Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Our Baltimore luncheons were a great success! Saturday, we hosted 130 donors, and Sunday a group of 50. Our two students, 8th grader Robert, and 7th grader William weren’t bashful at all and helped me tell folks about what life is life here at St. Joseph’s. As always, we met such kind and generous people who are part of our St. Joseph’s Tiyospaye club. Some of the donors I’ve met personally when they’ve stopped by the school to visit, especially at our annual Powwow. Others, I’ve know only through phone calls or the mail. It’s so satisfying to sit at table and share a meal together and say thanks – especially appropriate as we approach Thanksgiving. God has given us so many kind and caring benefactors, and we pray that we can be good stewards of the gifts they share.
The plane ride was William’s very first. There’s a brief moment when the plane wheels first leave the ground and you feel like you are floating. As the plane rose and the cars and houses became like miniature toys in the distance, the look on William’s face was nervousness turned to glee – that was priceless for me.
Craig, our Junior High language arts teacher chaperoned. He had never been to Baltimore and was as excited as the students. We stayed downtown, right on the inner harbor, and explored lots by foot. Saturday morning we got up early and found the historic graveyard where Edgar Allen Poe is buried, and the house where Babe Ruth was born. They boys also took pictures of the Orioles’ Camden Yards ballpark, and the stadium that’s home to the Ravens. After the luncheon we checked out the historic ships in the harbor, boarding the USS Constellation, and getting a glimpse of life on a submarine. Baltimore features the most wonderful Aquarium, and on Sunday afternoon we marveled at the delicate Jelly Fish, and laughed while sitting in the splash zone at the dolphin show. Sometimes it’s the little things that tickle our students most. Robert was happy just taking the escalator down to the subway and seeing what that looked like.
William wanted a t-shirt from the Hard Rock Café. There we noticed a picture of the Seminole Tribal Council when they purchased the Hard Rock franchise. Tribes who have branched out into successful business ventures give a model our students can learn from.
I suggest the students try new foods, especially local ones, when they are in a new part of the country, so we split an order of Maryland Crab Cakes. William ate every bite, giving it an 8 of 10. Robert made faces trying to get even a little down, and rated his a zero! The students never seem to have trouble finding rich and gooey dessert that rate high on their scale.
We attended mass at the Basilica Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, a church which has witnessed so much history. It was restored a few years ago, and the paintings are bright and beautiful. I used the occasion to educate about the bishops chair (cathedra) and the Umbraculum which is the colorful umbrella that is the mark of a basilica.
I enjoy travel, but it does tire you out some. I spent much of today taking care of mail and messages that came in while I was away. I’m looking forward to some quieter time in the few days right after Thanksgiving.