Saturday, March 31, 2012

photo diary: Black Mesa, AZ

Apologies for the photo dump--I have over a hundred more, but these are my favorites. 

The week after graduating, I returned to Black Mesa, AZ for a week of service on the Navajo reservation, exactly a year after my first trip there. We lived, learned, and loved at a church called Tse ee gai, House of Joy. I got to return to a place where my life was changed, where I fell in love with the Navajo people and with the others on my trip; a place where the vastness of God is more apparent than any other place I've traveled. 

We dug trenches, mixed cement, and laid cinder blocks to make the foundation for a respite for weary travelers. We taught children about the fruits of the spirit (Galations 5:22-23), and we let the children be children: playing and running and kicking up dirt, coloring and giggling and teasing. We lived without running water, without the luxuries that we hardly give a second thought to at home. There was eight inches of snow, and then there was sun and mud and wind and dust. Our clothing was dirty and our hair was worse. We ate fry bread for dinner and s'more for breakfast. Cowboy coffee flowed all day long. We sang worship songs as we watched the sun peak over the canyon, and we met a calf minutes after it was born. 

We saw the Grand Canyon, and I got yelled at by a French man for standing up on that ledge above. We ended the week with $12 airport margaritas at 11:30 am, and we landed back in Seattle feeling sleepy, blessed, and ready to face everything we'd left at home. Big changes keep happening in my life this month, but my week at Black Mesa, among people that love fearlessly and without pretense, has me filled up enough to be brave and ready for each one. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to return to the Mesa, and I hope to return as soon as possible. If you want to know more about the organization I went with, see their Facebook page. They are a PNW organization and I have nothing but good things to say about them! 

Note: I know this post has nothing to do with style, but many of you expressed interest in hearing more about the trip, so here you are! If you want to know anything else, please feel free to email me at c.hestead@hotmail.com. I've got lots to say. ;)

10 comments:

Blake Reynolds said...

This is so awesome! Looks like a great experience. It is beautiful there and so is the way you are pouring into lives! Thanks for sharing

-Blake Reynolds
blakereynolds.blogspot.com

Amelia said...

absolutely beautiful, you captured some great moments. i did a similar service project in one of the poorest regions of appalachia. we installed a new septic system manual labor-style

The Desert Fox said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful and inspiring time. The photos are beautiful too :) I hope to be able to do that as well, maybe over the summer.

xx

Jazzy E (Hivenn) said...

Really beautiful. x hivenn p.s enter my giveaway?

Angela said...

loved seeing all your photos + hearing about your trip (via blogger and real life haha) and what a cute pic of you and Dory!

melody said...

lovely photos, it looks like you had a lot of fun! congrats on graduating! and "lol" to you getting yelled at by the French man. the photo looks worth it because that looks amazing!

Tamara @ Go Fish Style said...

great images!

Tiffany said...

wow very beautiful photos!! I really enjoyed this post. I'd love to visit there someday :D

eliza jane said...

that dog looks like a real wolf in the snow! eek!

Allie Ruth Morris said...

Wow! beautiful pictures!
You seem like a really cool and genuine person :)