image_4

This past Monday in Tucson, just coming back from Mexico, we took some down time some down time chillin’ in a yurt, as one does, while staying at La Vita House, which is a great youth hostel catering to international crowds. We then got to spend some quality time with an intriguing man named Lench.  At his home which he opened to us generously, he led us through several activities that helped us understand the way we see the world and to help us perceive the limitations of our own conditioning.  All of this prepared us for going into the dessert with him to spend time observing nature and spending time alone with ourselves for the beautiful sunset.  It is quite difficult to explain our time with him, and very hard to put into words, but there are some things that are meant for those who experience them.  For some of us, it was one of the most meaningful and powerful days on the trip.

The next day we drove to Prescott to spend some time with some former Carpe Diem students that were former India teammates of our OE, Benji. We were invited to attend some talks at the small but impressive Prescott college on indigenous rights and multicultural education, both of which the group found interesting and very relevant to our trip. On Thursday, we initiated the final part of our epic journey by hiking into Supai village of the Havasupai tribe. The village is located in the Grand Canyon and gets its supplies by helicopter and mule train. It took the group four hours to hike the 7 ½ mile road to the village, as there is no road access. When we got to the village, we acquired the permits, went to the lodge we would spend the next few days in. Some of the group started hiking to the waterfalls to see them while the rest of us took naps before dinner. The next day, we all took the time to explore the various majestic falls of Havasu canyon, with the largest fall being the 200ft Mooney falls. Saturday, we hiked out of the area back to the where we left the road whale. Along the way a fierce storm kicked up and it was snowing when we reached the van. We proceeded to drive back to where our journey began, Jeff Meilander’s Ecoranch in Flagstaff, where we now stay while we wrap up this semester.  Tonight we will prepare a big dinner and eat with some of the friends we have made during these three months, including Lillian and Jacobo from the Hopi Tutsskwa permaculutre project, Danielle and her chidren, also living in Hopi, and Roberto who hosted us in Pinon on the Navajo reservation.

image
Lench sets us up to walk through a maze of mouse traps. Yes, that’s right, a maze of mousetraps. Here, Jane prepares herself to be blindfolded and to allow Angie to guide her through using only touch, no words allowed.
image_1
The first few steps in, blindfolded Jane and Angie her voiceless guide go for it. They eventually make it. These mousetraps are a representation of our fears and the activity spurred a long conversation about how we walk through our life not always aware of what fears we might trigger within ourselves. It is important to assist each other in healthy ways to move through them skillfully. Thank you Lench.
image_7
Stunning Mooney Falls

image_5