By Christina Brown
More than halfway through field school already and I can’t help but think of how much I have been able to learn from the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had so far. I’ve made lots of new friends and I hope to make plenty more. My name is Christina Brown and I am another one of the 12 anthropology students living at the Elders’ Lodge. I am in my first year at Douglas College and so far it has been an amazing experience. I first became interested in anthropology through taking an archaeology class. When I found that archaeology didn’t feel close enough to the people it was meant to discover, I expanded my focus to encompass all disciplines so that I might find what interested me. I took introduction to anthropology with the instructor that is here with us [That’s me!, -Tad, the ed.] and he told us about the field school. As soon as he told me about the field school I was interested. I love anthropology because I am a person who loves to learn about people and share stories and experiences. I suppose, for me, anthropology should be the natural choice.
So far one of the most stimulating events that has happened to me is going horseback riding, but it wasn’t my horseback ride. Soon after we arrived in Enderby, my fellow student and I made friends with a family that has a horse that is unbroken. My friend and I decided to work with the horse because she was so friendly and we loved spending time with the family. During this time I had spoken with a few people and watched some tapes with a co-student at the daycare and heard a lot about speaking with animals and asking their permission and being respectful. My friend who was working with the horse (and has much more experience) and myself had worked with the horse enough and decided it was time for her to experience a rider. The owner came out and saw one of us on the horses back and was ecstatic. She immediately came over and started to pet her horse. She shared with us that she has always felt a strong connection with this horse and began to speak with it. She spoke to her in a soft, soothing voice that calmed the horse immediately. She spoke to the horse, asking for patience and for the horse not to kick or throw her off. Very shortly we were helping the owner of the horse onto the horse’s back. The horse didn’t even move when the owner was on her back and, in fact, had a much more noticeable calm.
It has been remarkable seeing the connection between animals and humans and how they work together and help each other. I have learned through stories and speaking with people, that humans have a very direct connection to each other and have a very constant relationship. I have learned so much in the past two weeks and I can’t wait to learn more. I am going to continue working with my new four-legged friend and continue building more relationships with some two-legged ones. A big thank you to everyone who has taught me these valuable lessons.