Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 17 - Service Work and Interviews

Today, Sunday, was another busy day here on the Navajo Nation. A couple of our documentary journalism groups worked on their projects: transcribing interviews, editing photos, video and audio, and preparing for the final round of interviews this week. 

One group, plus a couple kind volunteers from other groups, finished the work on moving a huge asphalt and dirt pile at Wilson Aronilth's place. Wilson is a faculty member at DinĂ© College where he has taught more than 30 years. This particular group is focusing their documentary piece on his life and education, and his commitment to teaching young people.

We used pick-axes and shovels to break up the pile, load it into wheelbarrows, and roll them down the road as much as a quarter-mile to fill low eroded spots on the driveway. 

(Above five photos by Kim Streblow)

The group worked hard for four hours then took a break for lunch, driving to Chinle, Arizona, for a fast-food lunch at Church's Chicken -- Mmmm.

(Above two photos by Kim Streblow)

Everyone was tired and a little goofy, including Steph Precourt who did an impromptu air guitar performance when a song by the rock band Styx came on the radio.

(Above two photos by David Busse)

After lunch, we returned to Wilson's and worked another two hours or so and finished moving the pile.  It was good, hard work.  When we were done, Jessica and Kim rewarded Wilson's Dog, Daisy, with an all-over doggy massage.  Then, we posed in the spot where the pile used to be.

As our friend, Chops Hancock, often says: Every day, do something nice for someone else, expecting nothing in return. The six of us who worked on that project have weak arms but warm hearts knowing we did a good thing to help Dr. Aronilth.

One of our groups stayed at the dorms to work on their projects and to prepare a delicious pulled pork dinner with mashed potatoes and corn. During the afternoon they enjoyed a walk from campus to nearby Tsaile Lake and saw some interesting views.

(Above three photos by Sarah Botzek)

Another group had a second interview with World War II Navajo Codetalker Sam Tso. They had a great discussion with him, gathering more details of his life for the oral history project they're creating.

(Above three photos by Cindy Killion)

By the way, Brandi Hagen, one of our Documentary Journalism students in the group doing an oral history of Sam Tso, has had her first article about the project published in the Albert Lea Tribune. If you've been following this blog, you saw the "scoop" of Brandi's article last week. here's a link to the Tribune's article:

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