California is on fire these days, but I’m fine, just a little smoked out. Tuesday morning I set out on another adventure, driving without my Scamp this time, through a big cloud of smoke near Tioga Pass (in Yosemite) and the morning sun on Thursday finds me in Rawlins Wyoming. I am heading
to Eagle Butte, South Dakota because I’ve accepted a volunteer job thru Christmas at the Cheyenne River Youth Project on the Cheyenne River Lakota Reservation. They are doing a big Christmas gift project for 1500 kids on the res, which I will help with the office work on. I’ll also be able to help with canning and generally finishing up the gardening year there in their 2 1/2 acre vegetable gardens. This youth project seems to be doing some really excellent work with the Lakota youth in an area where despair, addiction and suicide are very high. They are in the poorest county in the us and there is 80% unemployment. I am going in hopes that I will learn how to be some kind of support.
What has happened to the Native Americans has been something that has broken my heart more than other things all my life. It feels like the heartbreak is linked to the way they see nature and the earth and learned to live in harmony with their environment before the were overrun by our culture.
I will write more when I get to Eagle Butte and do my best to document my experience there.
Meanwhile, if you would like to do something small for some of the poorest of the poor in America for Christmas you can buy raffle tickets for a beautiful star quilt which will help fund this Santa Claus project for every kid on the res. Tickets are only $1 each or $5 for six. Good luck to all you Santas out there… isn’t the quilt gorgeous? They are teaching their kids to quilt, amongst many other things such as how to grow food! This organizations seems to be doing some very good work, which is what attracted me to them.
You might be thinking I’m rather brave or adventurous to be doing this but not really. Its just that I’ve finished with the part of my life where I’ve focused so intensely on earning money and am over a financial hump of sorts at a time when I may have more than 20 years left to still be here. So I want to know what’s next (based on surrendering to the divine). While I was traveling around the US I had a fantastic time but now that big trip is over I feel drawn to somehow better include these people on the margins of society who do not enjoy the privilege that I do. American Indian youth have the highest suicide rates in the US. My heart breaks and my heart tells me to go and to learn. And I just don’t say no when it calls. Thats all.
Stay warm everyone!