Friday, June 5, 2015

Rain, Rain, Rain ... In The Desert

This year, there has been more rain during the Navajo Oral History Project than in all past years combined. In the first five years of the NOHP, it may have rained once or twice for 20 minutes or less.  This year, we had four days of rain and a little snow as we started our time here in Tsaile, Arizona. Today (Friday, June 5, 2015) it has rained off and on all day, with several extended periods of very hard rain.

Tsaile, Arizona, is considered the high desert at about 7,000 feet of altitude in the Chuska Mountains of northeast Arizona, along the border of New Mexico. Tsaile gets an average of 9 inches of rainfall in an entire year. It seems they have received half of that in the past 10 days since the WSU group arrived.

In a time when many communities of the southwestern United States are in severe drought, this is good news. It also has made for a distinct looking landscape. Winona State University alumni of this program are probably surprised to see so much green in the outdoor photos on the blog this year. In addition to the green hills, trees and shrubs, there are wildflowers blooming all over the Diné College campus. In the next couple days, this blog will feature a "bonus" blog entry featuring many beautiful landscape and flora photographs by participating students.

All this rain has hampered the group, but not much. Muddy roads make for difficult driving, which has caused some plans to change. Even so, the students have plenty of journalism work to do and are good at finding ways to enjoy themselves. The group has come together as a social unit: having fun, discussing important and silly things, and helping one another.

Today's blog photos are just a smattering of what life is like at Diné College on a cold and rainy day.

Above photo by Jake Hilsabeck.

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