First Day of Camp by Emma Wilson
Today, July 19th, we had the first day of camp with the Lakota youth. We were split into two groups to participate with the different high schools. I had the opportunity to attend the Wanblee school. Before the camp, we met two campers who gave us a tour of the school. After that we played “King of the Court” ping pong style. I don’t think we played right! There were rules made up along the way and one camper joined us with the game. Today I made bonds with two campers. We told jokes, played games and different team building games. We also learned about stress which came along with making play dough stress balls (which caused stress!). Also, we had three guest speakers who talked about the roles of men, women and the future of the Lakota.
After the camp and dinner, we went to Wounded Knee. We learned more in depth about the women and children who were there. We also learned many stories from a Lakota man.
We them went to a trading post where I purchased a beautiful beaded leather bracelet. For our last activity of the evening, we went to Oglala College and sat in silence for ten minutes taking in the beauty of the land under the night sky and full moon here on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
The Mind & Qualities of a Leader, By Mackenzie Cox
During this day at the Youth Leadership Camp, we learned some of the different ways to show leadership. Some of the ways that I learned how to be a leader is how to deal with stress and pressure that a person might experience as a leader. David Swallow from the Pine Ridge Reservation spoke to us and gave very good ways to be a leader and how you don’t necessarily get up one day and want to be a leader, rather you need to earn and be given the values of a leader. It gave me a better understanding of how a leader should handle situations and be as calm as possible. As the day progressed working with the Lakota Youth, I started to see more of the kids step out of their comfort zones and really get to know everyone from our camp.
By Carole Daughton, RN
This morning we found ourselves headed back to Wanblee Clinic for day two. Are we going to remember all we learned yesterday, probably not, but I’ll bet we give it a good shot. For me personally, I’m just praying I’ll not embarrass myself too much with my lack of computer skills.
I’m very grateful for the cultural information and prep Global Partners sent us off with. We’re feeling very comfortable with the patients we’re seeing and our interaction comes easily.
In the middle of the afternoon, conversation started circulating about us attending the opening night of the Sun Dance! Our ears started perking up……really, could that be possible? Seems like it might be if we can find long skirts or dresses. Like how is that going to happen? Would you believe the sweet woman doctor at the clinic has a stash for this very situation? When you cast your eyes on the picture below you might wonder if it was a set up? Being the good sports we are, we respectively slipped into our outfits. Now is the time to picture Dr. Thurman heading out to the Sun Dance with these four women. He deserves the good sport award although I heard a lot of pretty funny remarks from him as he tried to describe what this traveling group looked like. We found the dance site, looked around as they set up and yes, we saved our dresses and will return on Friday to watch them dance.
Day 1 – Global Partners on the Go, By Jennifer Allis Vazquez
Sunday was a long, exciting day. The team gathered at Gundersen Sunday morning under the grey clouds and breeze for the long drive to the Reservation. The vans were loaded and we were on our way!
As we left La Crosse in the rear view mirror, the grey clouds lifted and gave way to a blue sky with big puffy clouds. The team made great time on the road, stopping only once for lunch. This team was tough!
We arrived at our motel, checked in and went out to explore the Badlands with our experienced South Dakota native, Dr. Thurman. Dr. Thurman pointed out key features of the landscape as we poked around the trails. The team was lucky to arrive at the perfect time as Dr. Thurman’s key eye spotted big horn sheep all over the badlands. As we neared the end of the park loop, a herd of big horn sheep with the babies in tow, crossed the road. It was great to watch them prance across the prairie and bleat at us.
Dinner awaited us at the Badlands Cafe at Wall Drug. The team feasted on pizza, jalapeño poppers and fried pickles (many non-pickle lovers were converted!), we took our picture with an old cowboy and then headed off to bed. We settled into our comfy beds to rest up for the week ahead of us!
Monday morning, the team headed off to the clinic at Wanblee. The clinic staff greeted the team with big smiles and open arms. Half of the team started seeing patients while the others ran to Pine Ridge Hospital, a quick 100 miles away. On the drive through the hilly main thoroughfare of the Reservation, we saw rolling hills, horses and cattle. Deeper into the drive, the poverty on the Reservation became more apparent. Houses in need of repair dotted the landscape. Stray dogs ran through town. KILI Radio announced that no food distribution in the districts due to a break in.
The warm welcome from clinic staff, patients and people in town made us all feel welcome. Invites for rodeos, the sun dance, and much more awaits us! We are excited to bring services to the reservation.