Saturday, May 22, 2004

Hello all!

Its been quite awhile since I last wrote, I know. I have tons to share with you. I went back to MI for about a week. I know I didn't tell you all, but I knew that I would not have time to see anyone, I had to be with my family. You know they are spread out all over, so I had to make my rounds. It was so wonderful to be able to see everyone finally. It was my niece's first birthday party and I had some other stuff I had to work out with them, no worries, everything's fine. Anyway, the trip was too short but still good. I even cut off my hair while I was there. I had planned on that anyway, but Eli (my little bro) and my dad were not too happy about it. They said women should have long hair, but men can have any kind of hair… Alana (my niece) has starting walking. I cant believe she's brightened our lives for a whole year now. She looks like a little zombie when she walks cuz she sticks her arms out in front of her. I love it when she falls asleep in my arms and I get her to laugh and can just see her teeth stickin out of her gums. I was also blessed to see Timothy, Justin and Christa, my other siblings that I don't get to see very often. It felt wonderful to reconnect with them, to just be with them like we used to be when we were younger. They are dealing with some difficult things, but I believe in them and know that they will be fine. I just cant believe how grown up they are.
Then I went to New York City for a conference at the United Nations called the "Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues." It was incredible. I cannot describe to you the feeling of being surrounded by these amazing people. Myself, some other young people, and people who work with young people created a group, the "International Indigenous Youth Caucus." We worked really hard to write "Interventions" for each of the seven mandated focus areas of the Forum. Basically that means we wrote recommendations on what we thought that the UN and its agencies should do about problems facing Indigenous Youth in areas such as education, culture, environment, health, etc. We put forth all of our ideas and concerns specific to each individual/group's situation and combined them and made sure they were acceptable to each of us. We also got to read 6 out of the 7, which is great becuz most groups don't get that opportunity. In fact, most don't even write on all 7 topics. It was a lot of hard work, but fun and we all learned too. Some of us also participated in a panel discussion of a film made about an Aboriginal youth from Australia growing up in mainstream, white society and then going home and his reactions and experiences. We all responded to the film and shared our own experiences. One new friend of mine, brought tears to almost everyone's eyes, including her own.
I met people from all over the world like Kenya, India, South Africa, Norway, Taiwan, Hawai'i, Vietnam, Burma, the Philippines, Tanzania, Ecuador, Peru, Bangladesh and Native Americans from the US… There is so much violence and oppression going on in these places and affecting these people and their families and friends, it was so sad to realize and hear about. But so wonderful that some people were able to come and get their voices heard and create solutions for the problems. I just hope that the UN will do its job and help stop or at least alleviate some of these problems. So many people were wearing their traditional clothing which was so beautiful and took so much time to make and some of them had lots of bells and were really noisy!
So I'm back in Philly now, looking for a job here. I have a job lined up in NYC starting in September. I would be tutoring kids and doing an after-school program about research and activities relating to the environment. I would like to go sooner and start working on this UN Youth stuff if I can find a way to plug myself in, while still making money to eat, then I will. Anybody see any job openings there, let me know! But otherwise, I'll just stay here in Philly until around Sept. I have two interviews here next week. Myself and some other people here are gonna start working on a program for youth where we bring together political and historical awareness and art. That will be fantastic, I'm so excited.
In the whirlwind that has been my life for the past two months from returning from the Philippines, moving to Philly, going back to MI, the conference in NYC and sitting back here again, its been really crazy! Beautiful, so much, filled with amazing people, old and new to my life. But difficult, filled with questions and worries and loneliness too. So here I am, waiting to settle into something for a little while, but not knowing what or when that will be. Please send me your love!


Post a Comment

<< Home