Stacy Konow grew up in Tinley Park, IL before attending Saint Xavier University. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She participated in various service activities on Saint Xavier’s campus. Now, Stacy is a Mercy Volunteer in St. Michael’s, Arizona working at St. Michaels Association for Special Education.
Ya’ at’ eeh!! Greetings from the Navajo Nation! I hope you enjoy a “Day in the Life” Rez Style! I am currently living in Window Rock, AZ with 3 other Mercy Volunteers (our community actually totals 7, but we live in separate homes). My days usually start at about 6 or 6:15. I wake up, get myself together, and munch on some breakfast. Most mornings are spent with my housemate
Jake (pictured below!). He teaches 6th grade at the local Catholic school, which is a different work site than me, so we like to chat in the morning. Since we are a decently large community, we do a lot of car-pooling amongst ourselves. As a result, I drive Jake to work and then pick up a fellow co-worker/Mercy Volunteer!
Before I dive into my work, please meet my wonderful housemates who I spend most of time my with. NaShia (top) is both a community member and fellow worker at SMASE! Mary Rose (bottom left) works with me in the Nursing Office at SMASE, too. And, like I said, Jake (bottom right) works at the Catholic school in St. Michaels. He also teaches 4th and 5th grade science. I spend a majority of my free time with my community members. They are a truly great group of people. I am blessed to have had such awesome community members. Although community living is challenging at times, every time we face struggle, we grow stronger as individuals and as a community.
Here I am at work. My position at St. Michaels Association for Special Education (SMASE) is a Registered Nurse. SMASE is the only school on the Reservation specifically designed for Special Needs. A majority of my time is spent managing care for my clients. We schedule and take our clients to appointments, complete health assessments, draw blood, distribute medication, and are constantly on our toes! Our clients’ disabilities range from high-functioning to complete-care. I included a picture here of just our noon dose of medications for our clients to give you an idea of how many medications our clients take on a daily basis!
My day at SMASE ends at 4:00. From there, I head over to St. Michaels Indian School to coach the high school Track and Field team. There are 5 coaches total (4 of which are Mercy Volunteers!!). Our team has about twenty athletes; they are a joy to be around. Track and Field meets can be anywhere from thirty minutes to 3 hours way. Therefore, when we have meets they are usually all-day affairs. Here is a picture of a few of my athletes at our first meet. The athletes have already progressed so much. I cannot wait to see what they can do by the end of the season!
On Thursdays, my day wraps up with a visit to St. Michaels Mission for Bible study. Attending these classes (with Mary Rose and NaShia) has been a lot fun. We always leave slightly exhausted, but full of energy. I think one of the most interesting aspects of the class is hearing how many of the Native people combine their traditional Navajo practices with their Catholic ones. Everyone comes with an open heart willing to listen to each other and share their own stories. Some of the best sessions have ended up in discussions about current events or beliefs we have.
Finally, here is a photo of all the Mercy Volunteers working in St. Michaels this year! There are 7 total, starting from the left (Diane, myself, Allison, Jake, Jamie, NaShia, Mary Rose). As a group of 7, we share in dinner and spirituality twice a month. We also have been able to do a lot of fun things together—like visit the local jail on Thanksgiving and serve a meal to the inmates there.