Hi everyone! Here is a clip from our weekly playground chat that I felt you might be interested in reading. We discussed the upcoming Christmas with the Navaho’s. We have 7 spots left if anyone is interested in joining us! Call 801.205.5222 for more information. To join Vicki’s Playground and participate in our weekly chats, click here.
Monday, Dec. 13 – Playground Chat
I am downloading some phone pics of Gladeehs discussion with the Fourth Grade Children in Alpine, Utah today. It was amazing to hear her story again. How she was the youngest of 13 children who lived in Lukachukai, Arizona. Her father was killed in an accident when she was a baby, and her mother worked to raise all of them in a Hogan about the size of your laundry room, with no running water or electricity.
Her mother passed away when Gladeeh herself was in fourth grade, about 9 years old, and the children were left to the generosity of their poverty stricken family and neighbors. She told of a memory she had of her mother before she passed, in which they didn’t have any thing in the cupboards. The children got 1 pair of leather shoes each year. Oftentimes, they would be missing the leather tongue of the shoes, which would cause the shoelaces to pinch against their skin. Socks were and still are a luxury.
One day she watched her mother boil a large pot of water, and she opened the empty cupboard and reached around to the dark hidden spot and pulled out a cutoff piece of a leather shoe tongue with a string tied around it. She then placed it in the boiling water, like jerky, and made a broth, which had at least some nutrition.
Gladeeh told the kids that she was so hungry, at times, that her stomach hurt badly, and her arms would ache from the lack of any nutrition. She also said that malnutrition is a common malady there on the reservation for the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables, which is the highest percentage of the food that we bring down each year, thanks to Farnsworths Family Farms who donate cases of fresh apple juice, any potatoes, oranges, apples, squash…which they donate every year. Wait until you see the looks on their faces.
Three years ago there was a man who experienced his gout diminished because of the addition of the apple juice and eating the pumpkins and squash raw for a month to glean the most nutrition from them that he could.
Gladeeh told of 2 of her grandchildren who still live on the reservation. She said that their diet consisted exclusively of Indian Fry Bread and potatoes. You can see how much they will appreciate any fresh food that we can bring to them.
It really makes me want to gather a dozen serious people and go down in the spring to teach them how to sprout and grow square foot gardens. I think we could build some and donate to families who will be serious about producing some of their own food, like we do in Peru.
Great!!! I met with a woman today who already checked their soil down there and knows what we need to add so they can grow in their own gardens. My professional organization develops water systems in places like that. It’s called Water for People. This could really make a difference, Jay. I would LOVE to see them producing their own greenhouses and gardens like their ancestors in Peru. I’ll correspond w/our local chapter and see what kind of preliminary survey we need.
Gladeeh saw the Navaho Video this morning before our lecture at the school and it was so touching to watch her fill with emotion. The village is so appreciative for our coming this year. They are going to share some sacred games with us on Monday night–it only happens once a year at night and it is really sacred. Gladeeh hasn’t even experienced some of what they want to gift to us. They are also going to perform for us and feed us at their Community Center Christmas Party on Tuesday.
PLEASE!! Any fresh or canned food, rice, beans, potatoes, flour, toilet paper…. and any other willing hands. I know that we may have more youth commit to coming just before we go so I need to make sure they have seatbelts. I am humbled and privileged to serve our Navaho Family.