By: Elisha Lindsey
Today I got up bright and early to travel with Dr. Manson and his team to Pine Ridge. It was about a 45 minute drive from Kyle, SD. We stopped at this delicious coffee shop called “Higher Ground” we got some caffeine in our systems and were ready to keep up with the little kids. We arrived, set up our exam room, and created a game plan. We saw a total of 42 children.
I helped with eye exams, height and weight, and played with the children to keep them distracted while they were waiting to see Dr. Manson. They were so fun to play with and get to know. I met this little girl that would jump on me and not let go. Seeing them open up was a great experience. Making a connection back home to La Crosse the kids there would cry, scream, and kick… anything to keep them away from the doctor. The kids here sat up on the table quietly and never said really anything. They were very respectful and appreciative of what was going on even if they couldn’t quite comprehend.
We took a mini break for lunch and we got to go to this local restaurant called Native Rose. We talked to the lady working and she informed us that she opened the restaurant about 2 weeks ago and it is run all by herself. We saw a few more kids after we got back from lunch. Those kids were very little (about 6 months old). After we were done we took a detour to White Clay, NE. This little town is right outside of the reservation. It is about 1 block long. White Clay is a main provider of alcohol consumption upon the reservation. They have a very small population, but are still the largest seller of alcohol. When we drove through it, it was very dark and eerie. People were sleeping outside and some even waiting for the shops to open. It was sad to see. After that we went to Singing Horse Trading post were I got a beautiful bracelet. Today was an incredible experience and something I hope I get the chance to do again.