Hello to those who may be (legitimately) wondering at my tardiness....
Once again nearly two weeks have slipped by since my last post. In many ways I am thankful that I have come to rely on technology much less during the summer months; yet alas, I shall resume my normal weekly posts once school begins, if for no other reason than the crazy amount of stories I will surely have to share!
The past few weeks have been spent in final preparation for the school year to begin on Monday.
The volunteer orientation officially ended with the 4 days retreat in the middle of nowhere. Okay, so the retreat house actually has a name, but I prefer to use 'in the middle of nowhere" because it describes the serenity which I encountered during those days. Truly this was a beautiful time for reflection, mental preparation for the coming tasks, and time to connect more sincerely with fellow volunteers. We have a fantastic group of 18 this year, and I must say- Paddy did an excellent job at recruiting! Geographically and traditionally diverse, we all seem to share a common enthusiasm for the situation in which we find ourselves: Here at Red Cloud. Living simply. Working in one of the poorest counties of the U.S. Our schedules bursting with bus runs and various responsibilities. Yet happy and entirely grateful for the experience.
This past week I spent flurrying around catching up with returning faculty and meeting new teachers, working on various random preparations, and spending plenty of hours in my new position as an assistant coach with the volleyball team! Gosh, the first few days of practice gave me a rush of memories and excitement that even I hadn't anticipated. Granted, I know I love VB, but being a coach is simply wonderful! I am able to help 30+ girls find their unique abilities and passions on the VB court. What a solid way to spend 30 or more of my hours last week! I will continue to help out when time allows after-school (working around my after-school program schedule)... but I will also be able to assist Robin (the head coach) with the 7th period freshman girls VB class. Woohoo! What a week, what a week.
On a personal note, I have been going through a few trying experiences lately, which I suppose have contributed to my delayed posting. One week ago my grandmother had a deep hemmoragic stroke affecting her left frontal lobe and therefore speech and communication skills. It was quite the blow to learn of this, as I am in a busy time here and I simply cannot be there for her. It is also difficult to comprehend my otherwise super-active and healthy grandma suffering in this way. If you are a person of prayer, I would deeply appreciate your prayers in this manner.
In a less crucial, yet still personally relevant, light- I have also been struggling with hip pain as I train for a 1/2 marathon. If you know how much I love running and can be quite disciplined, you understand how frustrating this is for me. I am not at all where I would like to be in training, yet the 1/2 marathon on Oct. 4th looms ever-near!
Despite the uncertainty in my life, I should also share that last night as I was lying in bed, I had a sudden sensation of how entirely blessed I am to be here. I am surrounded by people with whom I share a mutual respect and love, God has blessed me with general physical and emotional well-being, and I am able to work hard within a job I feel passionately about. Gosh it almost gives me tingly feelings! :)
A few notes before I sign off and continue to promise pictures soon...
*I have been able to learn even more about Lakota culture (and make connections of previous knowledge using my Lakota Language I learning as well) during our orientation time, and I hope to share some of these insights in a more significant way soon.
*My good friend Matthias (who happens to be from Austria) will be flying into Denver tomorrow to visit me for a week! I am thoroughly excited to have him with me, even though it means a bit of pressure, being the first week of school and all.
Okay, you are most likely wondering how much longer I will be- and to that, I shall say, only as long as this sentence lasts... until next time, may you find peace in knowing that God is bigger than our entire imagination...
Much love and eager smiles,
6 months ago