Sunday, May 5, 2013

Food Run Report - Leupp 4/25/13

by John Aldrich

We had beautiful weather for the Dilkon food run and the following day started out equally clement. We had a smooth ride to Leupp, about 35 miles from Winslow, and again unloaded our vehicles in the parking lot next to the Senior Center.

Fientje Allis along with her cousin Tineke Pols from Holland and husband Piet demonstrate the carrying capacity of a Toyota Rav4. It seems rather impressive to me.

There is generally a fair amount of time after our arrival before the formal proceedings of the food run begin. During this time Linda has an opportunity to visit with the Elders and assess how they are doing. With the interpretive assistance of Mary Begay she chats with Ellen Curley.

During this period there is also time for Elders to visit with one another. Victoria Begay and Mary Cody may not have seen each other since the previous food run last September.

During this time Mary Klismith, a volunteer on her first food run, sorts all of the Rainbow Food Certificates into alphabetical order.

After the display of Program giveaways is set up we see the impressive stack of canned sardines which were a big hit with the Elders. This giveaway was arranged by ANE volunteer Cindy Devers of San Diego who works for a fish packing company.

I'm always fascinated by the beautifully creative ways that traditional Navajo women wear their hair. Flora Smith's hair bun with decoration was discretely veiled by her scarf.

It's always heart warming to see volunteers who sponsor Elders have a chance to visit during food runs. Shirley Upchurch regularly travels from Georgia to see her Elders, Alice and Austin Tso.

Pam Berg came from Wisconsin to see Delores McCabe whom she hadn't seen for several years.

Lola Bahe is an institution at Leupp where she supervises the Senior Center and also serves as our food run coordinator. She accomplishes these functions with a combination of organizational skill, humility, and good humor. She's clearly loved by everyone, both Bilagaana and Dine'. Linda presented her with a gift basket.

And then Al and Mary Anne Sanborn presented her with an ANE Pendleton blanket.

When it came time for Elders to present giveaways there was an outpouring of gifts. Betty Kelly honors Tineke and Piet Pols with these pillows.

Tineke and Piet are from Holland and spent two months in Kanab. This extended stay allowed them to attend two food runs - they had previously been to Oljato and Navajo Mountain.

Here is Betty again along with Flora Smith with additional giveaways for the Program and individual volunteers.

Later, Lola teamed up with her husband, Dean, to sing a Navajo rendition of Amazing Grace. It was very moving for everyone.

During the Program giveaways each of the weavers has a chance to choose a bundle of yarn in the colors of their choice.

One of our main goals is to encourage those Elders who weave to continue to do so as much as possible. This encourages one of their traditional means of self-support.

At the end of the program, Woody Smith rose to speak of his gratitude to the Program and for what it has done for the Elders. He also praised the volunteers for having a spirit much different than most Bilagaanas that the Navajo encounter.

Who would believe that someone could look this good in an outfit made from flour sacks. Sheila McKinney shows it's possible.

As the food run program was nearing an end, some ominous clouds appeared that seemed to threaten us with rain. Although it never happened, we were reminded never to take weather on the reservation for granted.

1 comment:

  1. I bought my first Klagetah rug from Alice Tso! So lovely to see her photo here. Alice's rug is hanging right above my computer where I see it every day. Blessings to Alice, the elders, and all the volunteers and sponsers and hard-working folk of AANE.