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A DVE N T U R E S I N A Z Greetings from Arizona! I have been putting off this next newsletter because I had such an incredible experience my first week out on the trail that it is impossible to boil all those thoughts and experiences down into a single written page. However, I want the rest of you to grow and learn from my experience so here goes my attempt. I was placed in what is called a Sinagua Band. This means I was in a Band with people age 18 and up. We had 4 Sinagua Walkers in our group, plus myself and the other two Trail Walkers whom were both amazing. Our group bonded very quickly. One of our Walkers was on his last week of the trail. At the end of the week he got to leave to meet up with his family for family camp. Two of our Walkers had just joined the Band so this was their first week of hiking. Pretty cool because it was my first week too- so we got to experience it all for the first time together. Here is where it gets good; one of the guys I was walking with who has been here for a long time (here over 6 months is a long time), challenged our group to do a primitive. This means we ditch our sleeping bags and food packs so to live off the land in an even more primitive way than before (I didn’t even know this was possible). I learned quickly that I have very little say and we try to get the band to make all the decisions. Therefore when they all agreed to this challenge- I agreed to do a primitive. It was neat because the group was excited about it. We all made goals pertaining to what we wanted to learn from this experience. It was also a gift for the kid who was leaving after this week. Hiking was hard. It’s the craziest thing. We straight up bush wacked our way through the creek learning the art of “falling” because essentially that is how we hike- constant falling but catching oneself. The kids looked out for me and knew I was new to this. They stopped me from actually falling multiple times and would wait up and help me up big rocks and ledges. Since we were doing the primitive we tried to get most of the hiking done at the beginning of the week while we had more energy. The sun rises at 4:30 so were up already by 5 to start hiking. Our first long day of hiking I was encouraged to lead the hike. This is something I had to do for my training. It was intimidating for me because this group hiked real fast and I did not want to hold them back. The other TrailWalker explained that sometimes the group needs to learn patience while walking and reminded me that is not about the speed of the hike but the walking that accompanies it. I was overwhelmed by the support from the group. They didn’t complain and were willing to follow. It was such a cool feeling to be able to lead them through the wilderness. It was beautiful, remote and peaceful. I felt more in touch with the Creator and truly trusted solely on Him. While doing the primitive I was could’t rely on my own physical strength. It was God carrying my body step by step. I am learning to appreciate each moment and not take things for granted. I can’t go into details but I was able to witness lives changed. The Sinagua Walkers all gained more peaceful hearts and an appreciation for new beginnings. I saw one Walker go from having feelings of sadness to feeling happy and wanting to reach out to others. I saw a boy learn to forgive his mom and start to see his own value. Lives changed and I got the privilege of witnessing it! Thanks so much for all the love and support! SURE LOVE YA! Tori

June Newsletter