Friday, August 2, 2013

Day 13

Day 13: Home. That’s the only thought that has been on my mind. This morning was crazy. Packing and getting everything that was given to us turned in so people can use it for years to come. We woke up way to early but we had to be all packed up by 11. A little after eleven am we are headed off to Dry Falls. This is our last stop before home. In the Bandwagon we talk about our experiences and how we can’t believe it’s already time to go home. It all seems surreal.
We arrive at Dry Falls and look over the pretty view. Then we stayed there and blogged for an hour or more. This is our last blogging spot, how sad. Everything seems to be our last. I am shocked to see that I’m sad about going home, but I’m also happy. Not only have each and every one of us learn something new about some sort of education but each of us also learned valuable skills. Patience and responsibility, those are two skills I can proudly say I have approved on.

The moment I see my mother, I am proud to be home. I ran to her arms spread wide. It was all an amazing experience visiting other reservation like our own, but nothing beats the reservation I live on. A place; where I can call it my home. I have learned that I can make a difference. I just have to try.

Day 11-12

Day 11: We awake at 7 am. Hot, sticky, and smelly from the previous day. We all need a shower bad. Luckily we headed to Wellpinit High School where we will have the opportunity to take a shower. Yes! While we wait for our turn to shower, we had the awesome chance to update our blogs.
     We headed back to fairgrounds in Wellpinit, Spokane to pack and clean up the campsite. 11:30 we are on the road and heading to Nespelem.
     My phone has no service at Nespelem community center! You got to be kidding! I felt so alone without my phone, but I guess it was better so I was able to really connect with nature and everything around us. We were to set up our tents and unload everything. Yet, the Bandwagon decided to just use our sleeping mattresses and sleeping bags to sleep outside and enjoy the wonderful start up above.
     We headed into town and went to eat pizza! It was amazing! Sausage and pepperoni, yum! I have been fing for some pizza, some other type of food instead of sandwhiches!! Hah after a lovely dinner, we went to Grand Coulee Dam to watch the light show. it was really beautiful out, dark sky and a lovely warm breeze. The light show started and not only did we see some pretty amazing effects but also learned about how the Grand Coulee Dam came to be and how the Columbia River became tame other than a raging sea. We head to Nespelem Community Center once again and get ready for bed.
Day 12: We get up early in the morning as usual and we all gather in the Nespelem community center's gym to here the words of Barbara Frielander. She has spent 45 years with the Colville Tribes. She explained how wind cycles through the mountains which causes radiation; which is ill winds. Because of these ill winds, people develop cancer and people are dying from cancer every day. She also talked about the "Ancient One" which others know as the Kenniwick Man, and how scientist wanted to take samples and such but he belonged to the people, he was a part of the people so he belonged to them. Then she told us to Share what we learn! That's what I'm doing, sharing what I learn.
     After hearing from Barbara. We headed down to see trout. We rode a boat to an area where they had many trout.This place gave me mixed emotions as our guide talked about how these trout were specifically food it made me sad to here that the fish were nor boy or girl but an it. A scientific process that can cause deformities within the trout. That place produce over 7-8 million trouts
      We went back to the community center and had free time until 8 pm. During bandwagons free time, we decided to go into town and wash clothes! Thank goodness, I need clean clothes! After all our clothes are completely washed we head back to camp. Once we get there, we follow a person from DNR to the mountains. We went howling!! We arrived at an area which they call the kill site and we all had to be very quite. no shutting the doors to any of the vehicles. We stand around completely quite and wait. Then the sound of the DNR guide's howl pierces through the night. Sadly, we did not get a response but people were able to try howling. We load up and head back to camp because it was an hour in  half to get back.

Day 8-10

Day 8: We arrive at the main office in Umatilla and meet Wenix Red Elk which in translation her name means Echoing from a Mountain Canyon. Most of the people in bandwagon are tired and are wearing pajamas. Wenix had kindly put together a presentation that would explain to us what and how natural resources are exactly used. Wenix described how DNR use the first foods as a guide. The first foods in correct order are water-salmon-deer-cous/roots-berries. She talked about the community and the traditions of many tribes and how Native Americans honor the food. the food takes care of them, so we take care of the food. We also learned about Community fest such as salmon feast and berry feasts, individual ceremonies such as the first kill or first digging,and also community celebrations such as powwows.
      We have lunch for over a half and hour and we head out to the mountains where Wenix will teach about stream restoration! buda buda buda, the vehicles start slowing down. Bandwagon has a flat tire and so does Heritage but they have two flat tires! We were traveling along the railroads to get to our destination and now we have big holes in the tires. Great! While people stay behind and try to fix the vehicles. By the end of the day we had 5 flat tires..
Day 9: Today, is more of a relaxing day. We get up later than usual and when we woke up, we had breakfast and gathered around a table to get ready to make homemade paint. Everyone else and I took two rocks and then took a pigmented rock that crumbles and started smashing it up into fine material. After a lot of hard work with grinding, the science teachers from White Swan High School (Mr. Clinton and Ms.Morse) kindly demonstrated how to create the paint with the pigments we smashed and few other materials like chalk and lime-seed oil. WhiteSwan students along with Heritage and Davis students, put together a piece of artwork which had all of our hand prints on it. Once that was dried, we decided to give it to Wenix for her generosity.
     Wenix so kindly did a visual presentation with the first foods on a table and she talked about what each thing were good for or how they helped people survive. After learning about the first foods we were able to try them just like you would at a first food ceremony. For me, I loved learning about the different herbs and berries and how each one could usually help heal you in some way.
      We packed up the tents along with everything else from Wenix house and are almost ready to go, but first Bandwagon needs to change a tire. Great. We have a spare that is currently being used as our rear-left tire, but its only a spare, so we take it off and place the new tire on. Thanks to Eric, Giovani, and Mr.Clinton, we are on the road and ready to head out at 2:30 pm. Yet first, we stop for a bite to eat at subway.
     Spoko Fuel, we had a situation. Bandwagon arrived first at Spoko Fuel, which is a general store that has an Arbys. Anyway, while our vehicle waited, Clinton decided to sit in the car. Once Ms.Morse (Tire Slayer) arrived Clinton locked the doors to the Suburban and went inside. Moments later did he realize he locked the keys in the Suburban. Oh great! After Heritage students arrived and ordered their food, they headed out to Wellpinit. After 10 minutes or so a lock smith showed up and started to work on getting the car unlocked. Just as the students in Ms.Morse's van walked out with the food, the lock smith got the car unlocked. I never knew a car alarm could make me that happy. Finally we are on the road once again heading to Wellpinit.
     We arrive at the fairgrounds in Wellpinit, Spokane set up camp, then we are off to bed!

Day 10:We awake early as usual and get ready for people from the Spokane Tribes. Each one kindly introduced themselves along with the field of work they focus on. We head off into the mountains were we learn about setting up traps to see what animal they would get. They set up a trap that has a piece of paper taped to bottom which will indent and show the outline of a print when an animal steps on it. We create a trap and camouflage it next to a tree and our guide also shows us how and where they usually place a camera to monitor the animals that come.
     We arrive next to a creek/river where we have lunch that is so kindly provided to us by John Matt a heritage coordinator. After a delicious meal, we learn how to shock a fish! Each person in the water has to wear knee high rubber boots or boots that so above your clothing this way the people who are shocking do not of course shock anyone else. Yet, in the end a few people did manage to get shocked or fall completely in the water. I watch as each student piles into the water, a lot of them with nets and another with a shocker (a metal object that will only give a small shock to the fish but will not kill them. As they shock the fish, they try to catch them with the net and place the fish in a bucket so we can observe. After two groups have gone, we decided its time to go and we release the fish back into the water. We head back to camp and relax.
     After relaxing for an hour or so, we await the Spokane people and head to Lake Roosevelt where we are going swimming and having dinner! I am of course so excited because I absolutely love swimming. We swim for quite awhile until dinner is ready and then we say a prayer and eat. When everyone was finished eating, we all gathered around to watch the beautiful sunset and after that, we listened to the words of and elder, Bill Matt.
      Another long day, we clean up Lake Roosevelt and make sure the area where we were is cleaner then what it was before and head back to the camp completely exhausted where we later have some cake and ice cream to celebrate Destiny's birthday. Then its bed time!

Monday, July 22, 2013


                                                                 Me at Painted Hills
Me and other riders!
Me and my horse Cooch!
The beautiful falls!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 7

Day 7: I am going to explain this day a little different then usual. July, 21, 2013. Although I did in fact learn amazing facts about natural resources along with nature in general, which I will explain later, I want to talk about something that I learned that has really had a an impact on me.
            Elmer Crow, an Elder that took the time to speak to us and tell about his life along with information about eels and his culture, left me with outstanding gratitude. This was the first time ever hearing an Elder speak which made this experience even better. Half way through his talk he asked each and everyone to introduce ourselves, our age, grade, and culture. Half way around the circle we reached one of the students from heritage and she spoke in her native tongue and then gave background of herself, including her mother and her mother’s parents, along with her father, and his parents. Crow then explained how it was an excellent way to address the elders and how that was a way of knowing who a person was. When I was sat there listening it almost brought me to tears. When it got to my turn to speak, I said the general thing and said I was Hispanic and didn’t come from a tribe, Crow asked me to correct myself. With that I knew what he was talking about. He was referring to the Aztecs and Mayans. I instantly froze, I did not know the answer. I didn’t know anything of my Hispanic side. Yet, how can I tell everyone this and not cry? So I lied and said Aztecs. I felt ashamed and after introductions I asked to be excused to use the restroom. In all honesty the reason I asked to use the restroom is to gather myself because I could feel the tears coming. My dad died 6 months and 6 days before I was born and the moment he died, so did my heritage. I know little of my father and his side. The reason of explaining all this is because the moment Crow explained the fact that he could be shown his culture and talk about his ancestors, I knew I wanted that. I wanted to be able to show who I was and how I came to be. Many people say that the pass don’t matter, the present does. Yet that is not true, the pass does in fact matter it describes your past; a part of you, whether or not you claim it. I long for this, and with this Crow left an important impact with me and he left the advice of, “Don’t be afraid of what you find, because you have the choice to turn away. It is your decision.”

Day 5-6

Day 5: We were put to work. We awoke early and we were lead to a trail where we were to restore the trail. Wow. First thing first, protection! We had hard hats that were provided for us and we had to wear. (: My first tool was a shovel where I and others had to dig water trenches which would help water travel away from the trail. Then I had an axe to go crazy on roots. Ha it was an excellent way to vent some anger. Frustration from being stuck with people all day or people who just get you angry. Jessica Black and some nice swings in there she vented her anger for long hours of blogging (: Aside from that I then had a hand saw where I got down on my knees and used a lot of my power to saw the trees that were close to the trail away. It was a lot of hard work but it was awesome to know we were restoring a beautiful trail and many other people beside us will enjoy the path later on. After a long hard morning of work, we hiked to Blue Lagoon where we had the privilege to swim!

                                         On our lunch break.
                                         Me with an axe working on the trail.
                                         Sitting eating lunch at Blue Lagoon.

  First, we had to change in the wilderness. That wasn't to fun, we were exposing ourselves to the poor ol' nature ha, but it was all we could do. The water was freezing. Yet, it was so beautiful and it was nice to swim after working and being in thew hot sun! After we got right back to work though.
Blue Lagoon

Day 6: Left camp by 8:10 am and started traveling towards Nez Perce Country. First we stopped at a gorgeous and fascinating place called Painted Hills though. Then we arrived at Nez Perce around 9:30 pm and after setting up camp we were able to watch the pow wow that was going on around here.
                                     Painted Hills
                                     Painted Hills

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 4

Day 4: Wow what a busy day. We awoke around 7 am and had an hour to be ready for an eventful day. At a little passed 8 am we were on the move to our first location, a lava tube.
     We arrived at Lava River Cave where we learned about bats and how they live. We received all this information from a woman named Barbara who is a wildlife biologist. She talked about the bat habitat and how the species of bats at the area we were only consume insects to me this was quite fascinating. Later, before entering the cave, which I might say was freezing cold (42 degrees), our guide Bart Wills (geologist) had asked if we were in any types of other volcanoes located East of the Rocky Mountains because of a nationwide situation called the White-nose syndrome.
      After a wonderful look into the fascinating cave we went to Lava Butte where we met a woman named Erin who was Archeologists. She was able to talk about the archeological history around Lava Butte. We also were able to take a look at obsidian which is tools such as arrowheads made out of rock. We were then able to take a look out at the beautiful high view and talk to a person name Stewart Blockley who explained his job as a fire look out and how exactly he is able to locate fires in the Deschutes National Forest. Then we took a hike through Benton falls where we were able to talk to different rangers about any questions we had, and during that time we learned a lot about the rangers, for instance we asked which high school they went to and a girl name Amy was from Basic High School! Such a weird name. After about a mile hike we were able to see a raging beautiful fall. Then we hiked backed to the vehicles and said bye to lovely people who helped out with today.
     Unfortunately I can not explain in detail about my every second of my eventful evening, so until we find another McDonalds (we use McDonalds wifi to blog), that's all for now (: