Monday, January 12, 2015

Teach Your Children Well

As I sit to write tonight, how has it already been a whole week since arriving to Pine Ridge?  While it has been a week, so much has happened and admit it has been a little overwhelming at times with all the information being presented to us and so much to process.  I feel tired, both physically and emotionally, my back and shoulders hurt (Ibuprofin is my best friend), but our time will be over before we know it and amidst these feelings, must persevere because it is important to have this exposure and see things that many people, including those in our government will not see, or even choose not to see.  After all, the Apostle Paul says that pain and suffering produce endurance, which is all part of this race of faith.  

We had three speakers today, but the common thread has been going away for a time and returning to the reservation because each speaker felt like they were needed, even though it meant being in the midst of poverty, 75-80% unemployment, less than adequate or overcrowded housing which can lead to conflict, and high rates of drug use and alcoholism.  Just so much to process, but amidst all the hardships, there is a sense of purpose and a sense of hope that runs through each of them, especially for the next generation. 

Our first speaker, Pinky talked about a program that teaches saving money and financial planning and how it will help teenagers and young adults in the long run.  Following Pinky's talk, we headed to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center where Henry Red Cloud has been using solar power and finding ways to harness renewable energy sources in buildings and efficient building materials.  I look forward to sharing a little more, but you can read a little more here at http://www.lakotasolarenterprises.com/RCREC/RCREC.htm

Then tonight, Will Peters, his daughter, and oldest grandson joined us for a discussion and I think the most poignant part was talking about being there for our children and future generations.  We need to teach our children by being good role models ourselves.  According to Will, teenage suicide is a problem, plus overcrowded living conditions do not help.  So, these are some small snippets from today, but heading to bed and look forward to expanding more soon!! 

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