Part 6: Friar Ponchi is a Freakin Baller

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I loved the time we spent at the mission. First of all, Friar Ponchi is literally a baller, and I appreciated both his enthusiasm about the mission and his humble modesty. The nice black cat at the mission was also very kind, and my room was yellow and blue and rather relaxing. I wish we had met with Friar Ponchi as a group to talk about the mission during our time there, as I was a little confused at first where exactly we were and why. I figured it out in time. Still though, Ponchi was the man.

Day 2 in Topawa was spent almost entirely at the Tohono O’odham Cultural Center and Museum, where Peter arranged many a’ meetings for us — all of which were certainly worthwhile and interesting, but also all of which lasted very long. It was nice to have the majority of speakers concentrated into one day, however. I just wish we had a few more breaks, or maybe some coloring pages to help keep the hands busy while listening.

That afternoon at the mission I went for my first walk since before coming to Arizona. We also ate dinner with Joe Joaquin, who was a rather enchanting elder from the way he spoke. I enjoyed the way everyone went quiet whenever he said literally anything. I tried to make dinner nice, and I hope he appreciated it. Go Joe!

In honor of the mission and Friar Ponchi, here is a haiku.

Oh Friar Ponchi

You are a freakin baller

Sweet old Jesus Freak


Later note added 2 minutes post-publishing: I really did love the mission and Topawa — it was my favorite part of the trip 🙂



3 Replies to “Part 6: Friar Ponchi is a Freakin Baller”

  1. Love the Haiku. Ponchi was the man for sure, and I thought the mission was a great part of our trip as well. Evan, Pat, and I stayed in the house away from the rest of the group, but whenever we came back to the main house we had a blast. Evan and I are still the reigning scrabble champs, and we’re still looking for challengers!

  2. I am sure Poncho would love your haiku, given enough intergenerational translation. I love our stay at the mission. It was the students’ favorite spot the first time I took a group out to the Nation. I think the large meal table and the shared tasks made for a bonding experience for us. Joe added to this with his story telling. The session at the museum was rather lengthy, but it had so much information to offer outsiders to the Nation.

  3. What is a baller? I found these two definitions..
    1. a person or device that makes or forms something into balls.
    2. a player of a ball game, especially a talented basketball player.

    I have to disagree that Friar Ponchie fits either of these description – at least from what I observed.

    I do agree however, that Friar Ponchie was a great host and that staying at the mission in Topawa was a great experience. I’m making a note to extend that to three nights for next time!

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