And So It Goes….Team 103 in Browning

Message – Ginia Littlepage

If you’re living life in the fast lane, remember when to turn off, or you may find yourself heading in the wrong direction.  As the old saying goes . . . take time out to smell the roses.

Before Lunch (by Sam)

caring for children on the Blackfeet Reservation

Outside the nurturing center. (No Photos are allowed inside to protect the children.)

This morning, my grandma, Dorothy, and I worked at the Nurturing Center. When we arrived, the children were just waking up and they were watching TV. After which they went outside to play.

The play-space they have is incredible, there is so much grass and there is an area for playthings. The children have some issues that can be dealt with. We played with the children on bikes and pretended that one of the playthings was a café and ordered imaginary food.

We played with the children for 2 hours after which the three oldest ones, aged around 5-7, went to the Carol White recreation program. We learned that for the children to be eligible for the program, that they have to be enrolled in Kindergarten or going into Kindergarten the following school year.

During lunch, we talked with one of the staff members about the program. It was humbling to hear these children’s stories and I realized how lucky I am to have loving parents that care about me.

I am enjoying my work at the Nurturing Center and I can’t wait to work there for the rest of this week!

After Lunch – (Joan)

This morning, Linda and I reported to the high school for our tutoring assignment.  The Global Volunteer flexibility characteristic became immediately apparent. We weren’t needed for tutoring, but for another assignment. This was day 1 of the high school summer session with all courses to be taught online – including tutoring.  We found dozens of students in 3 large classrooms, staring at computers, trying to establish their personal accounts.  Our task was to assist anyone having difficulty with this. The teacher confided in us that, in past years, summer school has been fun, with more field trips than work assignments.  This new digital curriculum is demanding and the kids are resentful.  A tough crowd!  Nevertheless, we connected with a few students, stayed through the morning, and will return tomorrow.

Beth reviewing work assignment at Manpower.

Beth reviewing work assignment at the Manpower Office.

For our afternoon assignment, Linda and I  worked on  inventory at the Painted Lodge shop where Brendan was already hard at work. This project went smoothly. The rest of the team had been busy throughout the community.  In the afternoon, many people continued their morning activities:  Sarah, Jonna, and Gayle (joined by Anne Marie who knocked ’em dead with her diabetes presentation) completed the kitchen clean-up at Eagle Shield.  David and Andrew finished repairing the Global Volunteers shed.  Samantha and Dorothy spent their second day at the Nurturing Center.  And Peter and Beth, at the Manpower office, focused on veterans’ issues and teen pregnancy, including setting up two websites and a

cultural lessons on the Blackfeet Reservation

Global Volunteers host, Bob Tailfeathers, explaining dance regalia.

ssisting in developing a 501c3.

The Wenns helped supervise kindergarten bowling (and Inessa spent extra time with her new friend Mia.). Ginna was rained out after painting the fence in the morning, but did a little straightening and organizing at the maintenance shed. So –  another busy in a variety of locations around Browning.

After dinner, Bob Tailfeathers gave a presentation on the different styles of Indian dance and its costume elements.  These include Traditional Dance (which he prefers) and Fancy Dance (which is faster and more colorful.). He brought a bustle made of eagle feathers, a dancing stick with an eagle claw and rabbit fur, a headdress – or roach – made of porcupine quills and a deer tail, and a shield of stretched deer rawhide.

Bob has been acquiring these treasures for years.  If they were purchased today, they would cost about $3,000. Before displaying several examples of his jewelry and drawings, Bob told us briefly about the terrible conflict within the Tribal Council that has torn the community apart. Several of our hosts have referred to this situation as well.  The recent election appears to offer hope that improvements are ahead. And so it goes for Browning Team 103.

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