Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Badlands/Wind Cave
“Out west is where it’s at!”
Native Americans-I look back on what seems to be an eternity ago that ECOEE made its first stop for the semester-Dickson Mounds. At that point, visiting that Indian burial site was my greatest connection to the American Indians. I’ve always had a thirst for more of a thirst on the subject, but nothing has struck me hard enough to spark a fire.
Since our trip to the badlands, that has all changed. The scenery screams cowboys and Indians, and gives me the spark I needed to dive into our countries past, as well as the genocide that took place here nearly untouched upon by our education system. I feel like I have overturned a rock of knowledge and I’m excited at what I’m finding.
I think about our upcoming itinerary and am almost speechless, literally. Wyoming, Yellowstone, Tetons, Oregon, and that’s not even getting to our list once we hit California. It brings me to my title, out west is where it’s at! Like I’ve said to so many before, I don’t understand why so many people want to leave this country without checking it out first-it boggles my mind. You only want what you can’t have. Our country doesn’t have an impressively long timeline compared to most, and thousands of people travel to Europe to see and experience the great history behind buildings that have stood long enough to tell their own stories in the history books. But people come from all over the world to see and marvel at our one of a kind National Park Service. They come to see the incredible beauty of this country. While we marvel at our Badlands sunset, or while I eat my breakfast watching the sunrise over one of the longest cave systems in the world, people are sleeping on dirt. People are wondering where their next meal is going to come from. People are committing crimes to get that meal. People are dying in wars, and going through the next scenario that pops into your head. But don’t let these thoughts bring you down, let them bring a smile upon our fortunate situation and a reminder to soak everything in that you possibly can.
With each journal entry I have better and better things to say about our group’s improvement. We’ve got plenty to work on, and there always will be. But we’re starting to hold each other accountable for each other’s actions, and I see us moving forward as one unit, despite some personal nuts and bolts to be tightened, so let’s keep it up! Cheers

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