We are all one

We are all one
Jennifer Varenchik

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Meeting of the Ndn Minds

Seattle rocked the house!

I had a moment to think about it, we had San Antonio, Portland, Oakland, Los Angeles (me, woo-hoo), Seattle, Phoenix, Albuquerque and Minneapolis- all representing urban Indian centers at the same table- how cool is that! Other centers wanted to make it, but they weren't able to this time. We officially were there to learn about the Earned Income Tax Credit, what it is and how to inform our communities about EITC. I already knew about it because I attended the conference in Chicago, I was there to hear about the other urban communities. I was so happy to hear that Minneapolis has a Native section in their city! That's one of my dreams for LA, to have a Native neighborhood- our own area in Los Angeles. Can you imagine it, going into the store and hearing pow wow music, or seeing pow wow flyers? I used to think that it was just a pipe dream (lol), but after hearing about it, I know it can happen.

The morning of the meeting, I got up early and ran about 6 miles. I have to say that Seattle is beautiful- it's so green. I saw the sun come up over the water, it was beautiful, even thinking about it brings a tear to my eye. I was never really into appreciating my surroundings, especially when I was younger. But now I do, I see how wonderful it is to be on this earth. But I digress.

So the meeting was good, met all the people representing the various ndn centers and then went back to the hotel. Afterwards I went out for sushi with the Phoenix and Seattle people. We talked and talked! It was so great! We all know a lot of the same people, ndn country is so small. We were all about the same age bracket, and we talked about how the face of our leadership is changing, both in the cities and back home. We talked about how a lot of the older crew still holds grudges against other leaders or organizations- so it's good that the younger ones are coming up (and that's true in LA- the old school leadership isn't too keen on building community). I wish I could just sit and talk to them longer, or more often. Being with other great Native people who really want things to change- I was so happy, I didn't want it to end. We then went to go play pool- which I'm not a real big fan of, but I was enjoying the company- so I tagged along. I was talked into playing teams- Phoenix/ LA vs. Seattle/LA (my partner in crime from LA). Seattle killed!

Soon we started to get tired, so Seattle drove us back to our hotel. I was feeling yucky, just tired and moody, drained- not very social. And wouldn't you know it, so was my friend. So we ordered Mr. and Mrs. Smith, neither one of us had seen it. We loved it! It was just what we needed- mindless entertainment. Once it was over it was time for bed.

Next thing I knew I was on a plane back to LA. I read a lot and worked on some things- that was good. Somewhere along the flight I fell alseep, and woke to gasps and semi-screams. We weren't bouncing around, so I was confused. I looked out my window, we were flying over lava! Well, we weren't really flying over lava, but it looked like it. I guess while I've been gone, all these fires have been spreading. We were flying right over this huge blaze. It was kinda scary. It was really smokey and you could smell it. We were landing in Burbank, which is where one of the fires was located- so when we landed all you could smell was smoke- it kinda burned my eyes. But regardless, I was happy to be back home.

I'm now home for the week, so that's good. I had an awesome weekend. Leia (my dog) and I ran about 7 miles today. Oh, and I caught that movie Serenity with one of my good friends, so that was cool. Oh, and I found out one of the people we were talking about, Kevin Grover, is going to be speaking in San Diego- so I want to go catch him.

Tomorrow I gotta prep for my upcoming entrepreneurship class.

Catch ya later!~J

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