Blackfeet Reservation, June 7, 2012- Montana

by Lucia McDermott

Got up bright and early today at 6:30 so I could go swimming, then I got dressed and ate breakfast with the rest of the team. After breakfast we all got assigned to our projects, today I was working at the Head Start Centre helping with maintenance.

Before I got started I was given a tour of the full Head Start Centre by Wayne. The Head Start caters for children aged 2 months to 5 years of age. Wayne informed me that when a child starts at the centre they get assigned to a specific teacher and class room, he went on to say that as the child moves through the centre with age the teacher moves up with them. I believe this is a fantastic thing especially in Browning were the child’s home life may be troubled and unsteady, they are given a stable figure in the in the centre therefore this will hopefully make them be enthusiastic about going to school at a young age which will carry on as they grow and encourage them to stay in education.

I was then assigned to help Bill who is in charge of maintenance of the Head Starts out of the Browning community. After an eventful start, we headed out to a centre which was in Babb, a town about 40 miles out of Browning. The drive was quite long but Bill had some good stories on, we were talking about the wild animals in Glacier National park and he told me about a bear attack about three years ago. There were two attacks at two different campsites in one night and one woman was dragged out of her tent in the middle of the night. This was not a reassuring thought considering the upcoming camping trip I have planned in Glacier, but what will be, will be! At the Centre I was given the job of sanding walls, it was quite messy but I enjoyed it. After all the jobs were completed we headed back to a different centre just outside browning driving aside the wonderful mountains and rolling plains.

The work day finished at four, so we had some free time to explore Browning. At six we headed down to the Hut and were given yet another very friendly welcoming by Carol and her family. The food was fantastic, a feast of baked trout, mixed bean salad and fries. For desert we had a rootbeer float, this was alien to me as I have never tried rootbeer or ice cream and pop mixed together (this is not common in the U.K). Well it was an experience and it’s up there with one of the most bizarre things I’ve eaten.

After we were done eating we walked round Browning to try to burn some of the food off, then headed back to the centre. Bob Tail Feathers had kindly lent us a DVD of the Lakota people Brule dancing. This was brilliant to watch the different types of dancing and music that it encompassed. Once we had finished the DVD a very tired team headed to bed at about ten o’clock to get our rest in preparation of the flood memorial tomorrow.

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