I did it! I made it through my first week in Thailand on my own. I have traveled with my father since I was a little girl and I can remember him telling me when I was about five years old, "Ampaowin (my Dakota name), I can give you all types of material gifts but the greatest gift in life I can give you is experience." I can remember not really understanding what he said and in fact was a little disappointed that I couldn't get that Malibu barbie I so greatly admired in the toy store window but as I have grown older I see exactly what he meant and I am so grateful to have such an amazing father! He is truly a blessing from above. This is my first International Human Rights work and to be completely honest with you all I was shaking in my pants on my way to my first meeting this week but all has gone well. Wait that's an understatement, Everything has went absolutely fabulous! I attended my first meeting by myself which was on statelessness. There are over a half a million people located in Northern Thailand that cannot get their citizenship even though it is rightfully theirs. I believe there is about five different refugees camps that are overflowing with individuals trying to get some kind of form so they will have access to health care and education. It is very frustrating because the process of getting your citizenship or some kind of papers is not there to help the people but rather this system confines and oppresses them. The worst part is no one can get into the camps and one of the main issues the NGO's are facing is how do we spread awareness. Professional journalist cannot get into the camps and if they do they often give a one-sided account of what is going on! After everyone had talked I finally got the courage to introduce myself and discussed how participitory media can be used as a tool to help spread awareness. Everyone was very interested and I am making the connections I want! I was just talking with one of my dear friends Zenido who is a Chicano activist and D.J. (He is so amazing, a few years ago he D.J. for Jay-Z at his New Years Eve party and kicks it with a guy from Black Eye Peas) Anyway, not that all that matters but he is a big supporter of the Youth Council and says we are prepare for a big battle in terms of where the world is going. I responded to him that we all have our destinies and when all you can think about is making your vision a reality I think the ancestors are telling you to listen and do whatever it takes to accomplish this! I do have to make a shoot out to Jon Ramer who just recently became one of my mentors. I deeply deeply respect this gentleman who is filled with great passion and integrity for life! He reminds me of those old elders my father use to tell me about who were dedicated to uplifting and serving the people. I know that those ancestors are really smiling down on what is taking place and are grateful to have a man like this continuing to carrying on the traditions of preparing the next generation for the many challenges ahead! I believe if we had more Jon Ramer's in this world we would be in a much better place so thank-you Jon for everything you do! Your existence is truly a blessing! Alright well I have to be off. I am meeting with my lovely Aunty Pat and am going to go enjoy myself at a beautiful Satsong. Also, I will be posting some of my old University papers as I think many of you might find them interesting!
With Great Respect and Honor,
Deloria Many Grey Horses
P.S. Does anyone know how to post a link? Or how can I attached a file? THANKS!