Jon Austria/The Daily TimesSan Juan College nursing student, Aly Fasthorse leads a Zumba Class during Maze of Life at Navajo Preparatory School on
Jon Austria/The Daily Times San Juan College nursing student, Aly Fasthorse leads a Zumba Class during Maze of Life at Navajo Preparatory School on Thursday.
FARMINGTON — Students at Navajo Preparatory School filled the Eagle's Nest gymnasium on Thursday to try a variety of health and wellness booths at the school's Maze of Life.

Helped by San Juan College nursing students, groups of freshmen and sophomores rotated through 12 different stations focusing on topics like healthy food choices and the importance of exercise.

The school's nurse and health center coordinator Rita Donaldson said this is the third year the school has worked with students from the San Juan College nursing program. The health fair is held in conjunction with Navajo Culture Week, known as Hozho Naasha' at the school.

"(The nursing students) come up with health topics they want to address with an interactive activity the students can participate in," Donaldson said.

Donaldson said the topics are influenced by a Navajo coordinated health model, which integrates the four sacred directions of Navajo life: east, south, west and north.

The leader of each booth was a nursing student in the honors program. The event is the service learning project for the students in the program.

"As part of our service learning project, the honors (students) are in charge of the whole project, and we put it all together," said nursing student Mike Archuleta.

Many of the booths used interactive tools to demonstrate their lessons.

In a lesson dedicated to communication skills, nursing students took instruction from the crowd of Navajo Prep students on how to prepare a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. White bread was tossed into the air and grape jelly nearly spilled all over the table to showcase that clear and articulate directions should be given even for the simplest tasks.

Freshman Nixolas Bedonie said his favorite booth was dedicated to teaching how distractions, such as sending text messages, affect the brain.

"It's been very educational, and I like it," Bedonie said. "It actually tells a lot of the truth of what would happen in these situations.
Jon Austria/The Daily TimesMichelle Johnson, left and Ashleigh Benally put on a nose hose for an oxygen tank during Maze of Life at Navajo Preparatory
Jon Austria/The Daily Times Michelle Johnson, left and Ashleigh Benally put on a nose hose for an oxygen tank during Maze of Life at Navajo Preparatory School on Thursday.
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With duct tape, nursing students prepared a small track on the cement for students to walk along while text messaging. They had to avoid stuffed animal "pedestrians" and stop when a stop sign tapped to the end of a foam pool noodle was placed in front of them.

At the booth "Pier Pressure," nursing student Debbie Molina said the goal was to make an impression on the rotating groups of students in a short amount of time. With 12 minutes per station and 12 students per group, Molina and other nursing students developed a game for students to use a small fishing pole to "fish" for a scenario involving teenagers making the wrong choices regarding drunken driving and sex.

One of the scenarios involved a male student being peer pressured into having sex and catching a sexually transmitted disease. Images were shown of genital warts on female and male bodies.

"We want to leave an image in their head ... to really think about they are doing before they do it," Molina said. "It's on the graphic side. We want to leave that image (with the students)."

Freshman Juwan Tsosie learned the most at the booth dedicated to the effects of cigarette smoking on the human body.

"I like how much information was given about how harmful it is to do it and how (many) items and toxins are in one cigarette," Tsosie said.

Students tested oxygen tanks with cannulas inserted into their nostrils to simulate one of the potential outcome from smoking one to three packs of cigarettes a day.

"I had to haul around a lot of stuff to breathe, and having that thing around my face, it does discourage you from smoking," Tsosie said. "I like to run around and a bunch of stuff. Just thinking about smoking, I think it would reduce my ability to do all the stuff I love."

 

Joshua Kellogg can be reached at jkellogg@daily-times.com; 505-564-4627. Follow him on Twitter @JKelloggDT