Members of our Navajo Oral History group went in all different directions today (Wednesday, May 26, 2010) on the Navajo Nation to do more interviews for their projects.
Robbie Christiano, Tom Grier and Kelly Sharatt headed to Chinle to interview Grandmother Marjorie Thomas, and to meet Ed Bicenti who has helped coordinate Grandmother's fund raising walks in past years. Grandmother wasn't feeling up to being interviewed today.
Later in the day the group interviewed Larissa Jimmy, a Diné college student who had Grandmother Thomas as a teacher when she was in elementary school, and Sophie Jimmy who, along with her son, participated in several of Grandmother Thomas' fund raising walks.
Miranda Haskie drove Sawyer Derry, Brianna Klapperich and Ernestine Sanisya to Lettie and Flemin Nave's home near Tsaile to interview Lettie for a third time, and also to interview her daughter, Becky.
(Above two photos by Michael Ruka)
Then Miranda drove Marcus Lake, Revaline Nez, Michael Ruka and Jennifer Westman to Lukachukai to interview Navajo Code Talker John Kinsel again, and then also interviewed his grandson who lives with-- and works the farm with-- his grandfather.
(above photo by Brianna Klapperich)
(above two photos by Revaline Nez)
(above two photos by Sawyer Derry)
(above two photos by Brianna Klapperich)
(above three photos by Jenn Westman)
Altyn Burnside, Ben Chambers, and Shaina Nez had no interviews planned for the day, and instead worked on transcribing earlier interviews and reviewing and starting to edit their video and still photographs.
Many of the group were tired and took afternoon naps to catch up on much needed sleep. After a late dinner, a few of us played a round of Disc Golf and invited some of our new friends and dorm-mates from Canisus College of Buffalo, New York, to join us.
In the evening, we all sat around the fire in our Hogan residence hall and talked, played games, edited photographs, etc.
It was a good day, and not quite as busy as the past 10 days. I think we all needed a little break before we go full-force into the last few days of this exciting summer project.
Friends and family members of the college students working on these projects can be very proud of the work your loved ones are doing. They are amazingly skilled at being tactful while still asking thoughtful questions. They are good listeners and really seem to be enjoying their work. And, on a professional level, they are meticulous about preparing for interviews (tapes, batteries, notes, etc.) and taking good care of the equipment.
It has been fun for me to watch the friendships develop among the students of both schools. There is mutual respect among the students and a true desire to work together, using the strengths of each member of each group to create documentaries that will tell interesting and compelling stories that will last for all time.
Thanks for reading!
-- Tom Grier
(Next photo by Brianna Klapperich)
(next three photos by Sawyer Derry)
(next photo by Jenn Westman)