Cold weather has returned to our area and St. Joseph’s Indian School’s Human Resources organized our annual Chili Cook Off today. About 15 staff members made their best chili or soup and judges decided who gets bragging rights for the next year. It’s a fun, cold weather activity. By the time I arrived in the skate room, the three award-winning crock-pots were empty. But there were plenty of other samples to treat for the taste buds. Our dining room prepared its own hearty chili, and Wisconsin Cheddar soup to make sure no one went away hungry. The crowd of staff who gathered lingered long to talk, eat and raise each others’ spirit.
In the evening, I was invited to the Afra Home (1st – 3rd grade girls). Ironically, what was on the menu? Chili dogs! But that was also balanced by fruits and vegetables. After supper, I listened to the children read for a while. A houseparent with 12 students to supervise may not have the ability to sit down with one or two students like that and the girls relished the individual attention. While we deal with a number of children, it’s our goal to make each feel valued and special.