|Roger's blueberry pancake, ready for the butter and blueberry syrup|
|Blueberry barren ready for harvest|
|Berries on the bush.|
|Maine blueberry pie with lighthouse crust|
Last winter we spent three months working on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Here is the final segment of my ruminations on the subject.
The Navajo People
One gets a fairly interesting view of people and their culture when it is based on visits with a doctor. They have all the usual diseases but, as Roger has mentioned, they lost the gene pool lottery when it comes to rheumatologic disorders, diabetes and alcoholism. What I found was that many of the inhabitants of Chinle had been working somewhere else in the country until they lost their jobs in the recession and came back to the “res.” (reservation). There are very few jobs available on the res.
|Hogans on the reservation|
I noticed that the only Navajo professionals I saw were school teachers. I asked one teacher why this was. She responded that the Navajo don’t value education or going off the reservation for additional schooling. In fact, if someone does, that person is often not treated well.
One thing that disturbed me was that I never had so many patients, probably one every week or two, leave my office angry with me. I had refused to refill their prescriptions for narcotics. One of my most rewarding situations was when a recently retired Marine sergeant came into my office for a job physical to drive a truck. He seemed rather despondent because he had been having trouble finding a job. I asked why and he said that the Navajo didn’t value those who leave the reservation to work. I asked what he did in the Marines. I forgot the term but it had something to do with installation of electrical equipment. I suggested that he go on the internet looking for jobs in areas that are known as “high tech.” and either did not have a bad recession or else are recovering well from it. I also said that there are a lot of short term jobs in the country and with his pension and health insurance covered he could get an RV and go where ever there is a job. He left my office smiling. I had given him hope.
|Walking the dogs along the canyon rim|
|Navajo reservation - pretty to look at but hard to live in|