Hi! My name is Mackenzie Hollowitsch and I am a senior at Logan High School and I’m also in the Heath Science Academy. This is the second time I’ve been to Pine Ridge. On day two of our trip I shadowed Dr. Steve Manson and helped take height and weight of kids at the HeadStart center. The kids were brought into the room and were given a pinwheel to help them feel moe comfortable and it was also used as a distraction. Each of the kids got their height and weight taken, pulse, blood pressure, and then examined by Dr. Manson. I was really surprised by how cooperative the kids were but we did have one or two “criers.” We would get a class of kids at a time so there ended up being some waiting time before there final exam. I got the opportunity to spend some one on one time with each kid. I would ask them questions like, whats your favorite color, how old are you, and other things about school. I asked one of the little girls how old she was and she easily answered five and then I decide to ask her how old she thought I was and with out hesitation she said 8!!! I’m really glad I got the chance to work with younger kids because it gave me a little taste of what working with kids would be like. I have known for awhile that I want to work in Pediatrics, and today gave me many more reasons to want to work with kids.
Ashley Eide –
If you’ve ever joined a Global Partners team, you know that the key to a successful trip is flexibility. Usually this refers to plan and schedule changes but on Sunday Annette brought a new meaning to being “flexible” when she got herself stuck between two rocks in the Badlands!
One of my favorite parts of being on a volunteer service trip is getting to know your fellow volunteers. It never ceases to amaze me how you can leave La Crosse as compete strangers and by the end of day #2 be willing to share your most embarrassing stories. For example, one of us has a history of not only locking her keys in her car on many, MANY occasions, but has tried to break into her locked car only to realize that the car itself was not hers when the owner showed up asking what she was doing. The first story she shared of this happening was hilarious… by the third story of her in the same situation I was almost in tears laughing so hard!
There are so many great personalities on this trip, and the energy is nonstop through the roof! Some of the greatest moments have happened during the long car rides. On our way out, all of the adults thought it would be fun to take a surprise detour for the students to Wall Drug. We dangled “the big surprise” in front of their faces, only telling them that it was 20 minutes out of our way. At least in our vehicle the fun of keeping our destination a surprise quickly turned into, “Are we there yet? How much longer til we’re there? Is it the Corn Palace? Is it the Petrified Gardens? Is it the 1800 Town? Is it far enough away that it’s worth it for me to take my shoes off?” Somehow we made it the whole 150+ miles without letting the secret spill!
I think I could write an entire book of one-liners that we hear from the students in our car. Below are some of our favorites:
-“Why do they have so many bulletin boards?” -HSA student
“You mean billboards?” -Chaperone
-“Pull over I want to catch a ground hog.. We’ll take it home in the stow and go!” -HSA volunteer
-“Aww look at that puppy… That one could definitely fit in the stow and go!” -HSA student
(The stow and go has becoming the hiding place of all things cute)
-“What would we do if we ran out of gas? If I was driving out here I would keep a bike in the trunk.” -HSA student 1
“Yea, that…or like some gas.” -HSA student 2
All in all it’s easy to say that we have an outstanding team. Everyone is motivated and committed to accomplishing our trip goals and making sure that we’re sharing plenty of laughs along the way!
Jobe Hayden –
My name is Hayden Jobe, I’m a senior at Logan High School and also a member of the Health Science Academy. Today I set off on my second trip to Pine Ridge Indian reservation. One of my favorite parts from the summer trip I went on was visiting the badlands! Fortunately, we were able to stop again and this time it was even better! As soon as we entered the badlands we were greeted by an amazing sight. We saw Prarie dogs, mountain goats, mule deer, and a few rabbits! Although I absolutely love seeing the animals my favorite part is always the hiking. As soon as we got out of the car I hit the ground running. The hike was wonderful, we hiked up mountains, down valleys, and even on top of plateaus. The reason I love hiking so much is because it makes me feel closer to the earth and even myself with every step. Every aspect of it relaxes me and I feel in touch with a higher power.
Katelyn Hines –
My name is Katelyn Hines, a student who is part of the Health Science Academy and is receiving yet another experience at Pine Ridge. Last summer when traveling out here we had the opportunity to shadow the Gundersen Mammography bus. With this new experience out West we were awarded yet another great opportunity to shadow the Gundersen team, by helping out with physicals at the Head Start program on the Reservation for the little ones. We had a variety of ages, such as a baby that was only two months old, all the way to five year olds. Majority of the children were three and four year olds. Another friend/classmate, Mackenzie, went out on this field experience to help out and getting to interact with the Gundersen team and the children on the Res. Together we took height, weight, and were a distraction to the kids while waiting in line to see the doctor. One thing I noticed and really opened my eyes was a moment where this little boy was playing with one of the windmill distractions we gave out while they were waiting. He tried to blow on it from the front to get it to move but it just wouldn’t budge. He tried and tried and tried until Mackenzie showed him to turn it sideways and blow on it to make it spin. Once he tried what she had taught him the biggest smile lit up on his cute little face. He then turned to two other students who were in his class waiting and told them they had to turn their windmill toys to the side and blow to make them move. Then he demonstrated and they both followed his lead and tried it out. This just showed me that something so simple as showing how make something work by turning it a certain way is huge to a child. Not only is it a learning opportunity for the kids it’s also a way that they can transfer knowledge gained by how we are helping them every time we come visit. This all goes into the teaching them how to use the knowledge to improve their lives not just us doing something for them then leaving. It creates a bond between us along with trust, which are two of the most important things you can have with one another.