Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Reed Family Reunion | 2014

This past weekend we attended the Reed Family Reunion at my husband's Masani's house.  Della Reed is my husband's maternal grandma (Masani).  Masani's house is located on the reservation in Arziona, east of Page, and outside of a tiny reservation town called Inscription House.

We had a great time catching up with Dana's Navajo side of the family.  The kids were introduced to many cousins that they have never met or don't remember meeting in past years.  Lebron was one of the many cousins that the girls played with over the weekend.  He is one sweet kid.

Lebron and Clara being silly...


I love this shot of Lebron running back to the house from the sheep corral...


More of the kids being silly...


Aiyana was all for the full rez experience.  Clara is more of a princess when it comes to dirt and the elements, but she faired well.  Here they were making a playground out of the desert.  I took my camera, and a few of the kids, on a little hike towards the mesa. At each mound of sand, they would create a new piece of playground equipment.  This was their "merry-go-round".


I didn't realize it when I took it, but this image encompasses so much to me.  It is a photograph of three degrees of Navajo... The boy on the left is full blooded Navajo, the girl facing him is half and Aiyana is one quarter.


Clara enjoying the views...


Masani's house and part of her land.  This is the view from the sheep corral looking towards her house.


A lizard I passed along our hike...


Masani's house...


That would be me cutting up some mutton (sheep meat).  I have never carved mutton and I can't say that it was easy, but I did it.



On Saturday we went for a hike to a waterfall.  It was a really neat trip into a canyon that was only one mile of dirt road away from Masani's house.  It's crazy to think that Masani's children never knew that this waterfall existed as they spent much of their time exploring the mesa that her ancestors lived on.  It was so cool seeing the canyon and hearing the stories of how the Anaszi inhabited the area.  There are still remnants of their life in the canyon.  The Anasazi are known, by almost all tribes, as the ancient people.

Part of the canyon... An oasis in the middle of the desert...



There's nothing better than flowers that grow in the wild... and even better... ones that grow amongst the muted backdrop of the desert.


Aiyana and Jo exploring the stream of water leading up to the waterfall...




It's no Havasupai, but it is beautiful and soothing to witness.


The kids had a blast playing in the water, mud and what they deemed as "quick sand"


Wild honeysuckle...



Dana's cousin, Keisha, organized this year's family reunion and she did a great job.  Here's Keish at the base of the waterfall.





View of the waterfall from a distance...


After our trek to the waterfall we all enjoyed some watermelon...



Aiyana and Jo taking a ride out of the canyon on a 4-wheeler.


Later that day we played games.


The kids geared up for a race to pick out a prize.




Aiyana kicked some major booty with her 5 year old self...


The lady's running for their prize...



The men running for their prize...



Then we played an egg tossing game...


The look on Clara's face cracks me up here.


I later found out that Clara believed there was a baby in her egg which explains why she freaked out when she dropped it and it cracked open.  She was later given an egg in an attempt to calm her down.  She carried that thing around for a long time and accidentally dropped it on the ground too.  It took about an hour to get her to calm down.  Amidst heavy crocodile tears she proclaimed that "she killed the baby and she was so sad".  Poor thing!  I had to give her a lesson about the eggs we consume.


The adults playing the egg toss game...


Musical Chairs (kids ages 6 and under)


Musical Chairs (kids ages 7 and over)


Musical Chairs (men)



Some of the men attempting to make a hair bun...


The next morning we had breakfast and did crafts.  Here's Masani painting her picture frame...





Aiyana and Masani...


Masani sits with dignity at her home while watching her family enjoy the day.  Masani doesn't speak a lick of English so I've had to learn some Navajo in order to speak to her through the years.  I once had my mother-in-law ask her what makes her the happiest in life and she said her children, her grandchildren, her sheep and her homeland on the reservation in Inscription House, AZ.  Masani is approaching 100 years of life and she is in her second stage of Alzheimers.  We don't know how much time we have left with her so it was nice being there to see her for the family reunion. 



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