(Note: Jane is one of a trio of dedicated volunteers from Georgia that we affectionately refer to as the Georgia Peaches. On this food run, Jane and Shirley were joined by Jean Lindstedt, a friend on her first trip to Navajoland.)
September 22, 2012
Shirley Upchurch, Jean Lindstedt, and I headed out west a few days early to spend some time at Canyon de Chelly, the Wigwam Motel, and Hubbell Trading Post before making our way to Winslow. We flew to Phoenix from Atlanta, rented an SUV and headed north! We wanted to show Jean some of our favorite things in the area since it was her first time to come on a food run.
Shirley had arranged to meet her elders, Alice and Austin Tso, and their daughter Linda, at Denny's for lunch. Linda interpreted for Alice. Jean asked her about her childhood. She responded that "it was an ugly childhood". All she did was herd sheep. She wanted to go to school but had to stay home to help out. She regrets not learning English because her grandchildren do not speak Navajo, and now she can't communicate with them. We found out from Linda Begay that several of the elders have obtained solar panels to allow them to have electricity. This is a very big deal as it allows the elders to have a refrigerator, lights, and so many other things that we take for granted.
We made our trips to Walmart and Dollar Store to purchase things for the elders. Then we went to the Trading Posts. Jean got dizzy looking at all the old pawned jewelry, saddles and so on at Moore's!
During the ceremony which was on "compassion", Shirley and I were surprised by the gift of an ANE Pendleton blanket for our service and commitment to the program. We were speechless and so honored by this gift!
September 26th: Dilkon
We met at Denny's for the morning meeting. We got to renew friendships from the past and meet the new volunteers. There were only 19 support people on this food run so it was a smaller group than usual.
Jean has been wanting to come to a food run for several years. She retired from teaching this year, and her children gave her the gift of the trip ! In the group photo, I believe you can spot Jean on the front row as the "happiest" of the volunteers!
Fientje Allis served as the nurse on this food run. One of her friends sent Kenneth Lee a ring.
Thursday September 27th: Leupp
Jean gave Lola Bahe yarn that her sister had donated. They will use it at the Senior Center, where Lola is the director.
Thursday, September 28: Birdsprings
Jean got up early to go to the sunrise service. When she got back we loaded our car. After Birdsprings we head to Phoenix to make our way back to Atlanta.
When I went outside to load the car, Allison (Dayle Laughlin's granddaughter) came right up to me to say hello. That reminded me that the "best girl scout troop " had made it to Winslow for the food run. Dayle has been bringing Allison and Hayley on food runs since they were 5 or 6 yrs. old.
They grew up knowing Sadie and going out to the land. The troop always brings nice gifts to every elder. I saw Allison walking hand in hand with one of the elders to help them to their seat.
The troop made applesauce for every elder this year. Jennifer, Dayle's daughter, does such a wonderful job with the troop. They worked hard unpacking the truck and the medical van, assisting the elders and doing anything asked of them.
Thru Linda's efforts, she has drawn together a group of loyal and dedicated people to help her with the tasks of the program. She always says that the elders go home with their "giveaways" and look at everything they were given. They pray for the volunteers who gave these things to them. She always tells us they pray for our safety in traveling back to our homes and pray for us to come to the land safely.
So, we Georgians will have a couple of months to practice our "Ya'at'eeh Ya'll's" until we meet again. Happy Trails!