by Savannah ’17
Today was my last day of school with my kids. We ended up going to a conference in the cultural center that featured Navajo male roles and responsibilities. While I spent most of the time telling my kids to pay attention and be quiet, I think that the kids really took in what the men at the conference were saying to them. They talked about how the Navajo culture was being ruined and disrespected with the young generation getting tattoos or joining gangs or even playing heavy metal Navajo music. These men talked to the kids trying to explain that they need to continue with traditional Navajo things and respect the culture the way that their elders have and the kids really took this in.
In addition to the conference, in the classroom we did our daily worksheet like we usually did in class. While there were things that the kids didn’t really know as well as they should have, they have definitely improved over the course of these two weeks. Place value was a subject that my students couldn’t really process, but as the week went on, I got to witness their moment of understanding and that is something amazing that I got from this service trip. I gained friendship with my children, as well as with the faculty at the elementary school. Each one of my kids made me a card for my last day and I couldn’t stop crying from how much I am going to miss them and how much they really appreciated and enjoyed me being here. Not only did they just write me a card, but many of them gave me little gifts that they could find stashed in their backpacks to give me and I couldn’t believe how much they cared. There were some ups and downs during this trip but the thing that will forever be my favorite about this trip is the kids that I got to teach and help. I will never forget them.