I moved to Iowa for the summer, knowing that this would be a fun, educational experience. But there was simply no way for me to predict the extent of either the fun or the education that I truly have received. The corn stalks are up over my head now, and the ears of corn are developing, harvest is approaching, and I find myself reflecting on my summer, and what lies around the next bends in life's path:
In my application, I remember noting the specific things that I wanted to learn, over the summer. I have been educated in all of those areas as well as many more. I have learned so much from my supervisor, my mentor and my friend, JoAnn. She is, as anyone who knows her can affirm, a wonderful, intelligent, informative and well respected woman, whom I am grateful to be mentored by. She is well-informed of the pork industry, communications, marketing, writing, interviewing and planning. You name it—she can do it. She’s even taught me a thing or two about…ducks.
On our trip to Canada, she taught me how to play a game called Thinky-Pinky and another guessing game she and her sister used to play at bedtime. Before drifting off to sleep, they would hum a few notes from a song and let the other guess what it was. On a visit to her father’s house, we stayed in the very room that she and her sister shared growing up. Shortly after the lights went out, JoAnn belted out what she thought was a perfect clue, to the song she was thinking of. “Duuuuuuuunnnn—dun!” Brooke (JoAnn’s daughter) and I broke into hysterical laughter. When we gave up, JoAnn simply translated: “Looooooooooove Shack”—which of course only made us laugh harder.
I am so pleased with how well the two of us get along. We have spent a lot of time together this summer, and we are both astonished at how quickly it has gone by. We are finding ourselves talking about final plans for my internship, as the end of it approaches. Aside from spending each day a room apart from each other clicking away at our computers, we have shared many meals together, gone to the Farmer’s Market in Des Moines, looked through scrapbooks, stood at Lake Michigan, attended church, drove to Canada, gone shopping together and shared with one another in conversation about life, religion, relationships, songs, friends and our many experiences this summer. We have laughed to the point that we nearly cried, and have seen the many sides of each other.
I’ve also been blessed with neighbors, and other locals who have been nothing but friendly during my stay here. At night, after I get off, I think about all of the things that I love about this place and that I will so dearly miss. I am well aware that the end of my stay here is quickly approaching, as I prepare to head back home. But unlike the old saying “all things must come to an end,” I know that the memories and friendships that I have created here have no end to them.