Over the last three years I’ve gone to a lot of places, but my favorite trip happened in March of this year. I went on a class trip to Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. The trip was organized with Antelope House Tours, which is a organization that is 100% Navajo. This trip was a three day back packing trip with our guides Adam and Ben Teller. Since they are familiar with the place and live there, story telling is offered while hiking and camping. (http://www.canyondechelly.net/tours_camping_etc.html) The story telling bring the trip an essential feel to the experience.
Although the entire trip was incredible, my favorite memory, was the first night. My class was camping in the canyon under an alcove, with no tents being pitched up. After eating dinner with our cook groups, my science teacher had everyone take a moment and walk outside of the alcove. She had us all look up and observe the stars in the sky. The stars gave everyone the same sensation of wonder and awe. She also wanted everyone to feel the difference of being in the canyon at night compared to the day. Although we were in the same place it felt like we were somewhere new.
One by one everyone made their way to an awkward circle around the fire place. While sitting in the beautiful alcove waiting for Adam Teller to come and share some stories, we enjoyed each other’s company. We began sharing stories of our own and having fun reminiscing and making new memories. After a while, Adam arrived and we listened to him sing and tell his stories. The stories were about the creation of the stars, and the life of the Navajo people. Everyone who was so hyper and laughing only minutes ago was calm and listening intently to Adam‘s every word. To end the night Adam sang a song, with everyone singing along.
Once the stories had been told, everyone slowly made their way to their sleeping bags, preparing for a good night’s sleep. The night had such an impact on me. It was really relaxing and fun, being able to hang out with my peers and friends. I felt really happy, getting closer to my community. I learned so much about the place and the culture, as well as myself. I recognized that I have a fear of being alone and that I am much more capable then I think. I am able to take the first step in connecting with others. With this group of people that I call my peers and teachers I could be confident that I wouldn’t be left alone, and that they all would support me if I take the first step. This experience was unlike anything I had ever encountered before. It was so amazing being with everyone with out electricity, it was like being connected to the earth. It felt like I was observing the peacefulness that nature has to offer for the first time.
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