Alternative Fall Break in Monument Valley was the perfect service and cultural experience. We left on Thursday at 1:00 and headed down to southern Utah where we spent the night at USU's extension campus in Blanding. It wasn't a hotel, but it was fun to "rough" it in one of their campus' buildings.
After talking to Jack our group got straight to work. Some people in the group were confused the first day and didn't have much experience in fence building, but on Saturday everyone was basically professional at it.We also helped put one of the high school's gardens to rest for the winter by picking the remaining of the vegetables While building the sheep shelter, we became friends with a llama named Aquarius. On Saturday everyone was excited to sheer him.
The service projects were hard and long but the outcome was a safe fence and shelter for the sheep and a beautiful looking llama and garden.
Friday night, some of the local Navajos put on a cultural night for us. We made fried bread and had mutton stew both were delicious. The Navajos were laughing at our sad attempt of making fried bread. After, Dorothy took us out to look at some hogans where she explained a lot of the Navajo traditions. Afterwords, we went inside to make ghost bead bracelets to keep away unwanted spirits. While we made the bracelets Navajo girls sang and danced for us. It was adorable! After Dorothy talked to us about a lot of the problems that the Navajo culture faces with losing their culture. It was a good learning experience for all of group.That night we slept in the high school and played volleyball and ran around having a good time and slept in the library.
After we did service on Saturday we went to check out the local vendor shops, and the Monument Valley park. After we ate a a fancy Navajoes restaurant
Here is what one of the participants Chloe Raphael said,
"What I love about Alternative Breaks is learning to love the people you serve in such a short amount of time. I can't think of any better way to spend your break than serving those who you get to know. I love Alternative Breaks and the smiles it brings to those impacted by it."
Sarah Woodbury said,
"I have loved this Alternative Breaks trip. I've always been very interested in the Native American
so to be able to serve them and share their stories was an amazing
experience. To be able to serve someone who could not do it himself ant
see how much work could be done by our group was very rewarding. The
group of students that came are a wonderful group of people that I've
enjoyed working with. All around, I loved this trip. I love the
Navajo, the people I cam with, this beautiful monument Valley, serving,
learning, and playing a bit. Life is good. I'm glad I came-my horizons
are definitely widened. Thank you."