Tuesday, June 4, was the last full day of the field-work portion of the 2013 Navajo Oral History Project. The students met for class in the morning during which time all five documentary journalism groups showed their projects so far and received constructive criticism.
above panorama photo of the classroom by Brett Gustafson
After class, a couple groups had some B-Roll shots they wanted to get so they headed out in the vans. Other students stayed in the dorm and worked on narrations for their film projects. A make-shift sound booth was set-up in one of the bathrooms in the dorm building so narrations could be recorded with clean sound quality.
In the evening, the whole WSU group participated in a Just Move It event. This is a 5k walk that is done all over the Navajo Nation to promote fitness and health. It just worked out that the Just Move It event for the Tsaile area was at Diné College on the last night the WSU group was in town.
The group registered for the event, then participated in warm-up and stretching exercises.
Then, it was off to the fitness trail around the Diné College property for a 5 kilometer walk-- a little over three miles.
At the end of the walk, each participant received a Just Move It T-shirt.
In the later evening, the students were packing up their stuff and getting ready for their return to the Midwest. There were hugs and tears as the WSU students said goodbye to the DC students who stopped by. There will be more tears in the morning as the vans leave Diné College and head to the airport.
Bonds have been made between people and the land. There's no doubt the WSU students have been changed in many ways by this journey. Certainly, they have improved their journalism skills, which was one of the main goals of the project. More than that, they have become open to diversity, more sensitive to the feelings of others, and more compassionate and caring to those who need help. In some situations, they listen more than talk, and observe more than act.
When they get back to their homes, they'll have a few days to rest, relax and reflect.