I really didn't know what to expect. I was a little leery of going
and I didn't really see any reason for me to go, but even then deep
in my innermost feelings I knew I had to do this. I didn't know
why but I had this feeling that I really had to do this. So when
I got there, I just accepted it for what was there. I didn't make
it any harder or any easier, I just accepted what was there. I guess
the word is "materializing."
After we left the paved roads and the city I saw something I was
already familiar with, dirt roads, rough roads, a lot of natural
growth, trees, different kinds of plants. So it was again like opening
up old wounds of what I was exposed to in my youth on the reservation
here in Arizona.. They had the checkpoints, military where the Indian
people were in command and were part of the opposition, part of
the police. That's what basically what we experienced years ago,
opposition from law enforcement officers, the law so to speak, being
in conflict with our own beliefs and our own ways of dealing of
situations that arise.
Once we got through the checkpoints we went into the very natural
powerful natural growth, natural environment. The village where
we first stopped [Amazanga] everything was basically something similar
to what I experienced in my youth. However, these people and young
children were experiencing some, I'd guess you'd call it modern
conveniences, like electricity, running water, flushing toilets
and places to take showers., It wasn't really like modern showers
and bathrooms but it was so much more than I experienced in my youth
on the reservation in Arizona.
They cooked on open fires, which I experienced in my very early
stage of growth. I remember when I was three to four years old,
we used an open fire, no wood stoves just an open fire. The children
were all very healthy; they run barefooted, they played in the dirt
and the mud. All this is what I experienced in my early growth.
That was a long time ago. I'm seventy years old now so that was
a long time ago.
I accepted even before I left here that my journey there would
be to respect their ways, their medicine, their beliefs. This is
what I was told by the spirits. That everything is there for you
to use if you're going to do a ceremony. This is the way to respect
the spirits and respect the medicine. The experience was very natural,
very good, the energy was good. What helped that for me to accept
was that the only preparation I did before leaving was just to accept
that I was going into the unknown and just accept what was there.
I was given books to read before I went there, but I didn't read
them, I just accepted what was there. It was very good, very positive.
The building [where the inauguration ceremony for Wanduk Yachay
was held] was the only thing that had a cement floor, but it also
had the traditional round structure, no square corners, thatched
roof. That was the schoolhouse, the school building. There were
presentations from the tribal members, and then five of our group
from the States did our presentations. Our translator had her hands
full translating both sides, from their tribe on our side, translating
into English and translating English into Spanish. I could feel
the real closeness of people on account of their listening with
respect and wanting to learn. But really there was nothing much
we could teach them, maybe possibly just upgrade what they had already
known and what they had already done. A few words of guidance and
encouragement, to show them that they're not alone.
The Condor and the Eagle were constantly mentioned in the presentations.
One member of our group presented the elders with Eagle feathers.
This is a small start of the beginning of fulfilling the prophecies
of the meeting of the Condor and the Eagle.
Our group was involved in five different ceremonies in this first
village. All the ceremonies were very spiritual and we all were
honored in the most traditional and respectful way of these people.
We journeyed to another village [Mariposas]. We got there at night.
We had to travel by foot for almost a half mile through the dark
by the light of candles. The trail was a little on the rough side,
slippery rocks, mud puddles, slippery grass, uphill, downhill, but
going in a good way we all came through, no missteps, a few wet
feet, a few stumbles, but we came out good, in good shape. Coming
into the village plaza we were greeted again by the people of that
village, then we had to travel another quarter mile to that place
[where we were to sleep]. This was again by candlelight and flashlights,
carrying our heavy baggage to our lodging.
Ceremonies were also part of this stay. The feeling was that we
all learned and went through healing. There were other things that
happened, but again there are times when words are not enough to
describe the individual feelings of our group. This is just my point
of view of the highlights of our journey. This is all I can share
at this time. All my relations.
Rod is a 70-year-old elder of the Pima Nation. He is married
to Linda Neale, Executive Director of the Earth & Spirit Council.