For Many Navajos, Getting Hooked Up To The Power Grid Can Be Life-Changing [npr.org]

 

Laurel Morales, NPR, May 29, 2019.

Neda Billie has been waiting to turn on lights in her home for 15 years.

"We've been living off those propane lanterns," she says. "Now we don't have to have flashlights everywhere. All the kids have a flashlight so when they get up in the middle of the night like to use the restroom they have a flashlight to go to [the outhouse]."

Billie, her husband and their five kids live in a tiny, one-room hogan, a traditional Navajo home. Their three sheep graze on sagebrush that carpets the rolling hills of Dilkon, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American reservation in the U.S.

They watch two men in a cherry picker hook up the last power line to their home. Billie says they've gone through too many generators to count.

"My two boys, they have really bad allergies and they have asthma, so sometimes they need the nebulizer," Billie says. "So we usually go to my mom's house, travel in the middle of the night over there back and forth."

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