I woke up in the morning on Monday feeling anew. The worst of my shingles was over, and I could put weight on my leg again. Woohoo!
Though I was a bit disappointed still about the previous few days, I was happy to be at least quasi functional and back as an integral member of the class. Plus, we were headed to Indian Country, and I really couldn’t stand another meal at El Nene’s (sorry Guse). Actually, El Nene’s wasn’t all that bad, but my gut was starting to feel that sweet Mexican cheese a little too friendly.
So, we headed out to Topawa, or at least in that direction. I was running a little late given that I was slow moving, but I made it to the van, and we were on our way. Our first stop was Tohono O’odham Community College, which I found to be well-organized and actually rather charming. The programs there seemed to be well run, though I’d be curious as to what their employee / teacher turnover rate is. Unfortunately, I didn’t ask any questions as I was still in a half-shingled daze, but c’est la vie. The bread at lunch was delicious. Also, Danny was a baller.
From there, we went to the Tohono O’odham Cultural Center and Museum. The facility was so nice and spacious — not an eye sore at all in the middle of relatively pristine desert. I also appreciated how “private” they seemed to keep the museum; rather, they didn’t want any photos taken, and it wasn’t even really a hub for tourism at all but a place for O’odham to centralize, learn about, and expand upon their traditional cultural teachings. This facility is probably the main distinguishing aspect that I noticed between the structural progress of the Tohono O’odham and the Lakota people in terms of cultural stability, preservation, and resilience — the Cultural Center really seems to serve a great purpose in the community and for O’odham culture.
Crystal and Peter gave a great tour of the place. Likewise, the dude who does the archeological stuff in the back was awesome, and he wore a dope hat.