a frybread hotdog

The countdown is 5 days and I saw tonight the things that I am going to miss the most from Arizona. It rained hard tonight and so as we butchered another sheep with the team and made frybread, everyone was gathered around either the fire or under the shade. There was a sense of real community that I’ve seen only a few times in my life. Why is it that community always happens around food?

Sarah was explaining tonight that we butcher for the community. It’s not about how they butcher (which is still culture-shock cool) but it’s all about the why. Normally, the Navajo would butcher when a family member came home from being away for a period of time. It was a welcoming home thing. It was about bringing people together for a celebration. The tradition is much like the story of the prodigal son. When he returns home, there’s a party.

They get it. There’s something different about living like the Navajo do that changes the way you view life and the idea of community. I know being here has changed me. I’m going to live differently when I go back. No more suburb life. I may be stuck there for a while, but I’m still going to make an effort to keep some Navajo ways of living that I’ve picked up. I want to “get it” too. I want that sense of family that comes with knowing Jesus and sharing good food.

And hopefully, we’ve left a small mark on them as well. Like tonight, when we wrapped a hotdog in frybread dough and fried it. It was excellent, and I’m thinking it might be something they won’t soon forget.

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