For the past three months, it’s been all go, trying to navigate an internship in a humanitarian organisation and a masters degree at the same time. I’m starting to get into the rhythm of it all, coming up with ideas rather than just pleas for clarification at work, getting my essays done in little chunks rather than cramming sessions the night before. However, I have been operating somewhat on survival mode and so I’ve been stumped to find a topic of inspiration to blog about.
Luckily, oh so luckily, this weekend I managed to slow time down a little, and enjoy some peace, as Carlos and I escaped to the mountains in the Valais. On Saturday we set off ready for my favourite hike in Evolene, which involves taking the cable-car up and then walking down across a barren mountain top, through lush forests, past a lake and then down back to the village. Prepared we were with our picnic packed, only to find that the cable-car was closed. However I pulled my bottom lip back in soon enough, as we meandered with no particular aim for a while, taking pictures of little wonders found by the walking trail.
My mum is an excellent photographer (check out her main website here!) and so for many many years of holidays and traveling, I have never picked up a proper camera or attempted at more than a few heavily filtered instagram snaps on my iPhone. But after appreciating many wonderful blogs lately, and feeling a need for some creative exploration, I decided to bring Carlos’s camera along. While I have no notion of photography beyond the difference between manual and automatic focus (embarrassing to admit – I know plenty about refugee law and would be happy if anyone wants to do a tandem, any takers?!), we all have to start somewhere! It was wonderful to walk slowly, notice the movement and colours in the various wee nooks and crannies on the way.
Walking slowly in nature is what my main man Carlos does best. As an evolutionary biologist, he spends much time in the lab and in front of impossibly complicated looking datasets on his computer, but his spirit lies outside observing different species and pondering the majesty of nature. He also has an uncontrollable need to get as close as possible to these different species, as demonstrated in the following photos. (Disclaimer: no animals were harmed in this post, they all scuttered, swam and scrambled back off to their pals after a few terrifying seconds in the hands of a very gentle biologist)
Look how happy he was to catch a lizard, salamander, frog, and to see a snake:
We then decided to make an effort and climb up half the mountain.
It was definitely worth it when we got to a tiny hamlet with a cafe selling ice tea in five decilitre glasses. Again, stoked:
Now we are back to the world of humanitarian crises and datasets, but with a renewed burst of energy and peace. A bientôt, Evolène.