by Margaret and Kathy

On Thursday, we awakened to huge gusts of wind, threatening grey skies, and periodic rain, but we didn’t let that get in the way of what we knew would be our long but exciting day. We fortified ourselves with a great breakfast before heading out  in various directions.

Charlotte, our rocket expert, again worked with the budding young scientists as they completed their summer camp, topped off with a celebratory dinner. Bunny, Gale, and Kathy met with staff from a drug and alcohol treatment center and shared the challenges they face as health professionals in dealing with individuals struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. Martha, our multitasking Global Volunteer vet, helped out in the morning at the injury and fire prevention fair, and then departed for the CDC to continue her illustrations for the children’s book. Finally, Anne and Darrell transported the last eager group to the Blackfeet Community Hospital. There we prepared large pans of macaroni, pickle, and egg salad, set up exhibit and buffet tables, and hung balloons and signs. Despite the on and off rain, we served hotdogs, hamburgers, salad, chips, and fruit to well over 350 hospital staff members and community residents. We made new friends with members of the country western band, the zumba instructor, and the hospital maintenance workers volunteering their time to bar-b-que. Diane and Ali carried out their second food prep of the day at the Eagle Shield Center.

The Community Hospital crew rounded out the afternoon with a fun stop at the Plains Indian Museum, where we expanded our knowledge of the Sun Dance celebration, talked with a local artist, and viewed a short film with highlights of the Blackfeet’s history.

As the sun peaked through, we returned home to BCC, greeted with the aroma of our wonderful evening meal. We had no idea one week ago, what awaited us.  As we approach our final days we can’t help but think that our experiences with the Blackfeet people and each other have been as vast as the big blue, grey, or star-filled Montana skies.

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