Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Plus I brought over two other trailwalkers from Arizona and we added another friend Justin in Huntington Beach. The highlights of this trip were definitely Disney murals in the Nursery, Fear Factor with the kids, Kaiizen Idol (Josh and I did a duet to "A Whole New World"), dancing with the kids, listening to the Kaiizen band play "Disturbia" - Budinger taught the kids while he sang, SO FUNNY! Teaching Chewy how to start a fire and just sharing the experience with both old and new friends! Seriously such a great trip and I'm sad I'm going to miss the next one again too but I'll find a way to get back down there after Alaska!
Matt and Jonathan taught fire skills and Justin and I helped too with the Little Mermaid mural!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Karmen, Me, Annie, Kellie, and Katie
After the wedding I was able to go down to West Yellowstone and go snowmobiling with my friend Joe and his Uncle and cousin. Complete with great weather and a couple stops at the same Denny's - it was such a good trip!
Through our walkings with you, we have seen and felt some of the many seeds of greatness within you. We have sat together and thoughtfully pondered these seeds of greatness and have decided to give you the Anasazi Trail Name. The name we have chosen for you is GOOD HEARTED WILLOW!
GOOD - When we think of good, we think of goodness, and we've seen the goodness within you. We have witnessed your selflessness on many occasions. Those that are selfless are good. We also have felt your strong desire to help things go right, so that goodness may abound all around you. We also wish that you always retain a remembrance of all the goodness the Creator has provided for you and those you love. We challange you to strive to emulate goodness in all you do.
HEARTED - We know you desire to have your heart in the right place. The location of the heart is the focal point of our thoughts, desires, and intentions. We've seen your intentions and desires manifested here on the trail, and we know you are in the right place. The heart is also a symbol of purity, and greatness, and we have witnessed these qualities within you. May you always keep your heart pure to be entitled to special awakenings that the Creator has for you.
WILLOW - According to native folklore, the Willow tree is reveared to be nurturing, motherly, thoughtful, wise, and kind. The Willow provides shade, comfort, security, and is giving in nature. Often times we see the Willow as a protected place to ponder. You also, Janel, like the Willow have these same attributes, and characteristics, for we have seen them. Continue to let them grow. There will be storms to face, and you may sway and bend as the wind blows harder, but you can always remain strong, as the Willow as you stay true to these values and characteristics.
GOOD HEARTED WILLOW we give you this name so you may have a belonging place within Anasazi. And we wish you will always walk forward in you life's walking and nourish all the many seeds of greatness within you.
We are honored to have walked with you!
(Given by: Eager Warrior of Light and Beautiful Firefly)
Week 1: Moving/Training/First Week as a Trailwalker
I have never felt more alone in my life moving to an area where I didn't really know anyone and really the first time I had left my solid support group of constant friends/family! Out in the field I actually wanted to get bit by a rattle snake so I could "honorably" leave the trail. But I learned that I had come to grow and progress and that usually stems from hard things so I stayed on - probably the best decision I could have made.
Week 2: A Name and a Place
Well I walked with just one girl young walker this week and it was great how we connected. The hikes were still difficult but managable and I realized it's not even about the physical challanges at all but really tackling the emotional and mental challanges that plague our lives. (The copy of my name will be listed above - and it's perfect!)
Week 3: The Boys
My first time walking with boys I was nervous but the second night I made fire and they really appreciated me. My trailwalking partner was so great and we communicated so well - honestly every week I feel like I'm in a psuedo marriage and learn so much about relationships and families. We experienced the coldest night on the trail (frost on our sleeping bags at 8:30pm) and almost slept cold the next night but one of the boys made fire completely in the dark and that whole process will be one of my treasured memories from the trail.
Week 4: Anything you can do . . . I'll probably break my ankle
I walked with the boys again, I love talking to them/teaching them to respect girls and to be motivated in the important things in life (seriouslly they feel like little brothers). Well we had one INTENSE day to put it lightly and the storm was rolling in so we were trying to hurry and the last mile they all made a jump from this rock shelf over this 6 ft pond to keep hiking down the stream bed. My turn last and I lept for it and hit the sand bar only to hear the loudest snap come from my leg and I immediately collapsed. I was 98% sure I just broke my leg and started crying because I knew how difficult it would be to get me to a hospital from where we were. However we waited a few minutes and I was able to continue limping the last mile while one of my partners carried my pack. Not broken just a bad sprain and the boys were able to help me those last two days which brought us all closer together.
Week 5: Bring on the awakenings!
Without a doubt a week to remember, I was hiking on a sprained ankle my partner had a hurt back and we were with 4 girls. However once we got started so did my awakenings and as I shared them with my group I recieved so many more including such a peaceful experience while walking down to fill up my canteens (to be honest it was an awakening on marriage!). This was also my first week to name one of the young walkers and what a great experience - these girls and this week I will NEVER be able to forget!
Week 6: All Girls!
My first time walking with all girls and rather uneventful week except I hiked them about two days worth all at once and so they really showed their strength as I was not LOST but took them "another direction". Actually the highlight of the week was when after one firecircle we started into an improptu compliment circle where everyone gave a real heart felt compliment to EVERYONE - what a night!
Week 7: On my own!
Well I started off with one trailwalker/ she got pulled from the group (we only had 1 sinagua women - 18+ age group) then I walked with Phil my friend from Spokane, and he got pulled and finally I finished by myself. But we had great discussions about life, sang a little Taylor Swift and worked on our books and skills.
Week 8: Rabbit Stick
This was my second week on a double (I had one day inbetween) and so I got to do the intake for a young girl. The food was more limited which was even harder but so rewarding to teach her how to make fire and use her knife safely and get her ready for her experience out in the wilderness - I got to walk with her two more times so very fulfilling to see her walk through the program.
Week 9: Unexpected Turns and Rattle Snakes
Well the week started off great (walking with just one sinagua women) and we had some great conversations. Then day 2 my trailwalking partner fell and really hurt his back so we rested a day but he still couldn't move well, so we split up his pack and backtracked to get him out and some medical attention (my pack probabaly weighed over 60 lbs. that day!). Then I finished out the week again by myself but the conversations were great and the alone time actually let me think about A LOT of things. Also I was able to ready Elder Eyring's book "To Draw Closer To God" it was so great and really inspiring!
Week 10: Double the FUN!
Well I got a surprise at the end of week 9 - a girl had to stay out and it naturally fell to me so I accepted, my first honest double! But it led into probably my best week ever. The girls (ALL 5 of them) were great and we had some pretty hard things to deal with but we made it to our destination completely on their determination to push through sprained ankles and vomiting, etc. My trailwalking partner was absolutely amazing - so positive, we really shared the responsibilities equally, had great communication, was in tune spiritually, and we were the BEST team! After 16 days out in the wilderness it was so comfortable and I was actually sad to leave that week but was so thankful for everything that happpened!
Week 11: SNOW - Really?
It had to happen, I had a week were I really struggled. I knew it was my last and I was trying to be ALL there ALL week but we had a girl decide to sit in the worst place we could possibly be, people got sick (including myself), and a storm rolled in where it rained all night and then SNOWED in the morning - that's right in APRIL in ARIZONA! Luckily we were able to teach the girls to play mafia and had fun with them and sill talked during the day and worked on skills so we were productive but it was a struggle I won't even start to lie. Eventually I left with the girl that was in her Dawnstar (or last week) so I got to take her to her family camp and then walk her parents into her - SO REWARDING! Also I got to do her final ceremony and take her back into civilization - it was great because it was also my last week so I felt as if I was concluding my walking as well.
Honestly this is all just the tip of the iceberg for this experience, if you have any questions please ask and anyone who had four months to spare, it is a bit intense but so worth it and I know it is an extremely inspired program and the families that choose to walk forward it can really make a difference in their life.
I am Good Hearted Willow and I have Spoken!