From Studying in NZ to Online Classes on the Navajo Reservation
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From Studying in NZ to Online Classes on the Navajo Reservation

No internet for online classes, coping with forgotten trauma, and working from home in three different time zones.

From Studying in NZ to Online Classes on the Navajo Reservation

I had to leave New Zealand before I really got to experience all its splendor. I'm so disappointed but I'm forever thankful I got to make the friendships, memories, and leave with the most admiration for Aotearoa.

Since my return to the United States and Diné Bikeyah, I have been trying to keep up with my studies despite having little to no internet access. Thus, I am still trying to maintain my connection to the university and my studies, especially Maori/Indigenous studies.

It has proven to be a challenge not being able to learn whole histories with no one else to learn with. I miss the feeling my papers provided me: security, excitement, and joy to learn such valuable knowledges with amazing people.

Nevertheless, I found that my professors are understanding, patient, and flexible as my professors at Susquehanna. In a strange way, I found home in both academic communities where I never thought to be possible outside of my own Navajo reservation.

It is strangely reassuring that I can rely on people on opposite sides of a country and opposite sides of the world.

I will admit that I've been a bit homesick for New Zealand and the additional comfort it brought into my life. My 36 days in New Zealand was enough to bring awareness and plant shallow roots, but definitely not long enough for intellectual or personal growth which I looked forward to.

In that sense, you could say that a part of me has yet to continue that journey of growth, but it'll have to be in during a time after my internalized trauma has healed.

Since being home and limited in my academic capabilities, I see how much inequity all Indigenous communities face and the different responses national governments take to face (or ignore) those inequities.

I believe that my biggest connection to the culture is found within my own identity as an Indigenous scholar and something about Indigeneity feels like one of the centers of New Zealand.

I would like to take a chance to say that my classes and the content provided me in each paper give me a connection to Aotearoa. I have this odd feeling that I will carry these ideas and concepts with me into my career, education, and beyond.

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