Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim), AZ, 2011
What about your summer at the Canyon surprised you?
I had never been to the Grand Canyon before, so this was a very new experience for me. I always imagined that it would be a dry, desert area, so I was surprised to see how wooded the South Rim actually was. The Canyon itself was beautiful, very different from anything I had ever seen before.
What was something new you experienced in the South Rim?
For one thing, this is the first summer when I have been able to have a job. I have spent much of my life overseas in Nepal, where my parents do missions work. There were no job opportunities for non-Nepalese students, so I was not able to work during my high school years. With very little work experience in a time of economic recession, I was not able to find work during my first two summers [of college]. With growing student loans, I often found myself feeling very discouraged and apprehensive about the future; I feared that I did not have a skill set desirable to many employers.
This summer I worked as a housekeeper, cleaning rooms in Yavapai lodge. It was just an entry-level job, paying minimum wage, but even this was enough to help me become more optimistic about the future. Working for Xanterra was an answer to prayers.
How did you get creative with your ministry in the Canyon?
At [an employee party], I had a chance to perform a hip hop song that I had written last year. (I am involved with various hip hop artists back at school). I connected my laptop to the speaker system and played the instrumental track from my iTunes while rapping for everyone. The song was not directly evangelistic, but it clearly reflected a lot of my views about God and the role of artistic expression of faith. My friends loved the song, and it gave me opportunities to talk to a few people about my faith.