Thursday, October 17, 2013

Food Run Report - Dilkon-Leupp-Birdsprings - Fall 2013

by Jean and Ted Lindstedt - Photos by Jane Wierengo

(note: These reminiscences of the food run have been submitted by Jean and Ted Lindstedt of Atlanta. Jean is one of the "Georgia Peaches" and attended her first food run a year ago. She adopted her Elders, Junior and Betty Ann Nez, at that time. Her husband, Ted, came along for his first food run this fall.)

Jean's Notes:

We left Atlanta on Monday the 23rd of September and headed for Phoenix. We arrived safely, rented a van, and drove a few hours north to Winslow.

On Tuesday we made the Wal-Mart run to buy supplies for the Elders.  I had received donations from wonderful family and friends, and this enabled me to buy snacks, batteries, scarves, and gloves as my giveaways to the elders.

Tuesday evening we met for the "Welcome" ceremony with Linda, Wendy,  CJ  and the other volunteers.  The theme this year was "symbols".  It was very interesting and heart warming to hear each volunteer tell what symbol had empowered their life.  It was such a wonderful group of volunteers who came from coast to coast, all with the same generous spirit of giving.  There was a heartfelt bond with everyone in the circle of the ceremony.

We left early Wednesday morning for Dilkon.  A few of the Elders were already there awaiting our arrival.  They seemed so glad to see us and it was wonderful to see them.  We had a great time visiting and watching their faces as they were getting their bags filled with giveaways.

On Thursday we left for Leupp.  Lola, the director, was busy making preparations for the day.  The mood was joyful as the elders started arriving.  Lola and her husband, Dean, sang "In the Sweet By and By".  It was such a harmonious and peaceful time shared by everyone in the room.   During the game activities, the 3 women chosen told of the importance of the horse as they were growing up.  The horse they feel was a gift to them and they hold them in the highest regard.

On Friday we traveled to Birdsprings.  My adopted elders, Junior and Betty Ann Nez,  arrived and it was so great seeing them, visiting and catching up on events of the past year.

I love how the Elders give the volunteers jewelry, rugs, or pottery to show their deep appreciation for our help with the food run.
The twinkle in their eyes says it all, as their bags are filled with giveaways and their boxes await them outside to help provide them with their needs for the upcoming winter.

The food run is an absolutely awesome experience.  It is such a connection between cultures and I feel so blessed to be a part of the program.

Ted's Notes:

First Day:  I didn't really know what to do or expect, but everyone was very understanding and helpful.  It was very humbling to see people with so little but who were so happy to see us there!
My first ceremony when we told about our symbol was very moving .

Everybody worked so well together, and their smiles made me realize how lucky I am to have what I have!

Second Day: Same as the first but I felt more at ease!  I was very moved when the Elders told what the "horse" meant to them.  I saw more of the land and what the floods had done to their roads!  Where we were sorry that the land was flooded, the Elders were happy. They had grass for their livestock and were seeing plants they had not seen for 40 years. Quite a different outlook!

Third Day:  I got to meet our Elders, Junior and Betty Ann Nez. This was a very humbling experience for me.  They were as happy to meet me, as I was them!  I could not believe the necklace they gave me. It was so humbling to me.

 I cannot wait to go back to help again!  Thanks to all for making me feel welcome.


  1. I'd love help if I can in any way.

  2. It is fantastic to hear and see volunteers meeting the elders. The smiles on the volunteers faces says it all, that they are having a marvellous time!