Sunday, 10 June 2018 15:42

The Beginning

Hello everyone, my name is Samuel Vital! This is my post before I begin so I’m very nervous. To begin I was born in Alabama to a wonderful mother from Oaxaca and a great father from Zacatecas, and I’ve lived here all my life, which some people may find kind of boring, but I love it, I have so many great friends, and I know every road like the back of my hand, which helps a lot when traffic kicks in. I graduated from high school as part of the class of 2017, and I have completed my first year of college. My major is electrical engineering and I hope to help create awesome inventions for the military and also for civilian life while at the same time trying to protect all life which, my motivation may or may not have been billionaires Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne.

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Friday, 15 June 2018 15:40

Little River Canyon and the Big Strides

While I am very new at Little River Canyon National Preserve, I have learned so much in the last three days. I feel honored to share this knowledge with any and all of the visitors that come to the park, and with all of you! To begin, lets start with the waterfall in the picture; this waterfall is known as Little River Falls, and while not the biggest in the park it is one of the main attractions that visitors come to see. It is around 45 feet tall and can go from a trickle to Mother Nature’s version of the Hulk with 28,000 cubic feet of water going through it per second. There are two other waterfalls in the park, the least known being Grace Falls which is the tallest in the park at a whopping 133 feet and is located in a secluded part of the park where only a few really get the chance to see it. The next waterfall is known all throughout Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and even on an international scale. That is Little Falls, also known as Martha Falls, and while it may sound similar it is very different than Little River Falls. Now you may ask why it is so famous, and that is because of the swimming hole under Martha Falls known as the Hippie Hole. It’s known by all locals, and has even been on lists for best places to visit while in Alabama and the Southeast.

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Wednesday, 20 June 2018 15:38

Wall Climbing Snake and Blind Owl

This week is my first full week that I have been at the park helping out,and it has been a pretty eventful week! At first It was a pretty slow week, because Monday and Tuesday I was at the front desk just helping visitors with directions, giving brief tours of the building, and enjoying the air conditioning while also sharing fun and embarrassing moments with the volunteers and employees of the park. And while Wednesday and Thursday were my days off, everything started to pick up speed right after I walked in the door when I was invited to sit in during a class to see people coming from a bird sanctuary and the birds they had to offer.

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This week has been one of, if not the best, week so far! It brought back so many memories from the past, and while some may have been embarrassing, at the time they taught a lesson. While Monday and Tuesday involved being at the front desk again, I still enjoyed talking to and teaching the visitors of Little River Canyon things to look out for, things to enjoy, and places to visit. Those two days went pretty slowly, but everything picked up speed during the weekend. Friday consisted of a teacher workshop. The teachers and I learned about the Trail of Tears, and where some routes were here in Fort Payne, Alabama.

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Thursday, 05 July 2018 15:32

A Great Time in Paradise

This week has flown by pretty fast because every person that I have met has a pretty unique story that they carry with them. I have met people from France and from Australia and from all over the US, but unfortunately I don’t have any photos to share of these new encounters. Everything has run very smoothly so far. I have met more people that work in the park, and while most of the workers here are older than me, I have made friends with some that are my age or close. It’s nice to know that there are people here that are so kind, and that share similar hobbies and interests. I have even been asked my gamer tag to play fortnite, which I thought was really funny because everyone acts so professional and you’d never think that they would be into gaming or comic books or things that many people see as juvenile. I have also had my first shot at being a sort of instructor with some of the YCC kids. They make everyday a little more eventful, and they all have fun with what they do. It is so easy to exchange stories with them to the point that me and one of them were bonding over the movie Spirit, which was something I never would have thought would happen in a million years but it did! Everyone that works here always asks in the most kindest way what my culture is like, and they all try to learn about the foods…to the point that I have decided to make elotes and Agua de Jamaica for them later on (but that’s a little secret!) and will also bring some Mexican candy. I hope that I continue to make friends that work in the park and that visit the park!

 

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Wednesday, 11 July 2018 15:28

Baby Steps

Since I have started everything has been so smooth and calm, and I’ve learned everything without being rushed. When I entered the internship we had thoughts of bringing more of the Latino community to the Preserve, but hadn’t really thought of ways to do it because there were no other Latinos working in the park except for me. However, Larry Beane, my supervisor, had asked if I was willing to do a hike with him and make it bilingual. It has been in the works and only an idea since I started, but now its official. I will have my first chance to be a real leader for a group of people on July 21st. Larry and I will being doing two hikes that day, in both Spanish and English, so I hope I get to make a good impression since Larry has been telling me that I have been doing a good job building trust and relations with visitors. Since I live fairly close, I have even decided to get my community in Albertville involved too. I have been trying to get in contact with one of the radio broadcasters there that a lot of the Latino community listen to. Unfortunately, I have no photos again but I do hope to be able to take a lot during this trip!

 

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Tuesday, 17 July 2018 15:26

The Tears and DeSoto

This week was an easy week and a new experience for me. While I was at the front desk for most of the week I also had the opportunity to go outside of the park and make bonds with some of the young local kids. Larry and I went to a nearby town called Rainsville, and had a class for little kids about DeSoto and also delved deeper into why Little River Canyon is such a great historic site. Larry told them all about how Little River Canyon was full of history from different events such as The Trail of Tears and DeSoto’s expeditions, and while I had heard of all of these during school hearing it from a ranger opened my eyes more than it did in high school.

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Monday, 23 July 2018 15:24

Cocinando

Well, this week was kind of a little bit of everything. I was nervous because of the hikes I was supposed to give, but nobody showed up and who can blame them as it was really hot and the river could do a better job of cooling them off than a two-mile hike could! I’m not going to lie; I was very tempted to jump in myself. I also had to yell at people that were getting too close to the waterfall and act like a lifeguard. But I’m looking forward to moving back to the apartment and seeing the downtown area, and getting to cook my own food again since I’ve gained weight after leaving it because mothers will fatten you up and make you eat. I lost a good bit of weight eating some healthy food and dancing to bachata and nortenas while I was cooking, and thanks to the cooking out of necessity I’ve gotten way better at cooking. I also do hope to get to see more of the history here and to learn of the nearby-ish areas like Chattanooga. Every day or every other day it has rained which kept it humid, but the clouds during sunset look beautiful so I hope to be able to see the positive and take advantage of this opportunity to learn everything and to enjoy everything!

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Friday, 03 August 2018 15:21

A New Chapter

I apologize to the organizers and everyone else who wanted to read my blog Monday, as I wanted to experience the last day at Little River Canyon National Preserve (LIRI) before I started my blog. What can I say is I like to be in the moment! But almost every goodbye comes with sadness, as I have made a lot of bonds and friendships during my short time at LIRI. I got to meet interesting people and learn skills that little 8-year-old Sammy would have been jealous of. I’d like to say thank you to everyone I met–the Park Rangers, volunteers, JSU, ham radio operators, flint knappers, and everyone else–for letting me be part of their world and showing me a great time. And while I would have cried if I was a crier ( I don’t cry,I leak), I was also happy, not to leave but to start something new. I’m typing this in the airport while I wait for my first flight ever. My only regret is not being able to have gotten a group photo with everyone! So every opportunity out there better be ready, because I am ready to take advantage of it!

 

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Thursday, 29 November 2018 15:41

Sammy Vital

I was born in Alabama to a wonderful mother from Oaxaca and a great father from Zacatecas, and I’ve lived here all my life, which some people may find kind of boring but I love it. I have so many great friends, and I know every road like the back of my hand. I graduated from high school as part of the class of 2017, and I have completed my first year of college. My major is electrical engineering and I hope to help create awesome inventions for the military and also for civilian life while at the same time trying to protect all life. While in Little River Canyon National Preserve, as Safety and Resource Interpreter, I learned very important skills for my professional growth.

Published in Intern Bios