A lot has happened since we last spoke...last Thursday, we moved from the Sacred Heart Retreat Center to Rehoboth, which is just across town. Everyone seems to have adjusted quite well! Our first full week in the schools also went really smoothly. Stay tuned for later this week when everyone will be sharing tidbits from their experiences in their various classrooms!
This weekend Professor Norland took us to see some breathtaking scenery. Saturday we spent the entire day hiking and generally exploring Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. We walked a mile and a half down into the bottom of the canyon and looked at the White House Ruins. It was incredible to see how well the ruins have survived over time. We enjoyed learning about how people in the past made their homes in the walls of the canyon. After we hiked back out, Professor Norland took us to see Spider Woman's Tower. This amazing rock formation holds a lot of spiritual meaning for the Navajo people. They believe that Spider Woman gave them their ability to weave. Following this incredible experience we made the two hour drive home, picked up some groceries, bought donuts from a local bakery, and called it a night.
Today was another full day of adventure. We rolled out of Rehoboth at 9:00am and hit the open road heading towards Ganado, Arizona. We drove to Hubbell's Trading Post. Upon arriving we walked through the historic post where so many artists and traders came to sell John Hubbell their wares in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The post was established by Hubbell and his family in 1878 and has survived in it's (mostly) authentic state to the present. John Hubbell was admired and respected by everyone he met. He spoke fluent Navajo, Spanish, and English and was a fair and honest man. We took a tour of the grounds and his house and learned a lot about the kind of business he ran. While there, we also learned about the Navajo culture and some of their traditions. Our tour guide, Tina, was happy to teach us about the Navajo way of life both now and when her older relatives were growing up. After we left the trading post, we drove to Window Rock, Arizona. The town serves as the Navajo government capital, so upon arriving we were able to look at the various government buildings and statues that make up the community. The actual Window Rock is a huge arch with a hole through it. Regional medicine men go there to hold the Water Way Ceremony that celebrates an abundant rainfall. After walking around for a while, we packed up and headed home. We got back early in the day, so we had plenty of time to get started on our research presentations that are due later this week.
Tomorrow, since we have the day off we will be visiting El Morro National Monument in Ramah, New Mexico and El Malpais National Monument in Grants, New Mexico.
Everyone is in good spirits and is excited to see what this last week has in store! Don't forget to watch for a new post later on in the week reflecting on our teaching experiences!