Aug 7 – A Team of Diversity in Service in Montana

by Henry

All of the global volunteers, except for Elizabeth, who was driving up from Springfield Missouri, met up at the Great Falls airport by 1:30. Exodus from the airport complex was slightly delayed as Michele, our intrepid leader, made the wise decision to pick up a small U-haul trailer, which was termed ‘cute’ by at least three male members of the GV team.

The voluteers got to introduce themselves at the airport: Ed and Anne from Cherry Hill NJ, Melanie from Redding PA, Barbara from Fairfax VA, Vladimer and Sarah from Northern VA, Henry and Lucas from Chicago, Melissa from Seattle, and Chuck from Springfield Illinois. Chuck and Michelle had previously brought groceries in reat falls. The travel award went to Vlad and Sarah, who had spent all night, and three planes to get to Great Fall, arriving at 7:30 AM.

We drove north from Great Falls, driving through the high plains prairie. Melissa, a Kansas native , remarked on the many types of grasses that are grown on the plains – – wheat, winter wheat, rye, alfalfa, hay. Eventually we headed west through Valier and finally onto the reservation land. The land got hilly and drier, with more ranches and less crops. We stopped briefly to admire a statue of an Indian made of cast off metal. Michele discussed the vagueries of the Two Medicine river.

We eventually made our way into Browning, to the Blackfeet Community College (BCC), where we were staying. Elizabeth met up with us at this time. We selected beds, unpacked the groceries, read and played with some of the quarter-feral Browning dogs, and then drove up to the DeLaSalle school for dinner of chicken-and-rice (prepared by Candy), and met Brother Ray. The volunteers gave a little biographical information: Melissa works for T-Mobile. Ed is an IT worker. Chuck is a manager for Hewlett-Packard, did a GV trip to Hungary, and is an admitted class clown. Melanie is a speech pathologist. Elizabeth is a Vietnam vet, and a retired women’s health high risk nurse. Vlad is an interior designer. Sarah is a student. Lucas plays tennis in high school, and Henry is a pathologist. Barbara is a retired school counselor. Michele and Brother Ray discussed
the reservation a bit, and then after dinner Michele drove us around metropolitan Browning. We saw the junior high, the high school, Headstart, the casino, art museum, pawn shop, hospital, and the elder care facility.

Back at BCC we found out where the showers were located, finished unpacking, and discussed the future activities of Sunday . I can’t say much more of what happened that evening. I had planned on staying up to see the stars and (possibly) the northern lights, but I was too tired, and fell asleep by 10, before night had even completely fallen.

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