Monday, May 9, 2011

Food Run Report - Tsaile 5/6/11

by John Aldrich

The wind is having its way with us again in Winslow, but reports for the remainder of the week look encouraging - in particular, the food run days have no wind warnings at present. The volunteers for this week's runs arrived yesterday providing a whole new set of names and faces to learn and remember.

But let's return to last week and have a look at the food run to Tsaile. This event is different from all the others in that it occurs in the evening. For many years we went to the elementary school but now use a building at Dine College. It's a spacious place, so it's easy to set up and move around.

The centerpiece of the campus at Dine College is an octagonal building encased in glass. It's quite striking from a distance and is seen here with some of our food run boxes in the foreground.

A division of labor is created at each food run to carry out the various tasks that must be completed. As noted in previous blogs, we serve a meal at each food run, and hence, have a food committee. For the food runs based out of Chinle, this job has been very capably handled by Laree White-Engle in recent years.

Here is Laree with her committee. From left to right are Linda Lux, Joanne Knoeble, Laree, Jan Parmenter, Janet Reffert, and Patti Palmer.

Each food run site provides a different set of challenges - the principle one at Tsaile being that there is no kitchen. As a result Laree plans on using electric cookers along with serving cold dishes like pasta salad. Despite whatever handicaps are presented the committee always comes through with a delicious meal. Elders and their families also bring food to supplement what we provide.

The tarp event was mentioned in the last blog about Many Farms. Elinda McKenna heads this group of ladies seen below, Cyndi Schwandt, Barbara Bull, Glenda Harwood, Margaret-Elaine Jinno, Elinda, and Alice Sikorsky.

Elinda makes a point of allowing the Elders who must rely on wheelchairs, canes, and walkers to have a head start in making their selections.

At Tsaile this year there was room to enroll one new Elder. Here Rodger Williams is helping her with the necessary paperwork.

Another important group is the medical committee. Here are Mary Ward, Barbara Tanner-Torres, and Kate Maxwell Stephens. Kate is driving the medical van to all of the current series of food runs.

The job of this committee is to assess the health needs of individual Elders. The Program provides a variety of home care products, and this group, mostly nurses, interviews the Elders to determine their needs. ANE does not provide or arrange for any medical care, but by helping with these supplies, eases the financial burden on the families.

In keeping with the previous blogs in this series, here is Frank Kedelty, coordinator at Tsaile, with his Pendelton blanket.

ANE encourages all of our Elders who are weavers to remain active at this art which lies at the heart of Navajo culture. There is a yarn giveaway at each food run, and here we see several of the Tsaile weavers with their yarn bundles.

During the portion of the program where Navajos can give to the Program if they wish, Randall Alan who helped manage the parking at the college facility, gave this gift to Mac Lund who was responsible for organizing all the unloading and loading of food and gift boxes.

Mac and his wife Sheri have been a part of ANE for years and have sponsored an Elder at Tsaile, Mary Chee. They were distressed to find that Mary had recently broken her arm. Mary helps support herself through her weaving, so we pray for a speedy recovery from this injury.

Finally, I was asked to take a picture of this lovely trio who, without any prior planning, ended up being very color-coordinated.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen an octagonal building before! Great picture of the women volunteers and also of Mac and Sheri with their Elder and Mac receiving a gift. Lovely to see the Elders with their yarn and my friend Masuda behind.