politics, travel

Spending time on the Rez

Today is my last day in New Mexico. I returned from Navajo Nation today. I got my story, which was my ultimate goal, but I also got an eye-opening experience after visiting Navajo Nation. I had a great guide to take me around. It is difficult to put into words the conditions that exist on the reservation. Some people don’t have running water. Some live right next to an electricity pole, but don’t have the money to get it installed in their home. Meth abuse is on the rise. Domestic abuse is nearly twice the rate as in the general population.┬áTheir local government is fighting corruption.

There are some amazing people working hard to help those around them. And there are some amazing things going on. But the level of poverty is overwhelming.

There are plenty of people in the country who complain about having it tough. I hear it everyday at home. But after traveling to the reservation and seeing the struggle between living in the present and still respecting their cultural pasts, I am sure that the Navajos are some of the strongest people out there.

My guide actually helped out with an episode of a FX show called 30 Days. The premise of the show is about this filmmaker who spends 30 days with people in different living situations. So, he goes to Navajo Nation. I can imagine that it will be a great learning experience. Check out the episode on July 8 at 10 pm.

travel

New Mexico

I am in New Mexico for a few days for a story I am doing, and so far all I’ve seen is Albuquerque. It’s a nice little city, if only for the fact that it lacks the crowded rush of Los Angeles. Leaving LA has really made me realize how much I have fallen comfortably in the ways of that city. Here, people drive slower. They talk slower. It’s a nice change, but it just reminds me of how much I love a real, big city.

But there’s no denying the sky of this place.

I’m off to Navajo Nation for the next couple of days. It will be my first time on Native American sovereign land, so it will be an interesting experience.