I woke up this morning as the night illuminated into the gorgeous day in front of my sleepy eyes. I thought to my self, “If I could imagine a world where everything had an artist touch and like “Cheers,” everyone knows your name, it would definitely be in Kayenta.”
I moved from Salt Lake City, Utah in the early nineties with my family. I started school on the reservation of the Navajo Indians, my third year of elementary school. As a new student, I was picked on because I was the new kid and I did not know a lick of the Navajo language. However, the teachers had all the patience and understanding to help me achieve above average grades and make some life long friends.
As I grew up in the public system, teachers and counselors would guide me with gentle words of wisdom. They encouraged me to continue my education and hopefully come back to serve the community, which I intend to do.
The people of Kayenta are still growing as I have. We are learning to become a township, to be separate and to set an example to our neighboring towns, that we can be independent and grow together economically. My family in Kayenta are too numerous to mention, but I do come from a family that has established themselves well in the community as leaders. They are teachers, councilmen, and spiritual advisors. We all live together in harmony, in the beauty way, in the middle of a world, where on one side there is a red valley with all shades of red, orange, and yellow melting into one another and on the other side is a mesa dotted with pinion tress that had stands proud and undefeated.
As you travel from Flagstaff, AZ, you find yourself glued to the passing scenery. It is almost as if someone put up a slideshow on your window. The land slides down the San Francisco Peaks into a red treeless valley with canyons dipping into more canyons that seem to lead to the center of the earth. As the red fades into yellow sands and gray rocks, a mesa starts to grow. The Black Mesa seems to get larger as you cruise the winding roads toward Skeleton Mesa. Moreover, before it seems as if they are going to crash into one another, a ray of hope emerges as you make a sharp turn into Long House Valley. This valley opens up its mouth, swallows the unknown visitor, and spits him out onto a land of enchantment. When you first open your eyes to Kayenta, you realize you are in a magical world.
Living in Kayenta, I have learned what family really is. It does not hurt to be living in an artist’s dream world. I would recommend anyone to live in Kayenta, especially if the are first starting out their own lives. There is housing available, schools within walking distance, and even community colleges. We have a local grocery store, where you will see everyone and a few fast food joints if that’s what you are into. We also have our own police department, which I am sure you will know who will serve and protect you by their first name. Where can you get that kind of service? This community is small, we may not have a mall or Wal-Mart but we have each other and that’s what really counts when you are in need of a cup of sugar or a friendly ear.