01 Jan 2021

The last month or so has been extremely busy, though rather than being with usual holiday season stuff, I have been working a new job out a Sipaulovi Village on the Hopi reservation. This is just a short time gig installing heat pumps for a friends company with federal grant money from the CARES act. It used to be that the residents of the reservations in Northern Arizona could get free coal from the Kayenta mine, however this ended recently with the decommissioning of the Navajo Generating Station in Page. Coal, wood, and propane must all be trucked in, adding to their already somewhat high cost, and it uses vastly more power to get the same amount of heat out of space heater than from a heat pump. Arizona is making a strong move towards solar power, so much of the electricity used to run these will hopefully be much lower impact in the near future. Finally, it can get hot in this area in the summer and these can also serve as higher capacity, quieter, and more efficient air conditioners than most people are already using. On my side, it has been a great opportunity to get to work in a place that very few non-native people get to spend a lot of time. The scenery is beautiful; the crew that I am working with has remarked that the sky really does produce the brilliant, “narrow” sunsets that you see in much authentic native painting. We have gotten to install units in some of the clan house where members of the tribe shared some of their stories, showed us their ceremonial garb, and invited us to view some of their dances once the pandemic has died down.