This archived article was written by: Jenny Cawley
Over spring break, 16 members of the College of Eastern Utah’s Breakaway Club members spent their week doing service at the Navajo Reservation in Bluff, Utah.
They left Price early Monday morning, arrived at CEU’s San Juan campus to learn about the Navajo culture. The next stop was the Episcopal Mission where the students surveyed the project sites and started their service projects.
Their service catered to the disabled elderly Navajos. “It was an amazing experience that was well worth sacrificing the time and energy. The service was extremely rewarding and fun. We learned about the Navajo culture and about some of the struggles that living on the reservation presents the residents,” said Dane Worwood.
One man, Chester, was a Vietnam veteran, who requested a house be built for him when he returned from the war. Now, over 40 years later, his house is still incomplete. Because of time constraints, the CEU group was able to paint one completed room in the house for him. Chester was extremely grateful for our small contribution to his house.
At Clara Maryboy’s house a 12-foot ramp was built. “When we finished we knocked on her door to let her know it was done and as we drove away we could see her walking back and forth, up and down the ramp. The people we served were so thankful for our help and service. Service was the main purpose for this trip, but fun was not sacrificed,” Maria Bjarson
The group hiked in the mountains around the reservation, led by the Navajo guide, Stanley Nez, from Active Re-Entry. Nez pointed out petroglyphs and ancient homes built into the cliffs. He also taught more about the Navajo culture and acted as a translator to the people we served.
The group built a bonfire, watched movies, played games and went on a hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park on the way home.
Service is a bonding experience. The group had a lot of fun, made a lot of friends and laughed a lot. If you are interested in going on the Breakaway trip next spring, contact the CEU SUN Center.
The group would like to thanks Active Re-Entry, Nancy Bentley, Louie, Joey Allred, and Stanley Nez; United Way, Kate Alleman; welding department, Mike Tyron (steel ramp); building and construction department, Lewis Stilson (tools); Sen. Jim Matheson’s Office, Pam Juliano; President Ryan and Ann Thomas; and Southeastern Utah Health Department for the tetanus shots.
Members of the Breakaway club included Angie Nelson, Lee Nelson, Aaron Atwood, Becky Deleeuw, Austin Ashcraft, Mikenzi Bentley, Maria Bjarnson, Jenny Cawley, Jonathan Ferrin, Heather Gray, Maren Hebdon, Kris Lester, Shaully Morris, Dane Worwood, Eve Guymon and Sun Center director Kathy Murray.