Kiefer in Patagonia

 September 22, 2010

Sounds like a TV show...

Kiefer has decided to spend this school year abroad.  It feels like an abrupt change of plans but the truth is he has been searching for this kind of opportunity for many months now.  He has left the University of Akron and is now enrolled at the University of Utah. However, he won't actually attend any classes in Utah.  Instead he will be duel enrolled with the  National Outdoor Leadership School and the Wilderness Medicine Institute which partners with the University.  Kiefer will earn 27 credits for courses offered through the University’s departments of Biology, Health Education, and Parks, Recreation and Tourism. That's the part I like.  The part that is harder for a mother to like is he will actually be studying abroad in Patagonia.  But I have to admit it is an experience of a lifetime.

NOLS offers an amazing program.  The focus is leadership training and it includes the Wilderness Medicine program I mentioned, a service project, a short stay with a Patagonia family, sea kayaking, hiking, glacier climbing, mountaineering, eco training and more.  He will spend most of his time living in a 4 man tent and will often be days from civilization.  There will be a satellite phone for emergencies but we have been told not to expect much in the way of communication.  At this point it looks like Kiefer will be leaving on October 14th and returning in late March. He might come home for a two week break at Christmas but at least for now he is planning on using his break time to travel to some other areas of South America. That's still a work in progress.

So my baby is really going away and I am going to have go cold calls, weekend visits or even Christmas break.  Yeah I know he will be sleeping on a glacier but honestly I think it's going to be harder on me.

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