Fort Thompson, SD - Native American Issues (Post 3)

Today was a beautiful day on the reservation. It was sunny and 65 degrees, which was perfect for a day of outdoor activities with Habitat for Humanity and Boys and Girls Club. At Habitat many of us finished painting walls from the day before, sorted more clothes at the thrift shop, and built walls for the restrooms in the volunteer center.

After finishing up our work at Habitat with Jim and Chauncey, we headed to Boys and Girls Club where the real fun for the day began. Kelsey had prepared a dance to Katy Perry’s “Roar” to teach the children, which we learned as a group right before the kids arrived. It was such a fun dance, and even empowered the children to ‘roar,’ just like the tigers. While we were teaching the kids the dance they were running around, singing, and dancing like crazy! It was such a blast to see them pick it up so easily, and to get so into the dance with us. They especially loved the free dance section and the part where they got to roar.

After dancing we played hula-hoop race games, challenging the kids to beat us at hula hooping. Sean was especially good at the hula-hoop, channeling his inner Shakira, as he had magical hips for hooping. After getting lots of hysterical pictures, and after a quick nacho break, we headed outside to play kickball in the parking lot. Cory, the eighteen-year-old Lakota who works at Boys and Girls Club joined the game as pitcher, and we quickly picked teams and started the game. As Cory pitched to the children, they kicked the ball ALL OVER THE PLACE and shrieked with joy while running around the bases. As we revisited our childhood for a brief hour in the perfect weather, as a group we were filled with absolute joy and peace. While looking around and laughing with one another, it was easy to see we were finally a cohesive and loving group of friends.

MAB has worked its magic on us; we are connected to one another as friends, and have become connected to this community. This sense of community continued as we headed back to the church to join Jim and Chauncey for a night of stargazing, bonfires, and cake by the river for Sean’s twentieth birthday. We got to know our fellow volunteers from Boulder, Colorado. Jim shared a little bit about himself and his life. It was interesting to hear what brought him to Fort Thompson. He also expressed his thankfulness in having volunteers to help him with his work.

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