Sunday, August 8, 2010

Time to cram two days into one!

Sorry about missing a day (in case anyone was disappointed) I was so tired last night that I fell asleep before I was able to write.

Yesterday we had to opportunity to hear Basil Brave Heart speak, and let me tell you, I could listen to that man speak for the rest of my life and be completely content. He spoke to us about his experiences coming to red cloud as a students, and working here now. (he came to the school in 1937). Listening to him speak about how he was able to merge the Lakota and Catholic faith really hit home for me, as I am currently going through the process of trying to balance my own faith with that of the many communities I am a part of.He also spoke very truthful about his struggles with identity crisis, and though it was difficult, I think it was important for all of us to here.

After the morning was finished a group of us went to...THE RODEO! I have never been to a rodeo before so I was pretty excited. I saw some rather small children thrown of bucking horses (this was a little concerning at first but that all jumped up right away and were fine). I also got to see on of my future students riding which was really cool! I wish that I would have been able to meet her but time did not allow.

Post rodeo activities included a nap, and some food, and a walk with Urse and Maria. The walk was really nice, but the sun set was out of this world. I tried to take some photos...but they really do not do it any justice.

When we got back from our walk it was time to head over to the pow wow. Even though we missed the grand entry I found the whole experience to be very cool. We were able to see some traditional dances along with "fancy dancing". What I found most interesting was the blend of both traditional and modern culture. For instance, many of the young adult dancers would be waling around with their clothing on...but also sporting backwards baseball caps. It was not the combination that I found so intriguing though, but more the seamless transition between old in new. I found it really cool that the younger generation has found away to embrace all parts of their culture.

Moving on to today...

 yes...Tim is feeding a puppet

This morning I got to sleep in which for anyone who knows me at all was AMAZING! After we had all eaten breakfast and made lunch we drove out in a 12 passenger van and one car to Sylvan Lake in the black hills. I do not know if I have ever seen a place quite like it, it was beautiful! We all had lunch and almost all of us went swimming in some very frigid waters. After the swim I went on a hiking exploration of the area. I spent most of my hike climbing down a gorge, I was the only person around and it was really some fantastic alone time.

When I got back from my hike I was going to jump into the lake to cool down...but what actuality happened is that Kelly and I swam across the lake to the dam. I was pretty tired out from hiking which I didn't really think about until after I was in the water, but despite that the swim was great!

On the way home we stopped for ice cream (it was delicious!) and later on we stopped for buffalo!! (they were in the road, and apparently had been ramming into sturgis bikers for quite a while). After my first encounter with a wild buffalo herd I saw several antelope grazing along the side of the highway and also many a prairie dog peaking its head out of its underground city...I felt like I was lost on an expedition in a foreign country.

My evening was pretty calm after such a big day. We made some delicious pasta and salad for dinner and washed it all down with some lime aid (I know that everyone has just been dieing to hear what I ate for dinner) haha.

All in all the past two days were pretty rockin!

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