Category Archives: America

    • 0
    moab

    Working in a Tourist Town – with a Professional Team

    Category:America,LifestyleTags : 

    Working in a Tourist Town – with a Professional Team.  A Real Team!

    I’ve worked on a multitude of different professional teams in my lifetime. Some were good, some were so-so, and some were just flat out disappointing. One particular team that I had the privilege to be a part of, rocked in every dimension. It was at the Moab Chamber of Commerce, back when I was first starting out in the business world, almost 26 years ago. The Chamber of Commerce at the time was located in the same complex as the local Grand County Travel Council.

    If you can image tourists from all walks of life, business professionals looking to relocate to the area, and local entrepreneurs seeking all forms of statistical information lining the counters and desks – that is where you would find me. Phones ringing off the wall, a million questions coming at you, and staff running around trying to get literature out to the visiting masses. That was my world.

    There were a number of things we as a team had memorized by heart, besides the brochures, and all the local attractions:

    ·       The restrooms are located around back and just across the bridge over the small dry creek

    ·       Please don’t forget your sunscreen and take plenty of water

    ·       When asked where the Arch was, we would go into a 2-minute informative speech about Arches National Park, and the many Arches contained inside the park

    ·       Yes the Chamber board is made up of elected local business owners and concerned private citizens

    ·       Economic development packets are available at our office or downtown at the County office

    ·       The film commission does not have an office in our building. Yes we have a brochure

    ·       The pool, movie theater, bike repair, and where to eat were all hot topics

    As you entered the building, there was a small room off to the left as you walked in. Housed in this room were tons of brochures and flyers on the local and recreational areas. An overhead TV played continually the lengthy jingles from the ads that help to teleport visitors minds to the great attractions that lay before them as they ventured out into the red rocks that surround my hometown.

    Often sunburned and chapped lipped youngest, fresh off a river or jeeping excursion would run to and fro before exhausted parents could gather them up in an attempt to quiet them.

    Our miracle gals behind the front counter were Jacque, Melissa, and Annie. One of them would burst out with the candy jar and take that heavy parental load off the parents and make little frowns turn into smiles as the children would gladly take the candy and whatever paraphilia was given to them. Stickers and pens, key chains and other free swag kept the kids at bay, while mom and pop looked over the brochures, planning their next family adventure.

    Tucked away in the back were Judith and Rene. They were also working steadily on the next travel council brochures and upcoming travel events. They were designing some of the first displays for their overseas trips to sell the world on the idea of the Grand Circle tour ( Zion,BryceCapitol ReefArchesCanyonlands and Grand Canyon national parks).

    Val and I had desks next to each other out in the open for the world to find us.  She could be found busy entering all the travel information requests and filling out forms and making labels for all the seasonal guiding companies who came in weekly for marketing information. I would be planning Chamber events and dealing with the business community concerns, planning parades and Chamber luncheons, and making my own packets for relocation and small business development.

    Five o’clock was a good time. We did things together. We celebrated each other’s life moments. We had Saturday coffee down the river road or gathered at someone’s house for a team get together.  We all knew our rank in the organization, it was team member. Sure we all had titles, but friend was the best one.

    So many organizations have lost the title of team and friend. Those titles have been replaced with negative titles that strip the humanity from a person and leave an empty soul in its place.

    Being part of a tourist team means

    You get up and help the gals or guys behind the counter when she or he is swamped with tourists and customers

    You grab the Chamber phone and ask for a number and get a callback

    You help your teammate by going outside with them, to tell that visitor that the bird bath is for the birds and not bathing

    You help your teammate by going outside with them, to tell that visitor that the bird bath is for the birds and not bathing

    You gently bring out the fire extinguisher when you light your best friends 30th birthday cake at 7:30 in morning

    You lock up when others can’t

    You open the building up with a smile on your face and you do it all over again with each other helping along the way

    Being a part of a team and helping to meet goals and deadlines. Just getting to the bank or the post office can be difficult. Your team helps you with even these small steps.

    Group hugs – priceless

    Watching a team member move away, or move on to bigger adventures is bittersweet. But we celebrated each other’s success and we acknowledged the fact that they were a part of who we are today – because they were in our lives.

    NOTE: My life has moved on in many directions since 26 years ago. I can say today that I enjoy my new team, and I’m excited about the adventures we will explore together! It’s those rare teams of people that life throws together at odd points in life that add value and memories of a job well done. Embrace it.

    #Bestplacestolive

    __________________________

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


    • 0

    Native American Studies – Reflections

    Category:AmericaTags : 
    1 Native American Studies - Reflections

    Creative and Inspirational People


    When you ask, be prepared for an answer
     

    I approached the group with a short question pertaining to the movie. "If you could ask one question after watching this movie what would it be?" One young women responded by stating "How do you read white people?"  

    Others in the group were shocked that she would boldly state that to me  - but I thought it was appropriate.  She and I have an open understanding.

     I asked, she responded  

    We talked about the challenges of a number of different cultures and how the traditions of each of these cultures have suffered through the ages. 

    I then had the group write a brief paragraph expressing how the movie made them feel.  I wanted them to explain in their own words 1) the best parts of the movie, 2)the worst part of the movie, 3) and what they learned by watching the movie. 

    A Students View Point - Loss of Buffalo

    • The worst part for many was watching as the children were being forced to go to the white man's school. Losing Identity, Integrity,  Spirit and Pride. They were proud people, not deserving of the pain and suffering that was afflicted upon them.
    • The best part was when it was over.  Student's were saddened by the loss of many things, including the Buffalo which the white man slaughtered.  Grieving for a generation of elders who fought to hold onto the traditions - traditions they practice today.  Conviction on a personal level. A renewed spirit to find their own destinies. 
    • The Most Interesting was learning about the traditions. Wanting to know more, to learn, to absorb, and to make proud those who came before them and those who still walk the earth.  A real thirst to learn about who they are as people. 

    Culture and Traditions

    At what age group  in our American culture do you see  the most activity and enthusiasm for cultural studies?  When I asked the students this, I found that  they were way ahead of me.   

    Navajo Class

    One of the young ladies spoke of the clubs at the elementary level, but noted that the real learning comes in junior high (middle school) during Navajo Class.  In Navajo class the studies are more personal, and much detail is added.  The club structure allows the students to participate in events that are related to their culture, by building upon the foundations of their beliefs.  They embrace the cultural learning experience - this happens in middle school. 

    Native American Studies

    Native American studies at the high school level is more about all of the cultures combined.   Thus you see a more diverse group of students who have a yearning to learn the historical knowledge and gain their own perspective from the historical study.  

    Student Writings

    Raising a generation of young people that  will lead our society and pass down the cultural heritage of their forefathers is important.  When asked to collaborate on what part of their culture and traditions they most appreciated,  all were in agreement that family was of the first importance.  The following information was provided by the  Native American Studies students. 

    Language

    One student noted that when she was little, her mother would speak Navajo to her and her siblings.  While she cannot speak the language fluently, she understands the meaning of the words when she hears them speak.  Yet, not as much as she would like to understand.  There is a Navajo Language & Cultural Perpetuation Project that has gain momentum to try to preserve this language of the people.

    Dini Bizaad - Navajo Language & Culture A project to create comprehensive and accessible language learning materials for the web and mobile devices by collecting the spoken word of Navajo elders

    2-300x98 Native American Studies - Reflections

    Churches 

    The Native American Church leadership as told to me by one young women consists of:

    •  The Road man
    • The Cedar man
    • The Drummer
    • The Fire Chief

     

    The leaders of the church  perform the sacred ceremonies.  Ceremonies that last for days. It is an honor to learn the songs of the Native Americans.  Students want to learn peyote music in church, as well as drumming.  Some songs take a very long time to learn, but they are very important.  

    3-300x245 Native American Studies - ReflectionsOne student spoke about how her father learned drumming as child.  She expressed with great pride by stating ,"it is beautiful to hear my parents singing together.  My father taught my mother the songs. I love to hear them sing together".  

    Pottery

    Another student spoke openly about his adventures with his family who lived a long distance away.  Family,  grandparents, are very important.   Being able to travel and visit his family is important.  Help his grandfather with making traditional pottery;  not just making the pottery, but also going on trips to sell them with him. It's an art that is passed down from one generation to another. 

     Loss of Buffalo & the Anger

    One young student was angry, and I allowed her to write out her anger over what she had experience after watching the movie.  The love of the land and nature are  embedded into the caretakers of tomorrow.  The very fabric of their existence is  interwoven into the earth.  The Native Americans don't just learn the lessons of the past, they learn the stories - they enact the stories into their daily lives.  They continue with the ceremonies and traditions that others would seek to steal from them even today.  "The stories about the Loss of Buffalo are important.  The stories need to be told from one  generation to the next".  

    I believe she will tell those stories! 

    Totem Poles

    The art of building animal totems is a laborious one, yet rich in symbolic cultural and traditions.  Animal Totems. Discover facts and information about the culture of Native American Indians and the meanings of the Animal Totems used by different tribes

     

    Teaching for the Future While Holding onto Tradition

    How we teach our children about other cultures is important.  The younger we teach them, the more influence we have with molding and shaping responsible relationships. 

    As I sit with my 6 year old granddaughter watching the movie Into The West, she hasn't said a word.  Already I can see she is a history buff.   She requests to view more of the series.  She is excited to see history unfold before her.  Once in a while she will look at me in amazement, or  place a hand over her mouth during a scene that elicits emotion.  We stop the movie, we chat, we move on, we learn, we grow. 

    There is a wealth of information that may be of interest for those who want to learn more about the Native Americans.  One study  on the Navajo Code Talkers  gives a fascinating look at probably the most famous use of the Navajo language outside of the Navajo Nation was during World War II. 420 young Navajo men were recruited and became Marines codetalkers during the war in the Pacific.  Their story is just one of many wonderful stories of Native American people.  

    Enjoy!