This August 4th marks 4 years since I moved to the US. And although I could spend hours talking about how grateful I am (and I have in the past) I just want to acknowledge my appreciation for my current place of residence.
I’ve felt a wonderful connection with New Mexico, and I am happy to be here! I find this state to be beautiful, both naturally and anthropogenically (shoutout to my Earth and Planetary Sciences classes). I find New Mexicans to be particularly warm and welcoming (except for the drivers, but that’s not what I’m talking about), but also simply happy and authentic. And just driving around, both inside the Duke City and throughout the state in general, makes my heart melt. I feel like a child gawking at the natural beauty of this state. I will never get over the red sand on the way to Jemez, and who could ignore these skies? Taking a break from studying to marvel at these sights is one of the major points keeping me sane through my undergrad.
Not everything is perfect and rosy, of course. We cannot forget that New Mexico holds the second highest poverty rate in the States. But at least I’ve met a good amount of conscientious people who are mindful of issues in this state. Plus the sense of community I’ve witnessed around this city gives me hope.
All I want to say for now is that I’ve become attached to this place, and I’ve started to feel a sense of belonging here. I hope I can somehow contribute to the growth of this state in years to come. Can’t wait to see what happens from now until the next August 4th!

Walking around campus sometime towards the end of the Spring semester.

Can’t leave out the foothills.

This year I finally went to the Valles Caldera National Preserve for the first time!