Arizona Update from Quinn

From Quinn ’17

Today (June 19) was our last Friday here in Kayenta, as we will be leaving this coming Wednesday. So far, the heat has been our main concern but we are bearing through it. Our teaching is going well as it has been for the past two weeks. The remainder of this post will be a mildly edited excerpt from a journal entry of mine, detailing our day on Wednesday (June 17).

“I started today with Mr. Nez telling me stories and lessons from his past. At school, I started with My Side of the Mountain, as usual. So, for today’s “sketch-and-write,” an activity in which students draw a picture and write a descriptive sentence of twelve or more words after each page is read, my teacher had the students do one picture and sentence for clumps of three pages. This only drew out the time and led to more of the students being confused. I then had the students compete (the best motivator for them) to see who could, in ten minutes, make the most four or more letter words using the letters in “courageous.” As usual, I had to do these exercises with two different groups. For after lunch class, I played the $10,000 game again. Students roll two dice, numbered four-through-nine, take the sum in $100 and $1000 bills, and so on and so forth, until someone gets the $10,000.

After the school day, we went to the flea market, in its main location, fully staffed and attended. Following the market, we left for Brian’s house. At his house, we each made a piece of frybread using dough, which had already been prepared for us. We then added meat with beans and rice, as well as toppings, so as to make so called “Navajo tacos.” After dinner, we went on a walk, with the hardest part being running (voluntarily) down and then up a sand covered hill. However, the high point was when we stopped at a pool, created by rainwater, and filled with tadpoles. We then walked back to Brian’s house, and drove back to Kayenta.”

This is somewhat like what our days have been. However, since this is a blog mostly for parents back home, it should be noted that each student’s responsibilities and activities may not be exactly like those described here, your child’s experience may differ. Regardless, we are all well, and, at least for the most part, in relatively high spirits. This weekend we will be camping in a hogan (a traditional house, now used mainly for ceremonies, although some Navajo still live in them) out in the desert, as well as hiking and the like.

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