When I was in college, I spent a Summer as a Southern Baptist Missionary, travelling with other Native students from our college Haskell Indian Nations University.
That really long and sometimes unbearably hot Summer, we visited reservations in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. I taught Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, was the Lead Singer. I also cooked, did community service work and cleaned. For the majority of the time while in the Navajo Nation, we lived in harsh conditions without plumbing and running water. And sometimes we stayed in nice places like Pyramid Lake, Nevada which was one of the richest tribes in the country.
I loved almost every minute of that experience.
During our trip, we learned to make Kansas City bread from a Lawrence, Kansas Pastor's wife. It was like the Kabubu bread (Lakota frybread / pan flatbread) that I grew up on, but a little more like a biscuit pan fried in lard. It was probably super unhealthy but was it ever delicious. Especially with gravy, eggs and pan fried potatoes. 🤤
I've recreated that breakfast many times over the years for my family but I've never gotten the taste just right for that KC bread. It's close enough that when I close my eyes, I can almost feel the warm breeze and picture the red walls of Canyon de Chelly. 😊
Chinle, Arizona was my favorite location that entire Summer and interestingly enough, it was also the hardest. Besides my experience on the Navajo reservations, I have many close friends from the Southwestern tribes. Which is why the Diné (Navajo People) continue to be precious to me.