During lunch today Diane, an aide, drove me to the Flea Market. The big Wednesday flea market, in the field across the highway from Basha’s, is due to the fact that the coal miners up on Black Mesa get paid every other Tuesday. So they all come to the Flea Market to buy an amazing assortment of things:

Farm tools, garden tools, hardware, children’s clothing, socks, baseball caps, elder womens skirts and shirts, cowboy hats, jewelry, herbal preparations, cradle boards, weaving sticks, CDs, more jewelry, miscellaneous household items, etc.

There was also a karaoke hard-core rap booth (weird to hear people singing to Eminem songs), the Christian teen group was out recruiting hard, some community organizations and schools were there, and then there was the food. Ah, food.

For lunch I had a roast mutton sandwich in fry bread, with a side of corn-on-the-cob, baked potato, and pepper. I was under the impression that it was a slice of green bell pepper. So I took a big bite, and after a few moments I realized that I couldn’t feel my lips or my tongue anymore. Yes, it was a green chilli. All the Navajos at the table started to laugh at me. Diane said, “You think that’s hot?? I don’t even feel that kind of heat anymore.”

I saw some beautiful jewelry, and apparently if you pay cash and have a Navajo friend buy it for you, they’ll give you a huge discount off the ticket price. Diane said she’d be willing to be my agent.

After work I headed over to the hooghan, where the student group that my roommate was involved in was having its graduation. Mutton stew, blue corn mush (with blue marbles), bread cooked on the fire, salad, watermelon, water. Yum. I met another COSTEP (in engineering), talked a long time with a public health nurse, and after everything was through, helped clean up. I made friends with a pretty dog that had a serious tick problem, but I didn’t bring that dog home with me.

Basha is still gone. I’m losing hope, and every time I think about her my heart breaks, because she was so friendly and so funny and I miss her so much. I keep hoping she’ll come back.

I learned “What is your name?” and “My name is…” in Navajo today, but I didn’t bring my notebook here with me, so I don’t remember exactly how to say it. Hey, that reminds me — I’m writing from the nursing trailer. I finally got internet access here. So, hopefully this weekend I can start to catch up on my e-mails.