Equally notable was the Navajo nádleehí Hastiin Klah. His family recognized him as one of the “changing ones” when he was a boy. He became an expert weaver and a powerful medicine men, who mastered numerous complex ceremonies. Before his death in 1936, he helped found the Wheelwright Museum of the Native American in Santa Fe. In Changing Ones I also write about several fascinating female chiefs and warriors, including the mysterious Apache medicine woman, Lozen. I recently uploaded a PowerPoint presentation about her life on my website.
Then, at fourteen, I spent a semester at a ski program in Switzerland. I found myself gazing at the Alps wondering what possessed Hannibal to attempt them with his herd of elephant! This country with four official languages, had 450 different varieties of Swiss cheese, with further “variety within the varieties”, which the locals told me was a combination of vegetation and techniques passed from one generation to the next. We studied European history, and Swiss Mountain Guides taught us how to read snow and avalanche conditions. We watched weather to predict whether we would be skiing ice or powder from the way the crystals set up on our jackets. By then, I was a reader but reading comprehension alone could not have guaranteed success in these places. Thanks to my dyslexia, I had the foundation to employ multiple paths of engagement, which helped me draw as much meaning out of these experiences as possible.