Archive for June, 2010

high and dry

June 22, 2010

thats no lizard

Its dry here. I guess maybe i don’t need to say that. The title of this blog after all is “thehighdesert”

its more then the lack of rain. The air is dry, no humidity. Overall i love it. but it makes for dry scally, ashy skin. In Baltimore kids would make fun of one another for having  of “ashy” skin. I learned this weekend that Navajo’s have a similar word, forgot what it is, but it seems its used in a similar way.

In addition to adjusting to the dryness, getting used to the altitude.  Ft. Defiance, where i am living sits at 6836 feet.  i’ve been here now almost 3 weeks. Still going for runs is punishing. Could be i’m still just out of shape, i feel much better though blaming it on the elevation.

In terms of getting back into shape,  the area will be great for doing it. Saturday i rode to a nearby town of crystal, the road was  well maintained all the way there, good shoulders most of the way there, and simply striking scenery, these photos are taken from the road i was on most of the time. Though my experience was that it was hotter and dryer then these photos show.

Sunday I went to the local rock climbing spot just to see what it was like. While i was there by chance I met a an incredibly nice guy named Alex and we climbed all afternoon. I can’t find any photos of the spot online, but i’ll take some and post them. Great rock climbing, easy to get to, easy to set up and a lot of variety. I can’t wait to start climbing regularly. Anyone who’s reading this, come visit and we can go climbing.

anyways…things are going well so far, but i cant’ wait till a certain lady named Susan will join me out here…less than a month now. Not much more waiting….


some details

June 15, 2010

I went to hospital orientation today.

A lot of it was rather dreadful, but some of it was quite good. Particularly there were two people who talked some about Navajo traditions and expectations. I was the only non dine’ (what the navajo call them selves) at the orientation, could be that i was the only person who found this part interesting.

some things i learned about the hospital

it has a new website, check it out.
it has 36 child and adult beds
20 beds in the adolescent care ward
serves an area roughly 2583 sq. miles (the entire res. is 27,000 sq miles)

on a side note, during the orientation, one presenter, in making a point, needed to use the name of a random person, rather than use the name jane doe they chose the name jane yazzie.

whats in a name

June 10, 2010

i’ve been working as a pharmacist now for 3 days.

things are going ok. i’m slowly learning the computer system and some of the day to day tasks.

i’m slowly learning to pronounce the patients names. After i verify prescriptions i have to stick my head out into the lobby and yell out the patient’s name. i’ve been told twice that i have to say them louder already because the room is kind of big and there are a lot of older patients that no hear so good. There are stereotypical native names like one might hear in a movie, laughingsheep or blackgoat.  The most common names i have encountered are yazzie and begay. Apparently the navajo version of smith. But then there are many others that  are difficult for me to pronounce, names that sound a lot different than names i would encounter in baltimore. Today i callled out a name, in my outside voice, of a patient’s name and added inflections as if the name was polish….the patient was not polish…she  nicely corrected me.

Day 2

June 4, 2010

Some thoughts after two days

The trail behind my house is unbelievably great

People look not unlike movie sterotypes, I regularly see old old withered women wearing georgous terquoise jerwlery speaking navajo.

Walmart is the busiest store I’ve ever scene

I used to could walk to the giant now I have to drive 45 min

There is a lot of drunk driving, was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint today

Pepper is already quite dirty and slightly red from the dust.

I still only know two peoples name, don’t know any phone numbers aside from the phamacy nor know my schedule or boss.

Unpacking is going to be a real bear

Ps… And there’s no humidity and no bugs…

Tomorow’s the Big Day

June 2, 2010

Made it to Cortez Colorado today. I’m ready to be done with driving, but i have to say todays drive was the most beautiful. while in all seriousness i do think there is something quite beautiful in the big sky of Kansas, the mountains of colorado are quite striking. The stretch or road south of Salida is one of the most beautiful stretches of road i’ve ever scene, perhaps the roads of patagonia are better, but its close.

tomorrow is the big day, the first day of work, the first day i put on my uniform. I have to say i am a little nervous, nervous to meet my new coworkers, anxious about making a good impression. The last 4 years have been building towards tomorrow.

I am above all ready to get settled. ready to start this next chapter of my life, ready to move in to our new house, ready to have a routine again, ready to begin to explore ft defiance and the surounding areas and ready to have Susan join me.


some photos…..

this first one is actually one i took in argintina, but the drive today made me think back to this stretch of road

on a walk with Pepper in Cortez

an incredible wind farm i drove by in Kansas


the first set of mountains in eastern colorado

pepper playing in the water in Canon City

some ants on some plants

the photos are a little out of order…but Kansas city BBQ lives up to the reputation.