When I first arrived in Arizona, as I said in previous blog posts, the desert was an unwelcome and very uncomfortable surprise that I had no idea how to deal with. I liked greenery, trees, and running water. Arizona, I guess unsurprisingly, is not known for these physical characteristics. More like, arid weather, lots of brown things, many cacti, and foreign animals.
I will honestly say that I did not take the transition well. It started with a jolt of fear when first seeing the javelina outside of the Best Western in Tucson. Then on the mission on the reservation, I stayed up until 2 am with my light on with adrenaline pumping because I was worried if I turned it off scorpions and rattlesnakes would just start emerging from the walls. Naturally, the javelina did not pose a threat, in fact they make for very cute stuffed animals, and we luckily didn’t see any scorpions and rattlesnakes.
Yet, by the time we arrived in Ajo, something had changed. When we were driving to Organ Pipe National Monument for a hike, I realized I was looking fondly at all of the cacti. Instead of unnerving me, the cacti had started to intrigue me, especially the teddy bear cactus that we saw on the hike. Not to say that I was completely at ease in the environment, especially all the plants we had to wade through while hiking, but I certainly was heartbroken to leave.
I texted my family on the day we were leaving Ajo with lots of photos and links to places we had gone in Ajo. I told that that we are going to have our next family vacation to Ajo so that I can share with them the city and southern Ariona area that I have fallen in love with.