This past weekend was probably overall one of the most fun we’ve had so far, and definitely my favorite.
Friday night, we celebrated a squad member’s birthday by throwing a mini-birthday party after work. Birthday parties are great, but it wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime experience like the one I had the next day.
Saturday afternoon, the whole squad went on a field trip to the Konza Prairie Biological Station, a research-based nature preserve of over 8,000 acres. It’s a gorgeous section of a larger Midwestern prairie region, the Flint Hills. The Konza is home to numerous research projects (including one of the oldest and largest prairie-data-collecting projects in the U.S.), an abundance of tallgrass species, and a herd of approximately 300 bison.
Once we got to the biological station, we (as well as members of the other K-State REU groups) boarded a school bus and drove out to the prairie, which is off-limits to the general public. We had two docents at the front of the bus to tell us about the history of the Konza, explain their research, and tell us about what I felt was the main attraction of the prairie: the bison.
We were only about 20 minutes into the drive when we made a turn and came face-to-face with part of the herd (thankfully, we were separated from them by a wire fence). We were able to all climb off the bus and take pictures of the bison from only about 10 yards away. It was absolutely amazing to get to see these huge wild animals up so close.
(All this talk about bison, aka buffaloes, makes me miss my school!)
After the bus tour ended (we didn’t see any more bison after that), we actually had the opportunity to have bison burgers for dinner. The bison burger tasted a lot like a regular hamburger, except a bit leaner and more flavorful.
Sunday was also full of fun activities: I went to church with Abbie (my roommate), and then we went to the pool for the afternoon with a handful of friends in tow. It was incredibly hot outside (it has been this whole week) but that just made the water feel that much better.
After the pool, we went straight to our usual Sunday dinner out (thanks to the dining hall being closed Sunday nights) at a local taco place in Aggieville, Taco Lucha. We each bought two of three tacos individually, which was great because it gave me the chance to try a few different ones! I had a buffalo chicken taco (obviously), a pork tinga taco, and a “black and blue” taco (I put up a picture of the menu for reference and so y’all can see all the cool options).
I was starving, and I ate so fast that I wish I could have savored them more, but they were still amazing. You can tell how hungry I was by the fact that I ate a whole taco before I remembered to take a photo of them!
I can’t wait to tell you about what’s going on this week but it’s late and I think I’ve blabbered on enough for one post.
I’m sending lots of love!
P.S. Tornado update: There was a tornado in Kansas this evening, but it was two hours southwest of here, in Hutchinson. I am not worried because: (1) it was far away, and (2) despite the tornado being rated an EF-3 (which is on the high end of a scale from 0 to 5), not a single person in Hutchinson was hurt. I didn’t even know it had happened until Mom texted me to check in!