is different because I’m actually breathing clean air and not car exhaust. The taste is different because there is no Mexican food but lots of delicious cheese. (Cheese curds are great) The feel is different because I can easily get to most places in town on a bike instead of sitting in traffic.
I’m very excited to work with our fantastic mentors and fellow students. I can’t wait to see what else this area has to offer and what more I can learn from it.