Prospect Hill Academy SW Navajo Nation
June 14, 2022
Today was pretty wild for us. Due to the forest fire, we had to use another route to get to our destination. The road was very bumpy and it was a very uncomfortable ride. We then got stuck in the sand and had to push both vans out one at a time. We had to use the strength of us as a team and push both vans out. We then made it to our destination and learned a lot about the different clans and how the community works. We also learned about how the hogan is made towards the East so we can see the dawn. We learned about their shortage of water and how that is impacting the community and Arizona itself. We had Navajo tacos for dinner which were really good in my opinion. We were able to have community meetings and my favorite part so far is watching the moon and stars and petting the dogs, Rex and Chichi and Whitey. So far it has been pretty interesting today, and I’m curious and open to see what the rest of this week has in store for us.
June 15, 2022
Today was very busy for us. First we learned about food sovereignty from a guest speaker. After the slideshow we tried blue corn bread, which is juniper leave ashes and blue corn, which is mixed with boiling water. The blue corn has anti-oxidants which is very good for you. Plus the juniper leaves has plenty of calcium. Next we learned about how early indigenous civilizations engineered multiple system to enhance the land and improve their way of life. We also learned how they used controlled fire to manage which organisms moved in. Next we planted multiple fruit trees to leave our mark on the land. Finally, we climbed the mountain to look at petroglyph drawings made by indigenous people from long ago. Each image represents a specific thing, like sheep, snakes, chiefs, and many more things. Overall today was very busy for us and we learned much about Diné culture.
June 16, 2022
Today we learned about kinship and how elders will greet the younger people as their children. We learned about how kinship works for Navajo people and how it starts or from where their mother is from. We also learned about how the people here sheer wool and the different tools they use. It was very interesting to see how they rely on sheep for income, clothing, and food. A lot of people make money from making pieces from wool. Some are more in need for more money depending on their situation. We then went to witness the people harvesting a goat and what saving blood means to them. We then played with puppies and took a group photo. And then we ate the goat that was killed. We watered plants and corn and dug deep pits for floods. And then we got to say goodbye to the Navajo people and tell them what we were grateful for during our time there.
June 17, 2022
As for today, the group drove to Canyon de Chelly, which was 45 minutes long. We drove on a truck with an outside view of the place as we drove to the start of the hike. The person that guided us was Elsie. She was a short 72-year-old woman with a lot of strength and athleticism that I should comment about. As we were hiking the sun beamed so brightly it hit our skin strongly with sweat. There was another guide with us as well. His name was Richard a guy with a bucket hat who was explaining about the White Ruins. They had high doorways to protect from insects and animals as well as water because the water level was so high back in the day. Elsie explained her journeys to us.