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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

Stories from the Nüümü

We started off the day with breakfast. Then we got our bags and started to head to the outdoor classroom where we met our indigenous instructors Kris and Kin-sin-tah, from the Nüümü tribe (“Bishop Paiute”) who live in this valley. They came to share with us their knowledge and history, of themselves and their people, but also the larger indigenous population of California.

They walked us in groups down to a beautiful creek. This was by far the best part of the day we got to experience and feel the water and the land with what the indigenous people felt, to see a little glimpse of what it is like to truly appreciate the land in all of its beauty.

Then came my favorite time of day: lunch time. We had a chicken summer salad, pita bread, and so many more wonderful things. Renee and the “kitchen pixies” strike again with another amazing lunch. After that the seniors had a speaker while the juniors meditated. The speaker, Monty, is a Nüümü elder who shared so many stories and information with us, it was almost hard to take in all the detail that he shared about the land that surrounds us and the treaties that were made then broken.

There was a hard rain that sort of interrupted our time with the speaker, and a little whoopsie when water fell from the shade tarp onto another student, but we still continued. Then came dinner it was delicious as usual. We close each day in our van groups and hold our daily debrief. Now I’m writing to you, it’s only the 4th day but I can’t wait to see what happens next!