Pine Ridge, SD – Weekly Report – Nov 4-8, 2019

November 12, 2019

This week at Pine Ridge entered a new seasonal timetable. From what I gather, this is one of the latest work weeks at Pine Ridge, entering the colder month of November. Because of the cold, we dealt with frozen drains and water pipes, but we managed to thaw things out and get everything working. Drywall mud and their rooms needed to be heated, in order for the compound to set properly. As a result of the above, a lot more propane is being used for heating. Thankfully we have heaters and the proper equipment to accomplish what needs to be done.

Our new volunteers this week came from Minneapolis, MN; Iowa City, IA; Fayette, Ohio; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They joined our continuing volunteers to further the work and service at Pine Ridge. This included the transition of our cooks; Jean and Rollin Miller, from Ohio, joined us and served us tasty meals. We had a full house of volunteers, which was necessary in order to finish Don Sharpfish’s house. We are aiming to wrap up the Pine Ridge project at the close of next week.

The work this week continued the transformation of the former dining room into a one-bedroom house destined for Mr. Don Sharpfish. The workers completed the installation of the electrical and plumbing infrastructure, completed the hanging and mudding of drywall, painted all the walls, laid the flooring, hung cabinets, hung doors and lights, and installed interior trim. This house will be moved to the village of Evergreen, about 30 miles from here. The foundation and stub walls were previously built, and this week the sill plates for the house were installed, and the Styrofoam sheet insulation mounted on the interior of the walls. We had hoped, and had a commitment for the house to be moved the end of the week, but that did not materialize; that was a disappointment.

Two of the volunteers came specifically to finish as much of the hung drywall in the Volunteer Center as possible. They finished many of the rooms on the north side of the Center, which are now ready for paint and for bathroom fixtures.

On Sunday the volunteers attended the Pine Ridge Gospel Fellowship, which formerly was the Mennonite congregation in Pine Ridge. At one time there was a Mennonite presence in Pine Ridge, and several of the persons who were in attendance were part of that fellowship and clearly remembered it.

Friday afternoon the group took a field trip to Wounded Knee, saw the place where Don’s house will be moved, and went on north to the Badlands. It was a lovely afternoon and evening.

Long term volunteers which continued were Gene Kaufman (Construction Supervisor), and Lois (Project Director) and Wayne Hochstetler. Ed and Ruth Basinger continued until Wednesday, when we bid them farewell. Dennis Stauffer also extended his stay through Wednesday. We thank them all for their commitment to MDS.

Submitted by Wayne Hochstetler, Office Manager, on behalf of this week’s crew