Navajo Solar Lighting Project - 2014
Building on the success of our solar lighting project in 2013, Rotarians from Durango and our club will be teaming up again to provide an additional 30 remote Navajo homes with solar based lighting and cell phone charging. In April, nine members of our club met with the Durango, Colorado team in Monument Valley, Utah and completed the installation of 15 solar kits. We've incorporated all the "lessons learned" from our initial trip into the planning for future trips. In August we received final approval of our matching grant request for $2,000 from the district to support this effort, so all the lights are green. Now it's up to us to get the job done!
Over the weekend of October 24th to the 26th, 2014
, we will gather on the Second Mesa within the Navajo Nation
- This week we have openings for four Rotarians from our club, working with Navajo guides and our friends from Durango, to install 15 lighting sets at remote hogans across the mesa. Our Navajo coordinator, Mary Begay, has offered her land in this remote area for our camping needs, but expect this to be a very rustic experience. We will be self-sufficient for this weekend while we work in one of the most scenic areas of the high desert.
- The second work party will convene in Forest Lakes, Arizona ( south of I-40, east of Flagstaff) over the weekend of November 14th through the 16th. We are looking for 6 volunteers from our eClub to support this effort this session. We will be camping at or near the Navajo Chapter House, with access to a kitchen and showers. Again, we will be joining members of the Durango club in this joint effort. This "living situation" should be more comfortable, but those who have access to an RV may enjoy the rustic nature of the Second Mesa even more! Again, our goal is to install 15 solar kits in this very rural area.
We hope these projects will also serve to draw members of our club closer to one another. To that end, our 10 openings will be available only to members of our eClub until September22nd. Members of the State of Jefferson clubs will be eligible for any available slots during the week of September 23 - 30. After that, your friendly project coordinator will use his vast networks, his persuasive skills, and his past training as an infantry officer to fill any remaining openings.
Our club's contribution to this project is used totally for the purchase of 17 solar lighting kits. We are individually responsible for our travel expenses and share the group expenses (food, beverages, guide tips, etc.). In April these group expenses totaled about $80/person --- not bad for gourmet food and Durango microbrews!
If you have further questions or wish to sign up, send an email to our Project Coordinator Pat Crane
. You'll never regret joining in on this service project and the lessons you will learn about Navajo culture will be priceless !!!