Diné woman, son survive hurricane

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Sonya White, 31, and her 11-year-old son Jess White, prepared well for the category 4 Hurricane Harvey.


Sonya White, 31, and her 11-year-old son Jess White, prepared well for the category 4 Hurricane Harvey.

White, who’s been living in Spring, Texas, a suburb north of Houston, for a little over a year, bought enough food and water to last them awhile.

Her life growing up on the reservation in Mexican Water, Arizona, with no water, taught her to prepare for hardships that come with living with no conveniences. Before moving to Houston, White said she lived in White River, South Dakota, a stark change of environments and climates, where up to 41 inches of snow fell annually and winter temperatures averaged around 31 degrees.

White said her dream and goal to make a life for her and her son is what led her to leave the small community of less a thousand citizens and relocate 1,139 miles south to the fourth largest city in the U.S.

She doesn’t say what prompted her to pack her bags and leave the comfort of her mother’s love and family’s support, but she arrived in April 2016 to the place that would help her reach her dreams. She eventually settled into an apartment next to a botanical garden. A library was also nearby where her son would frequently check out books to read.

Not too far down the road was George Bush International Airport. She had picked a good spot to start something good for her little family. For all of 2016 and the first half of 2017, White was content. Her son was, too.


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