Navajo Stories and Acts of Kindness

Today was a wonderful day! I went with one of the public health nurses to make home visits to provide immunizations to babies in the community that still needed them. We tried to make several home visits but none of them were home. It was frustrating at first but it gave me a chance to talk with the nurse while we drove. She shared so many amazing stories about her heritage and how the Long Walk affected her family. One story was so amazing and powerful that she was crying and so was I! It was so awesome to hear her share from the Navajo perspective. I really appreciated the way that she felt comfortable enough with me to share such personal stories. We had a great time talking and driving around trying to track down babies. Haha When I got back, there was a little bit of time to go to the flea market so we headed there to shop and eat lunch. There was a lot more vendors this week, because it was a lot less windy compared to last week. I also was encouraged to try the Roast Mutton (sheep) on a tortilla so I decided to eat it! It was a little tough but it had really good flavor! I figured since it was one of the traditional foods I had to try it before I left. After the flea market we headed home to work on our community assessment a little more. Then we got ready for the Just Move It walk in Monument Valley. We stopped at the Navajo Market on our way there to look at the little shops again. Then we helped set up for the walk and acted as safety walkers for the 3 mile walk through Monument Valley. It was extremely windy and basically created a sandstorm. The walk was still fun; we were just extremely dirty afterward. Lol. After the walk was over, Kim and I were passing out fruit to the participants and we noticed one of the women elders dressed in very traditional clothing and a head scarf sitting up against the building in a chair. A few minutes later we see her stand up, pick up her chair, and not so easily walk over to us and sit it down next to us for us to sit in. She sat it down, looked at us, and then slowly walked back over to where she had been and stood up against the building to keep her balance. At first we weren’t sure how to react because instinctively we wanted to give the chair back to her to sit in, but we realized that it may be offensive to decline her kind gesture and so I thanked her (Ahe hee is “thank you” in Navajo) and sat down. This was such a simple act but it meant so much to me, especially coming from a very traditional Navajo elder. Sometimes the very traditional elders aren’t very fond of white people considering what happened to them during the Long Walk. The elders in the Navajo population are well respected and treated with kindness, so for her to give up her seat for a young, white person was amazing to me. After the walk, we headed home and finished our community assessment which we will be presenting at a public health meeting tomorrow in Monument Valley. I wish I could better express to you all of the wonderful things that I experienced today. I really felt a true sense of what the Navajo people stand for and believe today. I’m beginning to understand what it means to “Walk in Beauty”, which is how they believe you should live your life: in harmony with people, animals, and Mother Nature.





Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.