Monday, April 12, 2010

It's not New York!

This weekend my host family took me to Lukachukai, Arizona, near the heart of the Navajo Nation, where I had some of the most energizing and fascinating experiences of my Amizade adventure
In this most remote part of the state, live pockets of native people who eek out their existence in a constant struggle with blowing dust, vastly varying temperatures, little work and many of the other typical malaises associated with poverty. Yet, the people I met were rugged in character and complexion and projected a pride, deeply rooted in a love of this vast powerful and spiritually-filled landscape.

The second photo shows the sandy, dusty red landscape where people homestead. The especially large hogan may be a house, storage building or a sweat lodge. Most places are much smaller, often consisting of a run down trailer,a shed, and some broken down cars.

The last photo is of Round Rock., outside a tiny community of the same name, where last night I attended a tradtional song and dance evening. Local people meet in the school gym to sing native songs, drum, and dance. It is a wonderfully gentle, graceful affair where residents old and young dress up in local costume or in nice clothes to dance in a slow circular motion around the room in a heel tap fashion to the voices of other neighbors. I was asked to join and felt comfortable even though I was clearly the only person there who was not Navajo. I did record video and sound which I will be glad to share at a later date.

I am bursting with thought and am also so eager to post about Canyon de Chelly, which was even more dramatic than I expected. I am fatigued today by the intensity of my days. I just came from a day at school and have only a few moments to post before I leave with my host family for a "short" 75 mile trip to Flagstaff for some shopping. "The distances here are staggering" I remarked, but my host laughed and explained wryly, that here it's just another day.


  1. It's almost like being in a foreign country inside your own country! Incredible! Another amazing adventure, Lee! I'm thinking you will have wonderful stories to share for some time to come. Look forward to your next one -- as always!


  2. Lovely, lovely. I'm glad to be looking and not feeling the heat, although a little warm sun wouldn't hurt. What you wrote helped me to feel the adventure.

  3. The magic of your experience seems to reach out from your words. I don't know how else to describe it.

  4. This is definitely my favourite post up to now.