Wow. I smile now as I sit contemplating the contents of this first post. My second year of Pine Ridge Reflections thus begin...
I am officially one week into our 2008/9 volunteer training here at Red Cloud, and I believe it's about time I begin to record my joy...
I have experienced no less joy this year than the extreme amounts I felt upon first arriving last year, to begin my adventures here on the Rez. Just something about this place... Of course it feels different this year, better in many ways. I have many established relationships that I will thankfully be resuming... with students, faculty, Jesuits, volunteers, and community members. I also have the benefit of adding new relationships with 1st year volunteers, freshmen, returning (new to me) Jesuits, and the lovely community members I have encountered during my summer escapades around the Rez.
As I moved my belongings from the Cottage to my new residence- this GRAY HOUSE :):) (woot woot) one and a half weeks ago, I only marginally resented the additional work required to change houses. I am now, however, quite grateful- because the gray house (people and place) is absolutely wonderful. I know I'm a positive person and would perhaps say this of even less-than-ideal conditions... but honestly, my housemates are wonderful, and the house itself is homey and conducive to feeling at peace. I live with returning volunteers Rachel and John, and new friends Dan and Lainey. We make a pretty cool bunch and am excited for the makings of a great community.
Our training has gone well so far. I have been pretty relaxed, considering my bus driving skills are current and my CDL is valid. :) The new volunteers had to endure the agony of the written test (archival posts would explain the failure and nervousness I personally encountered last year) in addition to the 3 part practical test, which they all thankfully passed today. Other than the bus training, we've had some good community bonding, a few exceptional speakers, and down time to catch up on things such as blogging. :)
Okay, so I won't make this first post too long, but I did want to share a story from the summer which I think will be enjoyable for all... I mentioned in my last post that I was about to embark on an Outward Bound trip to CO with a group of RC students (in late June). Well, we had an awesome time... and I learned that I was more durable than expected, lasting 6 days without a shower, digging holes to excrete my waste (nice words, huh?) and drinking from stream water. Well, I hadn't remembered too well about the warning of potentially harmful side-effects of such stream water (improperly treated) which would occur a few weeks post-trip. So, one day as I am in the midst of a week of camp (a few weeks after CO), I begin feeling awful. Stomach trouble unlike I had ever experienced. I sort of wrote it off as something bad I ate...but it persisted for several days, and eventually more (less than comfortable) symptoms accompanied my stomach pain. Despite the fact that I was in the midst of my final week with campers, I decided to go to the Rapid City Walk-In clinic to hopefully find out some remedy. Well, it didn't take too long for the doctor to realize that I actually had giardia!!! Yes, that's right, I finally could attribute my uncontrollable diarrhea to a treatable illness! After 7 days of exasperation coupled with meds, I finally began recovering... and after another week, I began feeling quite healthy and well again! :):) So, that's my funny and not-so-funny story from the summer. Emily. Stream Water. Giardia. Enough.
Well, our speaker for tomorrow cancelled, so we have made plans to take a trip into the Hills! Woohoo! I think that will be really fun- and a great time to bond with the new volunteers. We may even go to Sylvan Lake, who knows! :)
I will surely say more later, as these weekly updates will continue... and once I can find ways to include pictures (okay, actually get them off my camera first)... I will do so immediately! :)
Much love from one joyful heart in Pine Ridge,
6 months ago