Friday, July 1, 2011

Skirting once again. Last day of work, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

(Alex and Junior share our lunch while little brother pokes his head through the trampoline to see what's going on.)

Our last day of work. All week we’ve been hearing about the little boys out at Agnes’s place where teams have been working (and at her mother-in-law’s house across a small field.) The task has been to skirt both of these women’s trailers and put on 2 porches, as well. We finally got to meet Junior and Alex ,the 8 year old twins and their 4 year old brother. There is also an 18 month old niece who lives in the house, too. It was a gorgeous day and the boys were so excited to see us. They wanted to help with our projects or to play ball with some of the teens in the group. They accomplished both. They helped carry lumber, used the power drill to help install wood screws, and played both soccer and ball with our gals. One of the twins is a budding artist and he brought us out several drawings of monsters and space aliens throughout the day! They shared our lunch and were quite delightful!

The trailer and living conditions broke my heart and made me angry at the same time. A single extension cord extended across the field from Grandma’s house and provided a tiny bit of electricity. There was no plumbing. We saw mom carry in some jugs of water, and one of the boys carried out a basin of soapy water to dump at one point. The outhouse had been constructed by earlier Re-Member teams, and a wood stove at the rear of the trailer provided the only heat. (I learned later that the army reserves bring trees cut from the Black Hills for people to cut for fire wood.) A trampoline sat outside the front door. The problem was that there was a hole in it, and at one point we saw the boys use that hole as a basketball hoop. How dangerous such a trampoline must be!

On the other hand the family had not learned how to take care of what they do have. The trash and junk around the trailer was deep and quite depressing. I guess when one lives in such poverty, the idea of keeping things tidy or taking care of possessions seems not as important. Much of the stuff was obviously junk when they picked it up somewhere and so couches and chairs sat in the yard, rotting!

On this project I finally got to do some major work. I now know the procedure for putting insulated skirting on a trailer. Anyone need a trailer skirted?

Tonight’s activity was the craft fair in which local Lakota residents brought their jewelry and items to sell. It was fun to stroll through the tables to see their work. Afterwards a man came to show us the different parts of his regalia. (The native dance attire that is used for Pow Wows is called “regalia” and NOT costumes or outfits. Those terms minimize the relevance of native dress.) Our speaker put his regalia on a young man from our group and that teen was quite delighted with the result!

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