I spent all of August in Wisconsin! I never would have thought that my gap year before graduate school would lead me to the midwest, but that’s exactly what happened. So, in the midst of some work and seeing friends, I tried to explore as much as I could.
The month began with a well-done surprise for Miranda. She had no idea I was in Wisconsin, least of all the U.S. and she was speechless for quite a few minutes. Once she processed it, I received a lovely punch on the arm and we enjoyed our evening with some tacos and a walk by the water.
It was really nice spending time in Wisconsin! Madison is an extremely livable city and I found myself constantly comparing it to Bellingham; it felt very homey but with more friends than expected. I continued to solidify the friendships I had made in Belgium, adding on new friends, new roommates, and even playing with an ultimate frisbee team once. Tristan popped a lung one evening and that was quite an adventure as we spent 6 late night hours in the ER, with little entertainment to occupy us. Thankfully, we’d already spent a weekend in the woods camping with Marissa, Jimmy and Maya so we could handle a bit of adventure. I visited community gardens, biked absolutely everywhere and spent quite a few beautiful summer evenings drinking beer and overlooking the lakes while the firefly’s began to show up and the cicada’s started to make their presence known.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Biotechnology centre was busy this month, as the MIA/RIP program wrapped up summer work and got ready for the release of a new legislative Bill. This Bill will provide funding for archaeology digs that bring Wisconsin military personnel home. We geared up for multiple press conferences and my goodness that takes a lot of work – so kudos to everyone who helped on that!
Luckily, we had more hands on deck as a new member was added to the team- Congrats to the Zaczyk family!
During one weekend, I took a bus to Milwaukee for what was supposed to be a bachelorette party (where I was Hunter’s sighted-guide). Instead, we ate copious amounts of custard and cheese curds and had some much needed girl time. This lady is one I’m going to miss! Her pup too!
Towards the end of the month I was spending a lot of time in coffee shops trying to get work done; archaeology research or grad school prep, and I noticed on Instagram that Heather was on her roadtrip from Washington to Indiana… and was in Wisconsin! I chuckled at the thought that she might pass through Madison and I sent her a message.
And what do you know: Madison, Wisconsin was the lunchtime destination.
Heather, and our friend Kelli, ended up spending a few hours with me in Madison and it was kind of fun to play local! We went to the top of the capital building, walked along state street and grabbed a drink on the Terrace, but the whole time it felt surreal. When Heather left Hungary I didn’t know the next time I would see her, but I definitely didn’t think it would be in Wisco!
The month ended with a lovely trip up north to the Northwoods of Wisconsin. It was well timed after two busy weeks.. with the quiet outdoors and cold weather promoting some excellent sleep.