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.”