We start the day with some cool breezes in the morning. Becky is driving today, taking us to the Arizona – Sonora Desert Museum. On the way, Anthony requests to play the song “Sunday Morning” which fits perfectly with the moment. The vision of cacti and layers of mountains appears as we come close to our first destination.

We met John, our accompanier, at the International Wildlife Museum. Then we arrive at the Arizona – Sonora Desert Museum. We’re mesmerized by the biodiversity of species exhibited as well as the uniqueness that those creatures hold. “I have never seen anything like this before” was my thought throughout the visit. We attend the Raptor Free Flight where the birds-of-prey such as raven and hawk fly just above our heads. Those apex predators show their flying traits and hunting strategies whether solitary or with their group. We also get to touch cow nose stingrays, which felt like a little high five to velvet or silk. We meet several other animals from javelina and hummingbirds to coyotes and mountain lions.

We were surrounded by various cacti and plants. They are all different shapes, sizes, and even colors. They can be as small as a little plant in the back yard to as tall as a streetlight (saguaro). Fun fact: Saguaros grow extremely slow in an extremely long time. They can weigh tons and live more than 100 years. Also, a quick small “lesson”, the sun is very powerful, therefore we should wear sunscreen and reapply it.

We grab a quick lunch at a local burger chain and head to San Xavier Del Blanc Mission. The place holds the feel of stories that last through hundreds of years. The richness of the culture shows through the architecture and emotion there. Although we, unfortunately, can’t have a full visit to the place to learn more about the history and stories, we can still feel the power and importance it has.

We then have dinner with the Gannon Alumni. It was a precious opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with them. Hearing their stories, from when they were just like us to where they are today as successful and happy individuals, helps us to be more courageous and determine with the journey ahead of us. I can’t stop thinking of the advice they leave us with about balancing career and life is to live a good life.

We close our day with a reflection session of our day. We also learn a little more about the border through The Hardest Line article. I think we’re excited and ready for our service opportunity at Pio Decimo Center.

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