14 Aug Till November, I saw Goodbye…
Posted at 13:21h in Blog 0 Comments
I would like to dedicate this post to my staff at Coronado National Memorial. These past weeks in Arizona have been a tough experience. Though I recently graduated, this is my first time out of the house for so long and it feels like my very first going-away experience. Yet even with this difficulties, the staff of Coronado National Memorial have truly made my experience memorable and worthwhile.To the Resource Management squad, though we spent much time separated by the hundreds of feet of trees and wilderness, those cave clean-ups, the afternoons up at the pass and just talking about what to do for the weekend and most of all the amazing cooking sessions truly helped me feel at home! really brought me back to home! To Shana for taking the time and explaining all the bureaucracy and the long processes it take to get projects done within the park, I cannot imagine waiting so long to get a project done, but sure glad there are folks who are willing to push enough to keep our National Parks open and running! To all the volunteers who though just for a few hours a week, with much dedications have become a vital part of our operations not just in the visitor center, but the management crew and throughout the park! To Ranger Kim for welcoming me on your day off and though you were gone for half of my internship, you taught me a lot of the park and other things not related. You are definitely in the right job to encourage and inspire small kids and adult kids to go out into the outdoors and explore! It’s been fun encountering those awkward visitors who ask about “the wall” or just come to tell us their life stories. Yet it was part of the job, and I will miss that grounding moments. Most of all to my supervisor Christopher Bentley for providing me with this amazing internship opportunity. As a fellow anthropologist, I can truly rest easy that the outreach to our communities of color, particularly the indigenous and Chicanx/Latinx will continue. Though he may not face the issues of our community, he understand the importance of voice and space for us. Though the new display masquerades the brutality of the Spanish empire and Anglo invasion of indigenous lands, he continuously looks for ways to educate the public on these realities which the education system and the United States has yet to come to grips with. But in this Memorial, we are setting those new standards of conversation and pushing to discuss it and analyze it for what history was and will be. And though the border is a scar left from colonization, we are moving into a new era which truly transcends borders and will leave any fence useless. I had the humbling experience of sharing some of my meals as, following the theme of our memorial, cultural exchange and meal sharing is amongst the most intimate and bond-creating experiences one can have. Not only can you learn about the history of a food, but the history of a person. And Christopher definitely values the histories of every individual who walks in through the doors of our visitor center and the importance of having their stories told. I wish you the best with the rest of the festival and with your goals and aspirations. Christopher, Thank you.