Friday, October 1, 2010

A Youthful Food Run

by John Aldrich

The group of volunteers that come together for each food run give each event a unique character. On the recent food run to Oljato and Navajo Mountain a share of this flavor was provided by some unusually youthful participants.

At Olajto we were honored to be joined by Carley Nez, our Shi Yazhi Princess. Carley's family comes from the Montezuma Creek area of the reservation. She and her father traveled there and then came to Oljato joined by Carley's grandmother.

Here is Carley with her father and grandmother, a retired school teacher. Carley has been doing a beautiful job this year representing ANE at a variety of events such as pow wows.

Carley is joined at the door by volunteer Glenda Carson and by Stryder Underwood of Alfred, New York. At age nine Stryder is the youngest volunteer to ever participate in a food run. She brought her grandfather, John del Campo, with her. John has been volunteering on food runs since the early years of the Program and has brought all of his family at various times over the years.

As part of the greeting committee, Stryder welcomes Gladys Oliver to the food run.

The youngest member of the volunteer group, although perhaps not quite a full-fledged worker yet, was eighteen-month old Samantha Carey. This might have been a deja-vu experience for her as she had actually been to Oljato once before while in the womb. Brenda was Linda's assistant until Samantha arrived.

As part of the Program giveaways at each food run all the children in attendance receive a gift. Carley and Stryder have just passed these out to the youngest members of the Elders' families.

And here Carley presents a gift to Alice Featherhat, a spry Elder of 104.

Samantha wonders if she should be here.

The following day at Navajo Mountain Samantha is introduced to the Elders along with her parents, Brenda and Pete.

Morris Burns presents Stryder with a specail gift.

Samantha meets Jerry Smallcanyon, newly adopted by the Carey family.

The Navajo people have an unusually strong sense of family, and they love children. The Elders brighten immediately when they see a youngster. The presence of Carley, Stryder, and Samantha brought many smiles to their faces.

1 comment:

  1. It was a beautiful sight to see them in action and be present, working with these youngsters at the food runs. Stryder is an amazing young lady. I recall her generosity when we were outside having a break and she offered me some of her cookie. A simple gesture yet not so ordinary in the circumstances of being in the new surroundings and experiences. Stryder handled the food run situation like she'd being doing it all her life. It was a pleasure meeting her and being in her company. My food run experience is richer because of it. Her grandfather has reason to be proud of her!