Thursday, December 06, 2012

Grand Canyon

While I was in AZ, my sisters, nieces, nephews and I took a day trip to the Grand Canyon. It was most of our first time seeing it and it was truly amazing. We got there in the afternoon and were treated with a rainstorm on the horizon with the sun setting behind it.
My camera's not great so I didn't get the best shot. It's good that I went with my nephews. Being preteen boys, they were far more adventurous than most of us and led us down a steep trail with stunning views.
There was one incident that I'd like to hear other peoples opinion's about. When we were up on one of the observation paths (far from any lower trails), I let one of my nieces (16) and the boys (12) each toss a small rock over the edge. My sisters and other two nieces had walked further on and did know anything was going on. This outraged one older couple and another women with them who were quite vocal in their disapproval. They insisted that they were going to hurt someone down below. Once they realized that I was with them, they proceeded to have an exchange between themselves about "How these people come to this country and don't follow the rules" etc. 1)I would never have allowed them to throw the rocks if I thought there was ANY chance of them hurting someone. 2)My sisters wouldn't have had a problem with it either. My younger sister probably would have thrown a few herself just for spite. 3)There were no signs or warnings about not throwing rocks over the guardrails. 4)I was the only Muslim in the group and our family lines can be traced back to 3 Native American tribes so it's not exactly like I'm new here.
Now, I tend to be non-confrontational, so I didn't engage them at all except to say that they were my nephews, hoping that that would stop their diatribe about foreigners-it didn't work. One of them took it upon herself to have a little chat with one nephew before I could make it back over to him. After she left, I explained to him that he hadn't done anything wrong and that I would never have let him do it if there was a chance of him hurting anyone. Then I let him throw his one rock. The nephew that got the "talking to" hasn't had to deal with prejudiced people too much, my other nephew's father is Mexican and my sister told me they've heard it before and are used to the stares and occasional comments, how ever moronic they are.
So, my question is: What would you have done in that situation? Would you have let the kids toss the rocks down? Would you have confronted the couple? Would you have ignored them?

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