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The Ilocano Tribe

Su-sieee! Mac, 1985.
It's the letter I at ABC Wednesday. My contribution is an edited post that I originally published on April 10, 2013. To check out ABCW posts from bloggers around the world, please click here. Thanks ABCW Team!
In 1985, I spent several days camping in Havasu Canyon with the First Husband-to-be. Havasu Canyon, known for its gorgeous waterfalls that run down to the Colorado River, lies just outside of the western border of the Grand Canyon National Park. We stayed at the Havasu campground on the Havasupai Indian Reservation run by the Havasupai Tribe. (I have no idea if that's how it is today.)

Havasupai means people of the green blue water. And, yes, the pools of water were a spectacular green blue color when we were there.

To get to the campground back then, you either flew in on a helicopter or hiked the winding 10-mile trail down to the canyon floor.

I was (and still am) a slow walker, so the First Husband-to-be got to the campground office before me. The reservation was under my name so he and the office manager patiently waited for me to get there. The two men were talking when I entered the office. I immediately recognized the manager's voice. I had spoken to him over the phone a month earlier.

"Can you tell me if it will rain in April there?" I had asked.

"It's hard to say," the office manager had answered.

"Does it usually rain in April?" I had rephrased my question, thinking he didn't understand that I wanted a general idea of what the weather was like that time of year.

"Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it doesn't rain."

I had hung up from our conversation rather flustered. Years later, I realized how silly it was to ask about weather that has yet to happen.

"Hello," I said to the office manager, noticing that he looked at me oddly. I thought maybe I had something on my face.

Not much of a small talker, I got to the point. Pulling out my wallet, I asked, "How much do we pay?"

"Nothing," he said.



"You don't have a camping fee anymore?"

"For you, it's free."

"Free? Okay. Thank you."

"What tribe are you from?"

"Tribe?" I hesitated. The First Husband-to-be said later that he hoped I'd say 'The Ilocano tribe'.

"Uhm, I don't belong to any tribe. My parents are from the Philippines. They're Ilocanos."

The office manager looked disappointed.

"I don't mind paying," I said.

"That's okay," he said, shrugging. "We're all the same."


  1. Well, besides your lovely story, we all belong to one kind of tribe or another ;-) We all are part of the 'human tribe' ;-)

    Have a nice ABC-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

    1. We certainly are of one tribe, regardless of what some people think.

  2. The hike back up must have been even worse with all that gear. It sounds like a beautiful place to stay at and very nice to still give it to you free.

    1. Going down was worse for me because of my knees. I think we were there for 5 or 6 days, so the pack was lighter coming out. That was the longest one-shot backpacking hike I've ever taken. :-)

  3. Never been to that area, but hear it's beautiful. I know the view from the top of the canyon was spectacular.

    abcw team

    1. I had no idea Havasu was part of the Grand Canyon until afterwards. It took me 22 years to finally see the park.

  4. Just checked the falls out via google and it looks heavenly,
    just as you would imagine an oasis to look like.
    Fancy you being mistaken for a real American Indian.. I had to laugh, was it the Wigwam that gave you away. That man sounded rather rude though definitely not the right attitude for leisure I'd love to visit it but hiking just isn't on my agenda!
    Love n hugs from
    ABCW team.

    1. When I got off the phone, I thought he was rude. After my stay in the canyon, I realized it was a different way of looking at life. :-) It wasn't the first time (nor last) that I've been mistaken for a Native American. The Older Brother once said to me that we'd make good spies because no one can figure out what we are. lol
      Ta, Di.

  5. True ! we are all the same ! cute story ! you say the first husband to be how many will follow ?? lol !

  6. Do you remember the line from the Avatar movie . . "I See You" ?

    Your Indigenous Moment with the ranger - could have been that kind of connection "I See You."

    Thank you for sharing . . I See You . . (with love my eyes.)

  7. Yes, we are all the same as children of God. Blessings!

    1. If only we could find the magic dust to open all hearts to see.


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