A small team from La Crosse departed on Sunday for two days of meetings with our partners on Rosebud and Pine Ridge meetings. These “short trips” happen several times during the year to strengthen our relationships and solidify plans for upcoming volunteer teams. This entry is written by Heather Willis, Program Coordinator for Global Partners.
As I sat in the backseat of the Chrysler (knitting) Annette and Carolynn belted out tunes from the 70’s along with the radio. Luckily we all agreed the car ride would be a country music-free zone. At some point during the song they would turn round and ask me who was singing the song…I think I guessed right once. Guns and Roses, Janice Joplin, and Thin Lizzy didn’t have much meaning to me but for Annette and Carolynn these songs were tied to memories.
When I was young I visited Valentine, Nebraska home to my family’s ranch owned by my Grandmother’s brother and of course with a stop at the Badlands. I had no idea the reservations of Rosebud and Pine Ridge were so close, just across the border. There were so many stories and a culture that, at the time, I had no idea existed.
There are so many other stories (and music) which one would never know about without trying some thing new. It’s not always easy leaving home behind and going somewhere unfamiliar but, for me, it’s always been worth the journey.
Now music from the 70’s will remind me of the long drive out to Pine Ridge and I realize how much more I need to learn about Lakota culture.