Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Hey Jill, what should I title my blog today?" "Thunderstorms on the prairie, thunderstorms in my heart."

We spent the day within the campus of the Red Cloud grade school, middle school, and high school. We met and hung out with the kids — I got viciously beaten in a game of knock-out, but a girl told me she liked my hair (YES!) — and rode on the school bus (driven by Magis' very own Maria!) with them at the end of the school day. One second grade girl insisted that I guess all twelve of her favorite colors, which was tough: the last favorite was “vanilla.” Some of the third graders had made shields out of some painted wood and they were explaining their paintings to me. My favorite was a boy who had painted a half-alligator, half-bunny hybrid dubbed “Bunnigator.” Excellent.

We then got to attend the 8th grade graduation at the mission church. I’m always struck by the universality of the Church when I encounter unfamiliar cultures, and I loved how they adapted traditional Lakota practices into the liturgy. For example, their incense was burned in clay vessels and an eagle feather— signifying power and deity— was used to drift the incense towards the congregation. Before the entrance hymn, the Sons of Oglala chanted and drummed. Even I, a virtual ignoramus about the Lakota culture, found that the mysteriousness of practices increased my reverence during the mass. We ended the day by attending a party for the volunteers who are leaving the reservations.

Tomorrow, we plan on hitting up the Badlands tomorrow, checking out Rapid City, and meeting my sister for lunch. In the meantime, we spend our second night on the couch here in volunteer's "cottage." Oh, a quick weather update: mostly sunny and even vaguely warm, thunderstorm during the evening... thus, Jill's very helpful title to tonight's blog. Happy reading!



Overheard: "It's your face; but it's my choice whether or not I want to kiss it."
Gastric Shout-Out: A self-served Arnold Palmer that completely made my day.
Listen To: "Dancing Queen," ABBA.

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