Julia Boral recently graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in American Studies, where she focused on intersections of race, class, gender, tourism, and memory studies. Julia first learned about Eagle Eye through social media while she was researching her senior thesis. Her interview with Foundation Team member Chris Cato lives on her project website, which highlights outdoor equity organizations across the country.
I arrived at Eagle Eye in the midst of a new chapter of my life. I recently graduated from college and have been thinking about possible future life paths. I am uncertain about next steps, but Eagle Eye offered an ideal place to reset, reflect, and reconnect with peace and the natural world.
Upon arriving at Eagle Eye’s site in Peru, I was immediately struck by its beauty. The green fields, flower beds, and large garden were a welcome sight each morning. As I continued exploring the site, the paths in the forest became favorite spots for me to stroll. Walking through the woods, I took in the large trees, birdsong, the feel of the breeze, and the stream rushing nearby. Journaling and sketching surrounded by these sights and sounds provided me the opportunity to be more present in my immediate environment. Living at Eagle Eye for three and a half weeks gave me the opportunity to slow down and appreciate smaller moments of beauty that I don’t always notice while living in a city.
As an intern at Eagle Eye, I learned many new aspects about myself from the physical and mental challenges I experienced. Lifting logs for building projects, navigating a new kitchen set up, and living in a communal setting all tested me in unexpected ways. While helping run youth programs and working with a team I learned to trust that other people will be there to support. I am often an independent person and learned that leaning on my team of interns for help even when I felt the urge to act independently alleviated some of the stresses of time management. Accepting help and being flexible in a new environment were some skills I honed over time while at Eagle Eye and will carry with me into future endeavors. I also found that I enjoy working with kids and was in awe of their wonder and curiosity upon digging for newts and frolicking in the rain. I want to carry these joyful moments of innocence and glee with me into the future.
Overall, I had an amazing time as an Eagle Eye intern. This program fostered close friendships and was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people with similar interests. Sharing laughter around the dinner table, dancing up the road to Lady Gaga, and splashing in the waterfall were all memorable bonding moments. I recommend this internship to any college student or recent grad who seeks a place to connect with nature, gain new skills and build on existing ones, all while getting to know some pretty cool people. I look forward to seeing how I carry what I have learned at Eagle Eye into the future.