Last week (Oct 2015), we made a fun trip to the Navajo Nation. On Wednesday, we worked with Emmanuel Mission School located near the Sweetwater Chapter House in arid northeastern Arizona. The school (K-12) had asked for assistance in making improvements to its playground equipment.
Sweetwater is an isolated Navajo chapter. The pavement runs out before you get to the chapter house and school. October had been a very wet month and the roads were heavily rutted.
We were able to help with 3 small projects at the school:
- moved a large swing set 8′ to get it away from a retaining wall;
- made minor repairs to a 3-seat swing set; and
- left off a small plastic slide (replacement for damaged metal one).
Student parents had showed to help with the repairs. They all worked hard and the school provided lunch. It was a fun and productive day.
The school has purchased a large playground set (assembly required) from an organization in New Jersey. The school principal is heading east to pick it up in November.
On Thursday, we finished installation of a large swing set in Shiprock, New Mexico. We added an eighth leg and installed the chains and seats. Kids from AmeriCorp helped with the swing set work.
The Shiprock Chapter has a variety of used playground parts and equipment in its inventory. We were able to develop a preliminary plan for future work.
On Friday after running a variety errands, we started the installation of a large slide in a small community across the road from St. Christopher’s Mission near Bluff, UT. Previously, we had installed a swing set. On the slide, we were assisted by one of the parents.
We finished the job on Saturday. It was fun watching the kids use the slide and swing set.
Across the road at St. Christopher’s Mission, we installed a bumble bee swing seat designed for small children.
Funding for these activities was provided by a Utah-based NGO: Navajo Santa. The bumble seat was made by a fabricator in Murray UT.