At Wishtoyo I made a dog bane necklace, a thin one, Mati then carved out my dolphin shaped abalone piece. It was a long process and my piece was the last one to be finished because it was difficult to cut out. I had such an amazing time learning how to make a dog bane necklace and picking out the perfect piece to draw a design. At first I didn’t know what to draw but when I asked Mati he immediately knew what to make. And the color of the Abalone shell was so perfect for the Dolphin design. It turned out beautifully.
The lessons I learned at Wishtoyo was never leave something alone for to long or someone might grab it thinking it was left over. It happened to me last year when I left my tobacco container sitting on the table and this year when I left my dog bane necklace lying on the table waiting for my abalone piece. I mean i got them back but the freaking and looking everywhere for it was enough for me to stop misplacing my things. Another lesson, I learned was to always remember and appreciate the things given to you and the way others react when you give them something, it could mean so much to them that you wouldn’t even understand.
My favorite cultural experience is just being there. Even for one day I still loved being there, it felt like home. When we arrived everyone was just instantly filled with love, happiness, and memories. I wanted to break down when I saw everyone at Wishtoyo and when my old mentor arrived, I felt so much happiness and was so grateful that she showed up. At the beach it was so amazing the water was kind of cold cause of the overcast but it was so fun to just chase the waves and run away from them, even if I was wearing jeans. All the elders speaking and telling creation stories or past memories made me feel like a Native American before the giant disaster of the discovering of America. But the past is not something to regret. The past is something to grow from, something to heal from. It just depends on how we try to heal the hurt that is built around each and every one of us.