15 Jun One Week at Chenoa
It’s been awhile since we’ve posted actively to our blog, but we are starting fresh and will be sharing a series of thoughts and reflections from our current student interns as summer fades to an end over the next couple months. It’s almost impossible to get a true sense of what Chenoa means to the young people who choose to spend their time here, but that’s no reason why we shouldn’t try. And reading a little about their experiences at Chenoa in their own words is a great place to start.
These past two weeks have been some of the most incredible of my life. I have experienced the feeling of intense passion and happiness towards something, while also having learned and gained a deeper understanding of such a wide variety of topics.
Approaching this internship, there was a sense of hesitation accompanying the extreme excitement I felt. I had submitted my application back in January, felt prepared and ready for the interview in March, and spent many hours researching and learning about what Chenoa was about: it’s mission, beliefs, goals. This feeling of hesitance was one rooted in fear of change and uncertainty. While my sixteen years of existence had been spent exploring my inner depths of curiosity and being actively in awe of our planet on which we live as well as the animals and beings surrounding us. Getting this internship felt like a new, yet monumental turning point for me and my future with animals. Working at shelters and confining myself to only cats and dogs, I had always thought about ways to connect and bridge the gap between my interest in working in and with the raw earth while encircling myself with a larger variety of animals. I spent the majority of quarantine counting down the days until I would be able to do just that, and experience it all in such meaningful ways this summer at Chenoa Manor.
In the past two weeks, I have been stepped on by a horse, filled many buckets of weeds up for the birds, been attacked and pinned to the fence by an emu, and layed on the grass surrounded by pot-bellied pigs. I have used a hula-ho, had some sort of allergic reaction to stinging nettle, learned how to close a tack/barn run-in in the correct way, rubbed and scratched many goats, eaten food and relished under the shade of beautiful trees by the riverbank, and been perplexed in the best way possible by the size of a single cow.
I’ve enjoyed many conversations with an inspirational man and practicing veterinarian, dumped juicy, composting produce into eagerly awaiting, complex-beings, admired my fellow interns for such discipline and hard work, filled up and scrubbed many water pails and buckets of water, AND above all, have developed a new-found respect and admiration towards planet earth, “Sky Woman,” all plants and animals, and the brilliant people of whom share this feeling with me by devoting their lives to preserving the humanity of these creatures.
I feel unbelievably fortunate to be working in such a place this summer, experiencing all that one does and will do at Chenoa Manor. The fact that these are my reflections from less than a full seven days within the confines of the beautifully decorated green fence, under which the gravel road provides access to all-colored pastures, I can only imagine what the rest of the summer will look like and lead to. For that, I thank all fellows of Chenoa Manor, for giving me the opportunity I have always yearned for.