Sunday, October 10, 2010

Headed for Volunteer Trip to the Navajo Reservation

I'll be blogging my experiences as I travel to the Navajo Reservation with the Adopt a Native Elder Program. I've been doing this for over three years now and thoroughly enjoy the experience. Voluntourism is fast becoming a meaningful way to travel. Travel, learn, enjoy and do some good while you're at it!

Today I am packing the car for the trip to Winslow, Arizona. I am bringing blankets, used shoes and some fabric. My friends like to donate to the effort and Chris is bringing over some fabric and notions for me to take.

We serve the tradional elders on the far reaches of the Navajo Reservation. Our goal is to extend a hand of friendship and brighten the lives of the elders who may live in dirt-floor hogans or simple mobile homes. They are amazing people who often still herd sheep and weave beautiful Navajo rugs.

Meanwhile at the Salt Lake City warehouse, volunteers are loading a rented truck with food boxes, yarn boxes, giveaway jackets, medical supplies and more. Most often Howard and Beverly Benally (Navajo), volunteers, drive the truck the long way to Winslow. We always welcome them with hugs.

Oh yes, as I pack, I put in my long skirts, Navajo blouses and sun hat. We are outside while on The Land, and so are the elders. We dress traditionally out of respect for them.

I can't wait to see their smiles!!