Update from Semester in the West: “Mom, come pick me up”

Rachel Husband, Trapped in a Gray 2021 Ford Explorer

Dear Mom,

Please come pick me up. I am somewhere in Utah camped along the side of Interstate 70; I don’t really know where. All the nice photos on social media are a LIE. I’m sorry I haven’t called, but some kid took my phone on the first day, smashed it on a rock and said, “This is Semester in the West. No phone for you. Go look at a tree.” 

Since we departed a month and a half ago, I’ve discovered that this whole “experiential learning program” is a bit of a sham. All it means is that we do ecology work that we should be paid for, talk to Republicans, sleep on the ground and shit in a metal box. 

I haven’t showered in over a week. I haven’t done laundry in two weeks. All my underwear smells like piss. I’m afraid to use deodorant at risk of being ostracized from the group. I washed my hair in a stream yesterday and then ventured 100 yards upstream today to discover that cattle also bathe in the stream. More importantly, they shit in the stream as well. 

The weather has started to take a turn for the worse. My entire 150 liter duffel of clothing and assorted paraphernalia was soaked, and not in the fun BYU dorm room kind of way.  As I write, two storm cells are about to converge directly above camp. There are lightning strikes coming from the east, west and south. We are rats trapped in a cage made by God with nowhere to escape to. 

In the second week, a heinous disease swept through us: British accents. I haven’t heard anyone speak in their real voice since then. Only British accents. The death of the queen took a huge toll on the group. 

We become more cult-ish everyday. The threat of orgy looms above us, and I have kissed almost everyone on the lips. As we go south, the more likely it is that our kisses will go south also.

Anyways, I hope you and Dad are doing well. Please drive to Utah as fast as you possibly can.

With lots of love,


P.S. Please don’t be mad I got married in Vegas.