As we drove through the indian reservation to get to the Grand Canyon I noticed several things. We were in the middle of a desert. There we no trees only scrub brush. The homes were very sparse. Some appeared to be built out of nothing more than plywood. ( I chose not to take pictures of the homes. I felt that would be an invasion of their privacy.) However, you can tell by the landscape photo how sparse the land is. There were no electric lines anywhere. A few homes had solar panels but most did not. I began to wonder, if there is no electricity, do they have water? In Flagstaff I had noticed several pickups with large containers of water in the back. Surely they don’t have to haul all of their water in.
I began to realize life here is very different than in Oklahoma. I pride myself in being frugal and being able to live off the land, yet I live a life of luxary compared to the people living on this reservation. We stopped at a reservation area that had a variety of booths selling Native American jewelry, dream catchers, pottery, etc. I spoke with several of the vendors and learned that the only income for some of those on the reservation comes from the sales of these goods. I also learned that unless they have solar panels they do not have electricity. There is no water unless they haul it in. Some are able to haul it in, but some are not. I can’t even imagine how they survive without water. Hygiene aside, how to they cook? What do they drink? I assume that when they buy groceries they must buy bottled water to drink. I gather that most aren’t able to go to town very often so one would have to buy in large quantities.
I came away with great respect for these people. I wish I could have spent more time talking with them. There is so much I could learn from them. I would love to go back to the area and spend less time doing the usual tourist activities and more time learning about their culture.