Thursday, April 8, 2010


We had something interesting happen on Tuesday.

Our microwave has been acting strangely lately, making a screechy noise. No that is not the interesting thing that happened on Tuesday … that just led up to it.

The microwave is under warranty , so we called Baillos Appliance Store, and they told us a repairman would be out on Tuesday morning.

He arrived at 9:00 a.m. He held out his hand and told me his name was Victor. He proceeded to work on the microwave, which only took a little bit of tinkering to fix the problem.

As he worked, Victor was anxious to chat. In the course of our conversation, he told me he is a Jemez Pueblo Indian. He loved talking about his home, his pueblo, his culture. I found out ancient pueblo peoples were runners, and ran all over the countryside, delivering messages and visiting other pueblos. He told me about his family members from a generation ago, and how they were potters with great talent. We talked about the young people, and how Victor believes they will preserve the Towa language of Jemez Pueblo.

Victor was very open and anxious to answer our questions about the Indian nations here in New Mexico. He made us a list of all the Feast Days and Dances at Jemez and invited us to attend. He gave us his full name, phone number and address -- and asked us to visit him as our guest whenever we were near Jemez. Before he left, he told us there is no word for “goodbye” in the Towa language - there are words for “see you very soon” and “until we see each other again.” He taught us the words.

What a very nice man! What a wonderful visit!

When we came to New Mexico, we were cautioned that although there are many Native Americans on the pueblos in this area , they generally maintained a lifestyle separate from Anglos, especially newcomers to the state from other places, and would not be open to conversation or friendship. Because of Victor, we learned that is not always true. His lesson to us is that there are many friendly people from ALL cultures, and if we treat one another with mutual respect, we can cross those boundaries that society has somehow imposed on us. We told Victor that it seemed that our meeting was something that was just meant to be, and he agreed.

THAT was the interesting thing that happened to us on Tuesday.

I can hardly wait till the Jemez Feast Day and Dance in August!


Buck said...

...there are many friendly people from ALL cultures, and if we treat one another with mutual respect, we can cross those boundaries that society has somehow imposed on us.

A lesson I learned in childhood by virtue of being an Air Force Brat and later reinforced by my experiences living in other cultures. I think we ALL need to "get out more." I'm glad you had a great day last Tuesday, Sharon.

Kris, in New England said...

Very cool experience!

WasSoggyInSeattle said...

That is VERY cool. I would love to learn more about the pueblos, their history, etc but I too was 'warned off' about asking questions and being a nosy 'white man'. I just want to learn and have always been fascinated with our Native American culture and just can't believe that if you are truly interested and respectful that there aren't people out there anxious to share their proud, wonderful history. Victor (and a classmate or two of mine) are proof...

Yea Victor!

Brian Hosenfeld said...

He was anxious? Ack! Maybe he'll be eager next time you see him.

Towanda said...

Brian - I use the words anxious and eager interchangably. I guess my English usage is not perfect, but that's just me.

Karin Hosenfeld BS, RD/LD said...

Gee, maybe you should have more appliances go on the fritz!
Sounds like a great experience. I love how the most unsuspecting situations are the ones that educate us the most.