I just got done with our Thanksgiving break, and I have to say, I had an aboslutely amazing weekend, one I will never forget.
My dad and I had alot of people over to eat, we ended up roasting two turkeys and deep frying another (if you have never had a deep fried turkey, they are absolutely amazing!) We made five POUNDS of mashed potatoes and about another five pounds of stuffing. We had twelve people, mostly ERAU students who weren’t going home, over to eat, and almost everybody brought desert, and sadly, we were much too full to eat most of it.Two of the students brought their guitars with them and played music after dinner. The whole day was just so relaxing.
Friday morning after dinner my dad and I drove up to Chinle, Arizona. It’s a small town on the Navajo Reservation. Our close family friend and ERAU Alumnus Arlando invited is to go to his family reunion there.
It was a very long drive, but as soon as we got there we knew it was worth it. We drove through pieces of Monument Valley and went by Meteor Crater.
The family reunion was so nice, even though we aren’t related we felt completely welcome by the time we left.
Right outside of Chinle is Canyon De Chelly. The canyon is one of the most beautful places I have ever seen. It was breathtaking! You are only allowed into the bottom of the canyon if you have a Navajo guide with you, and Arlando was more than happy to show us around.
He drove us into the canyon and showed us his land and his family’s land. Right next to his mother’s land is a place called newspaper rock. It is a cliff face COVERED in pertoglyphs. It is something most people will never see, and I could have reached out to touch it.
Canyon de Chelly has been home to the Anasazi and Navajo for hundreds, even thousands of years. Ruins lined the canyon, some of them were up to three stories tall even after they had started to fall apart.
The drive out was hard. There was alot of quicksand, water and mud. At times we thought we weren’t going to get back without help, but the truck made it through. It looked pretty cool in the process too!
Later that night, we were honored with a special Blessing Way ceremony done by a medicine man. The entire family sang and prayed for us. Even though it was in another language, the pure emotion could be easily understood. They sang songs of protection, focus, healing and other things.
When the ceremony was over we went to something called a Yebiche dance. I believe it’s an ancient healing dance. The dancers wore traditional costumes with masks, fur, branches and ribbons hanging from their arms. There were singers in the Hogan singing all night. The entire ceremony was hypnotic.
It will always be one of my favorite memories, something I will never forget. I got to experience things most people will only read about.
At night the temperature dropped drastically, and the heater in our camper was broken! We were sleeping in a 35 degree trailer, which isn’t that bad, but definitely not comfortable. I had to used three sleeping bags and I layered alot. The mornings were even worse though.
On the way back to Prescott we stopped at the Little Painted Desert, which was beautiful as well.
So I’m finally home, and I have to get ready for my finals. It seems like everyone came home from break with some sort of sickness, and I am not the exception. It’s going to be hard to get back into focus, but not impossible. Wish me luck!

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