Monday, July 18, 2016

Day One Sioux Nation South Dakota 2016

No you are not looking at a google image of the Badlands National Park. This is where we are staying for the week. Our surroundings are amazingly picturesque and definitely unique. We drove past Wounded Knee and from the road you could see a gravesite with several memorials. We drove past several mobile homes. Communities full of mobile homes. We were looking for a bathroom and kept passing places that had been closed or were not businesses. Finally we reached a gas station which had almost a full grocery store. We stuck out like a sore thumb at the "happening" place in the badlands. Tons of families and car loads would pull up and someone would run in and get some groceries, all of them Native American. We were eating our sandwiches we had packed for dinner. An older man came up to us to sell us some herbs. He told us their names in Lakota and how they used them for ceremonies. He told us about the area and the animals here. Later when we were sharing our concerns or expectations for tomorrow, someone wondered if the people we work with would speak our language. At first I thought this was kind of silly, we are still in the US, but the more I think about it, the more I'm fascinated with how different the community here is from our community. I definitely feel like we are in a sacred and reserved land. The Pine Ridge Reservation is so beautiful and striking. The homes are very meager, and the schools look very new and well funded. We saw several Headstart buildings and a few hospitals. The classic church we saw may in fact be the one we visited when I was in high school. 

Today we will be building a deck for the TEAMEffort Volunteer Facilities--where we eat sleep and worship. Looking at this scenery, I've been yearning for a place to sit and enjoy it. I guess this is how we will get it!

"Now we are ready for what God throws at us next."

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