Our time at Hot Springs National Park is coming to an end. We have one more week of work—three days. Two months is the right length of time to volunteer and to live somewhere. We’re ready to move on. But knowing we are about to leave helps us savor what is good about the time here and not get bothered by what we don’t like.
What has been good about Hot Springs? We’ve learned a lot about the American Spa, European-type bathing, and pre-modern medical treatment. We’ve experienced taking the baths and getting a massage. We’ve enjoyed being in a small-city urban area with all the convenience of shopping and services. Our camp site is lovely and comfortable. And we’ve gotten to know a number of very nice volunteers.
One real plus of this experience has been the opportunity to worship at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Hot Springs each Sunday since Easter. The worship services are very well done, the organist and music are excellent, and the Rev. C. B. Baker, rector, conducts a good liturgy and gives stimulating sermons. This is the first volunteer assignment where we have been able to worship regularly.
We learned how to operate a cash register and credit card machine. But we won’t be sad to finish the boring time in the bookstore, the repetitive questions and answers on the Visitor Desk. The staff here is stressed and doesn’t operate as a team.
We’ve yet to find a state or national park we wanted to return to the next year, but we’re glad each time we’ve taken the assignment.
We’ll pull out May 31and spend two and one-half months as tourists before we begin our next work assignment at Kodachrome State Park in Utah.