PA Time: ?
Arizona Time: ??
Navajo time: ???
Let me tell you something about time: it makes absolutely no sense at all. My roommate Morgan and I set our alarms for 6:30 a.m. knowing that we would need time to get ready for school. We woke up the next morning to find that our clocks were not set to the correct time in the first place, putting us in great danger of being late. Panicked, we looked around our homestay to figure out what time it really was on the reservation, but to no avail; all the clocks in the house were set to very different times. To help ourselves out, we made a list of what we knew about Arizona time
1. Arizona is three hours behind Pennsylvania
2. The Navajo do not observe Daylight Savings Time
3. Thus, in light of fact #2, the Kayenta reservation is only two hours behind Pennsylvania time
Well, that didn’t help us at all.
Generally confused and terribly unsure, we got up, showered, dressed, and texted Barb that we were ready for school whenever she was. We found out later (only after sitting around the house for two and a half hours) that we had woken up at 4:00 a.m., Navajo time. Great start.
That Afternoon, at School
Good news: The Kayenta kids did really well academically during the 2014-15 school year.
Bad news: Because of this, there are not enough elementary school classes to fit the number of George School volunteers. Yikes.
Our group was split from the get-go. Six members of our small group went to work in the middle school while a mere 4 (including myself) stayed behind. This worried me a little––I had taken for granted the security of having a partner, or at least knowing all my Georgians would be just a hall away. My friends gone for the foreseeable future, I feared that I would prove inept as a teacher’s assistant and would be forever loathed by the entire population of Kayenta and their children whom I so terribly disappointed. Perhaps they would toss me off of Flagstaff, the tallest mountain I’ve seen in my time here. Maybe they’d just oust me. I don’t know, but considering the fact that I will be eighteen in about a month and I am just as confused as my fourth grade class about the function of a conjunction, I think I deserve some form of punishment.
Five Hours Later
Conjunctions aside, so far my irrational fears have not been realized. In fact, today went absolutely swimmingly! During English, I helped a boy named Rowdy (he has hair down to his ankles) compose a short personal statement about summer school, and he muttered under his breath that I was cool. Later, in PE, I introduced a bunch of games from my Waldorf days, and the kids decided I was their new favorite thing about school. All the res kids (my host sister included) have begun calling me Great Bear for my strength and fuzziness, and I think the name is growing on me. The kids are all so kind, and it tickles me that they seemed to respect me from the very beginning. Now, that may have something to do with that fact that they think I’m 22 years old… Whatever. I’ll let them believe what they want.
A Brief Note on Update Infrequency
Sorry we haven’t been posting as regularly as some of the other service trips. Here in the desert, we have cacti, tumbleweeds, mountains, and lots and lots of sand. We do not, however, have Wi-Fi. When we do find a connection, it is always iffy, making posting updates very difficult. We’ll post whenever we have the opportunity, but we just want you to know that these opportunities are few and far between, and consistency is never guaranteed.
We hope you’ve enjoyed any posts that have managed to come through thus far. We are now off to continue on our journeys of service and spiritual self-discovery, and will write as soon as we can.