5/26

Day 4: Gallop, NM -> Kayenta, AZ

Please, give me a definition of “passionate”.

Today was a really long day. We departed from Gallop in 8:30 AM, and we just settled in our hotel, which is way much better than the “famous El Rancho”, thirty minutes ago. Also, we had a lecture in tonight, but none of us felt tired until we backed to the hotel. Why?

I saw a real man who was really passionate about his profession and responsibility to his own culture.

Jason Nez, a Native American archaeologist, gave us a talk about the reason why he chose to be an archaeologist. In his lecture, the words “If we do not maintain our connections to our sacred lands, if we do not maintain our identity, ‘they’ will come take it from us” really moved me a lot, because I do have the same feeling as him in some ways about my own culture.

Who are “They”? “They” are the people who do not understand the local culture, and the people who only believe the modernization will improve anything. “They” have no apathy to Native Americans, and they only believe that the people landed in East Coast three hundred years ago are the true American. Jason is an authentic Native American with the history and connection of his clan and origin, so his profession really aids him in protecting and remembering the past of Native American before the Portuguese Columbus landed on America, and also, he is more convinced than his White colleagues in protecting his heritage. I believe that lots of Native Americans have the same feeling as him, but he is willing to share his dream and ideas about saving his identity and nation’s history.

I am not an authentic Beijing-er, but I do love and appreciate the unique culture in this historical city, and I enjoy myself in viewing and visiting lots of historical sites in Beijing for 20 years. Now Beijing is on the hands of several non-Beijing-originated officials, and their experiences in changing towns into cities are totally nonsense for Beijing, because they have no idea the spirit and historical importance of Beijing really has, and their achievements are only measured by the income of government. A few native Beijing-er had already spread their voice in protecting the historical buildings and sites in Beijing by petitions, but their effectiveness was paid little, and the demolition of historical settlements in Beijing is still in progress.

Different nations, different people, but same problems. Saving our heritage is really important. But once again, please give me a definition of "passionate".