Thomas Piekunka

Alumni

2014 - 2021

Thomas Piekunka
So, I had the privilege of joining my father on a trip to Patagonia and Antarctica in late 2023, not long ago. To say it was magical is an understatement. After many years of conflict, I spent 3 weeks with my father and just enjoyed his company and his many stories and he enjoyed me and mine. We had a fabulous trip together that was cathartic. In addition to the healing, the experience of being with the penguins was humbling. I was a guest in their world and it was imperative that I be a respectful guest. They would walk right up to me and it is up to me to get out of their way. They are getting on with their day, their lives. I am a fortunate observer and it is my responsibility to not impact them. If only humans would carry that thinking to how we interact with our planet, our home. Anyway, Emperor penguins are a rare sight because they tend to nest further inland. We came across this curious group and the time spent with them was nothing less than a gift. Nature is awe inspiring. I spent a fair amount of time on this trip feeling small, and it was the perfect feeling to have when surrounded by so much raw splendor and grandeur.

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