Monday, May 09, 2005

 

Manifest Destiny

NASA, preparing for the Apollo project, did some astronaut training on some Navajo Indian reservation land.
One day, an elderly Navajo and his son were herding sheep nearby and came across the space crew. The old man, who only spoke Navajo, asked a question, which the son translated: "What are the guys in the big suits doing?"
A member of the crew said they were practicing for their trip to the moon.
The old man got really excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts.
Recognizing a promotional opportunity for the spin-doctors, the NASA folks found a tape recorder. After the old man recorded his message, they asked the son to translate. He declined, apparently embarrassed.
So the NASA reps brought the tape to the reservation headquarters at Window Rock, where the elected leaders of the tribe listened and laughed, but they also refused to translate the elder's message to the moon.
Finally, NASA called on an official government translator from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He reported that the message to the moon said: "Watch out for these guys; they've come to steal your land."

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