An electrifying mutual aid project helping 13,000 on Navajo Nation get power
It had been months since Jamie Shorty’s generator went out. Her family had adapted to life without it. In the mornings, before the sun came up, she would wake up her young sons by flashlight. The oldest, age 11, would walk carefully out to the family’s diesel truck, illuminating his path with the light on his smartphone to avoid rattlesnakes hidden in the desert brush. After he started the truck, he walked back inside to strike a match and light the stove to warm a pot of water. In a couple of hours’ time — depending on the season — the sunrise would pour through the windows, giving the family light to go about their day until sunset.
During the winter months, darkness enveloped the house by 5 p.m., and Jamie would stand over the kitchen table holding her phone to provide light as the brothers poured over their homework.