Thursday January 6, 2011
There’s a daily rhythm to life in the homes that many people do not see. While walking home after morning mass, I passed Mary on the way to the health center. In the mornings, if children aren’t feeling well enough to go to school, or if they need a check up, glasses adjusted, ect they check in with the school nurses so they can help our children. I passed the William Home (4th-5th grade girls) where the vacuum was running as one of the girls was completing her morning charge of straightening up the living room before going off to school. The Lakota youth all help with daily chores. At the Carola Home (high school boys) Kuwa was wet mopping the stairs leading up to the home, making sure the mud and salt tracked in from the snow was cleaned up.
In the mornings, the campus itself springs to life. Ja from the dining hall, was delivering fruit to the school for the morning snack and starting up the ovens to prepare the day’s lunch fare. Quentin our electrician, was doing a check on our amplifiers to make sure the geo-thermal heating system is keeping up with winter’s requirements. Mike was warming up the bus to make the morning run to the high school.
I needed to talk to Fr. Joe, who works on the nearby Crow Creek Indian Reservation and the Lower Brule Indian Reservation. He took a few days get back to me because he has been very busy with funerals. Two were teenagers who died by suicide; the Native American community has also called together a task force to address the issue. In a small community of 1,800 people, besides those two tragic deaths, there were four other attempts. I remember a similar rash about 8 years ago, when I was pastor there. We see a lot of hurting and alienated young people in our midst, which makes our efforts all the more crucial.
Tomorrow, a new set of travels begin as a group of us make our way to Florida, for donor appreciation luncheons. I’ve spent the day trying to tie things up on my desk, which is impossible. Sometimes if feels like I just rearranged the piles to look more presentable, but I think I did actually reduce them a little this time.