In December 2016, I was included on a trip to Sri Lanka with 17 other journalism students to report on this resilient nation's recovery from 30-year civil war and the wake of tsunami devastation. It was a rare chance to discover what stories could arise through rushed schedules, translations through as many as three languages and cultural unfamiliarity. Here is what I was able to create from it.
For some students, it’s a popular place to run. Some simply ignore it. But the 16.5-acre lot, established in 1873, remains in large part a mystery to the students who walk through it.
But to a small group of men and women with deep roots in the Eugene community, the Pioneer Cemetery is familiar ground. They work dozens of hours each month beyond the sight of students, fueled by a sense of responsibility to preserve those buried there. For some of the volunteers, that includes their own ancestors.