I turned 50 this summer, and it turns out three of my good friends from high school also turned fifty. What a coincidence. We thought an adventure trip would be a good idea, and we went through some ideas like flying jets, scuba diving, etc. We ended up spending a week building a shade structure on an empty, hot, sandy lot in
The shade structure was built behind a senior citizen center, and it will enable the elders in the Navajo community to sit outside and enjoy each other’s company. We thought it would be nice, but we didn’t realize how nice until we finished and sat down to talk with some elders. They don’t like to be inside, and now are thrilled to be able to sit outside and enjoy the outside air. As you have probably guessed, it is pretty hot outside in
Building the structure was fun, and surprisingly not too hot because of the 5,200 foot elevation, but the real joy was learning about the Navajo culture with some good friends. We enjoyed a traditional sweat lodge one night on the high desert, and stayed up late one night discussing religion, spirituality and politics with some passionate Navajos.
One of our Navajo friends had a recurring dream where he was flying a plane, but was unable to land because he did not know how. So at 6:00 am the next morning I took him up in my plane (we all few into
Towards the end of the week, our volunteer program coordinator suggested that we may enjoy a secret Navajo cave he knew about near the rim of the
So we got our adventure and we accomplished what we set out to do – give something back. If you have ever considered a volunteer work vacation, I can highly recommend it. You can Google the words “volunteer work vacation”, and there are numerous organizations listed that can organize one for you.