Saturday, December 13, 2008
A 60 foot semi trailer loaded from top to bottom, end to end, full of wrapped gifts for the Navajo. It was my privilege to drive myself and 5 others from our church down to Gallup, New Mexico, then on to Chinle, Arizona. Churches from all over Colorado purchase gifts for the Navajo each year and take the gifts down for distribution.
This year there were 18 Navajo churches that received the gifts for their people. About 50 of us from various churches went down for the distribution. We enjoyed a two and one-half hour long indian service where they acknowledge every one there. They had a special song from each church represented. The gave the service in both Navajo and English. And they gave small gifts to each person who came down for the distribution.
The Navajo showed up from New Mexico and Arizona with pickup trucks and trailers. Many of them were piled high with cartons of gifts. Not very many of them had tie-downs. I hope they didn't make their children sit on the boxes to get them home.
A distribution line was formed to distribute the gifts. About 6 people worked emptying the semi trailer, 3 people directed the boxes, and the rest of us distributed the boxes to each tribe. Each tribe had it's own sign that it held high. Then a few of us carted the boxes off to the pickup trucks and trailers. All of this took about one-half our.
Our church also distributed one nice, high quality soccer ball to each tribe. Eighteen soccer balls in all. So in my Sequoia, we had 6 people, their luggage, three large trash bags full of gifts, and 18 soccer balls that would roll out of the SUV each time we opened a door, any door. Needless to say, we had to pack one of our people in with the luggage in the back seat.
At first, I didn't want to go on this trip because I pictured myself staying with an indian family where they might not have facilities. I know, that's selfish or worse. That just shows how spoiled we can be. But in truth we stayed at a fair hotel in Gallup and a nice hotel in Chinle. The trip was educational and a lot of fun. Definitely a place I would consider going back to.
In fact, we may go back this next year. The church in Gallup is in disrepair and I serve on the council and committee that can do something about that. We will see where this leads us.
The worst part of the trip was the quality of the coffee. Another indication of how I have been spoiled. But, gas station coffee did keep me a wake and kept us rolling. The other worst part was gas prices. Gas was close to $2.00 or over. But, we didn't eat at a single Mc Donald's, Burger King, or SubWay. But one morning we did have gas station donuts for breakfast, along with our gas station coffee, as we filled with high priced gas.
The scenery is worth it, even if you just drive down through the country and back. I've seen pictures before, but real life is so much better. And there is so much of it. After Thanksgiving a lot of places are closed, but almost all of the tourists are gone. If you hit a warm spell, this could be the best time to go. All roads were excellent. A GPS is really helpful. Don't forget you camera.