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    Day 5 – Painting

    July 10th, 2013

    Today was a super fun day in both the morning and afternoon! In the morning we had fun running day 3 of VBS, and watching the kids warm up to us even more every second. They were getting more into the music and singing louder and doing all the motions. We would get a screaming response of excitement from them every time we asked if they’re having a good time. We made a wind chime in crafts today with the kids. They loved it and got really in to it. Afterwards they took home more ribbons to finish it at home, which was the first time they wanted to do so with the crafts. And yesterday when we took them home there was a family of 8, 7 of them being boys. They were in the back seat while I (Chloe Suzanne Kimball) was in the front. They continued to make comments like “call me” and “bye ring, ring” and “by Santa call me”. It was an entertaining way to end the second day. I hope they will come again tomorrow.


    Then in the afternoon we started painting an office. While managing to get most of the paint on the walls where it belongs, we also happened to get quite a bit on each other, which makes it all the more fun. Today has been sunny and nice, but we still heard a little thunder and witnessed a couple flashes of lightning!  This sudden change in weather gave our. This trip has been very fun!


    From Chloe and Rachael

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    Day 4 – More Kids Than Yesterday

    July 9th, 2013

    Monday night some of the locals made us a great traditional Navajo dinner. We had fry bread tacos and they were amazing! The people were so nice and willing to slave over a hot stove for us (theres no air conditioning!). When dinner came to an end, a nice man named Merlin talked to us about Navajo culture. He shared with us his schooling experiences and when he first heard of God. He even told us that traditional Navajo’s live in a matriarchal society! When a couple wants a divorce, the man comes home to find his things outside and with no questions asked, he leaves! This morning the group learned the hand motions to some of the songs we sing during VBS so we could help the kids. Yesterday. we had 2 cars full of kids.  Today, we had 3.  When Ash’s Van pulled up, it was a sea of Navajo children flowing out of the van – I think the count was 16.  Yesterday we had about 25 or so, today we had almost 35!

    Mary Mattie, being the wonderful woman she is, took the cardboard cutout of a moose and pretended to be the moose! It woke us all up with a great laugh. There is a song called “When The Storm Roars” that we sing during VBS to resemble when Jesus and Peter walk on water and we use different tones when we sing it.



    The lovely Mr. Joe Bruce (DC) does a FANTASTIC high pitched “when the storm roars” that everyone loves, including us high schoolers! I am having a great time in Ganado being with these children and putting on VBS for them. Im excited for the rest of the week and Mary’s moose impersonation and Joes wonderful singing voice :)

    Yours truly,
    The amazing,
    And talented,
    And wonderful,
    LaShantay Walls
    A.K.A Teenie Bopper Mix-Ologist

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    Day 3 – First day of VBS & Work is successful

    July 8th, 2013

    Well we made it this far! After 2 nights of little sleep and hot days and hot nights and scavenging for food, we are finally acclimating. But recreational activities went swell. The older kids had a stupendous time playing with the parachute and playground balls. But it ended abruptly when someone threw it into the tree and a kid climbed up and retrieved it. The younger kids didn’t say much. They entertained themselves on the playground.

    IMGP2317 cameron and abby

    When the little ones left, we worked.  A lot. We cleaned the bathrooms (sinks, toilets, walls, floors), swept, mopped, weed whacked, and scrubbed. The place is beautiful, though, and it’s very interesting to see the daily routine on reservation. The rooms are alright (besides the dead mouse in the kitchen cupboard and the bull snakes in the church).

    Tonight the locals are making us dinner and traditional fried bread. The game room we have is being put to a lot of use with different card games. It has been a lot of fun.

    Cameron and Abby

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    Day 2 – Prepping for the week

    July 7th, 2013

    After a long, HOOOOT night we awoke at about 8.  We dressed in fancy clothes and went to breakfast prepared by the irreplaceable Mary (Breakfast was cereal and fruit so kinda hard to mess up).  Then we went to the adult bible study which was in both english and their native language.  It consisted of mostly elders.  Once we were attending the service, we were in the presence of World War II navajo code talker.  We haven’t gotten to speak with him yet but we hope that we can before the end of the week.  After the service we learned about the church and the pastors history while eating mac and cheese.  In the afternoon we split into our VBS groups to plan out our week and to put up posters.  Some of us got to walk around the area near the church and see more of what is around us.  In both Keenan and I’s opinion, the reservation and place we are staying is different than we anticipated from the stories of our brothers.  The area around us is dry and rocky with basically no grass and everyone around us has been more than kind to us.  We have enjoyed of living amongst the natives and look forward to the rest of the week!


    Ryan & Keenan

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    Day One – Travel

    July 6th, 2013

    Today we traveled from Spokane to Denver, Colorado  and then after a two hour layover to Albuquerque New Mexico. During the first flight both Keenan and Taylor received copious amounts of airplane pretzels and peanuts from the nice male flight attendant. Those who needed sleep got plenty on both the plane rides as well as during the long car ride to Ganado.  We rode in three cars, a large 12 seater van, a green sudan, and a gold minivan.  Keenan and I (Ryan) have yet to come up with new names for this years cars although billy bulldozer is a possibility for the large van.  Keens and I rode in the minivan with Lonnece and Mary and were able to hear about some interesting stories from Mary such as her vacation to Machu Picchu.  For dinner we stopped at a restaurant at the border of Arizona and New Mexico called Lotaburger.  It reminded us of the restaurant Dicks from spokane although it was much cleaner and inside.  Most people got a Lotaburger or an Itsaburger although it had other choices such as breakfast burritos. We finally got to our destination and spent the night unpacking and scrubbing bathrooms and dorms.  There was time for some cards before we went to bed which was a great ending to our first day.

    Keenan & Ryan

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    Our Last Days

    July 16th, 2012

    We woke up yesterday and cleaned up the church, each of us being assigned jobs to do around the facilities, and then had our breakfast feast. Instead of our usual cold cereal and toast, this was a magnificent spread. We had scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, and bananas, which was a welcome change after our breakfasts so far. We then headed into the sanctuary for a performance and talk from Guitar Jimmy, Jimmy was a Vietnam vet that had been homeless in Denver for a year when he got involved with a church and became a Christian. He had taught himself how to play the guitar at 16 and his playing was incredible. He told us he didn’t know the names of any of the chords he was playing because he learned them all by ear. After his set we went outside, took our final pictures, and said our goodbyes to the other students and staff we had come to know this week. From there we traveled to Wellshire Presbyterian Church, dropped off our bags and got settled. Next was the Denver Zoo, where we split up into groups and got to explore to our hearts content for a few hours. My group went around seeing all the different animals, especially loving the monkey exhibit and the orangutans! After seeing all the animals we could, we travelled to REI and the river behind it.  Most everyone went playing in the water and sliding down the man-made rapids. When we were totally exhausted from all of our aquatic exploits, we headed back to the church for worship. After worship we play a very scary game of Ghost in The Graveyard, the adults went to bed and the rest of us sat upstairs playing card games into the wee hours of the morning. We wake up the next morning and got to packing, cleaning, and eventually eating. From the church we headed to Red Rocks Amphitheater, which is a huge stage built into the naturally occurring red rocks. It was a beautiful and awe-inspiring sight to behold, and I can only imagine how amazing it would be to actually see a concert there. Next comes the drive to the airport, which was spent playing “catchphrase” and sleeping, now we are on the plane waiting for take off, see you soon!!


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    A few things for you to know!

    July 11th, 2012

    Good evening All:

    We are sitting outside of Starbucks at REI on the Platte River.  We’re really sorry that we haven’t been able to post.  The Internet at the church hasn’t been working and we are using this time to let you know how things are going.  There are two other posts from yesterday and the day before after this one, so enjoy!

    Thanks for your patience,


    Now, from our Family Group, here are a few things you would want to hear about:

    • Ate the usual Breakfast of cereal and/or toast.
    • We split up into groups that went to the Food Bank of the Rockies (2 groups), Street’s Hope, and Brother’s Redevelopment for some more painting.
    • Some of the work groups went to 7-Eleven for free Slurpee day on 7/11
    • After we returned from work group, we had free time with our family groups.We (Ash & Mary’s Group) went to explore REI and other areas downtown.  Then for dinner we went to the Hard Rock Cafe. Next we went back to REI to go to Starbucks to blog, then we are going to swim in the Platte River.
    • We know the other groups are doing some other items that might involve bowling and museums.
    • So far Denver has been a great experience!

    Peace and Blessings, Ganado Family Group 1
    (AKA Vanessa, Ethan, Phil, Marissa, Beth and Natalie)

    PS – Yesterday at Tha Mix community church in Sun Valley, there was a BBQ and they hosted a 3-on-3 basketball game.  Ethan, Duncan and Phil won DOOR’s first competition of this sort with the Team Name of “The Nathan Seppi Experience”

    *Interesting Fact: We have driven on Colfax which is referred to as “The Longest Street in the US” – this according to Ash.

    **According to Wikipedia: Colfax Avenue is the Longest Street in the US.

    Good night all!

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    Work Groups Begin

    July 11th, 2012

    Today arising at 6:30, we were guided upstairs to the dining hall where we made some warm/cold cereals of our liking. Then, made a lunch of a sandwich, a choice of chips, and some fruits. I (Abby) left at 7:30 to go and paint the house of an elderly lady (who wouldn’t let us use the bathroom). It was quite the worksite as it was pouring and had an infestation of dead and rotting spiders and other unrecognizable bugs. We finished the house with a warm, fuzzy feeling in the deepest depths of our hearts. I (Sarah) got the opportunity to go The Food Bank. I got the task of weighing the food going to different organizations like a rehab center. When there was no one getting food, I got to sort though bread and put all the moldy black, blue, and yellow bread into a bin for a pig farmer. I ended up leaving at 3:15. I (Lauren) got to go to a warehouse where we picked out furniture and other household items that we then took to furnish an apartment for refugees who were arriving soon. On the way home from our work, Ash pointed us to Stop 2 of his “Ex-girlfriend Tour” (he used to live here). We had a delicious and spicy chicken chipotle for dinner that burnt our mouths and lips clean off our faces!

    Abby, Sarah, and Lauren

    Father Woody's

    Lutheran Family Services

    Brother's Redevelopment

    Brother's Redevelopment

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    And so it begins

    July 11th, 2012

    What a day!! Starting at 4am we were up, by 7am we were on a plane to Denver. At the airport we were waving at people for over an hour while waiting for transportation. :) After being picked up by the cars at the airport we went to the 16th Street Mall where we walked up and down 16th street in downtown Denver. At 4:00PM we met back up at the D&F tower and then headed to dinner at the Wazee Supper Club, which is “Denver’s best pizza place” according to Ash (past resident). We then headed over to unpack at FMC (First Mennonite Church) which was followed by a 3 hour orientation and meeting with the 2 other church groups who are also here. After that we took a tour and played ultimate Frisbee in a light drizzle. We met all of the Staff and our church was debriefed on what we would be doing the next day. Our church would be divided into 5 different groups whom all have separate activities and jobs planned for the rest of the week.

    Until later,
    Phil, Ryan & Wyatt
    2012 mission trip

    Group Photo

    Boys Waving at Denverites Meeting Spot

    Wazee Supper Club

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    We’re In!

    July 9th, 2011

    Well, we’re officially on the way.  Had a little hiccup – someone to remain nameless (Laurel) forgot their ID, but made it just in time.  We’re through security and ran into a nice lady named Jill who took our group picture.  Next up, Las Vegas!

    Group Photo in Spokane

    Group Photo in Spokane

    Jill, our Spokane Photographer

    Jill, our Spokane Photographer

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