Pine Ridge, SD – Weekly Report – Oct 21-25, 2019

November 5, 2019

The theme for this week in Pine Ridge was transition.  Change began with the arrival of Lois and Wayne (Bloomington IL); Lois will assume the role of Project Director from Rollie (Syracuse IN) and Wayne will assume the role of Office Manager from Ruth (Hesston KS) on November 1.  Eugene (Valley Center KS) arrived on Monday to pick up the role of Construction Supervisor from Fred (Huntsville AL).  Rollie and Fred left on Thursday to return to their homes.  Their leadership and contribution here in Pine Ridge has been greatly appreciated.

Dale (Saskatoon SK), Tom (Wichita KS), John (Sacramento CA) and Dennis (Myerstown PA), with Ed (Hesston KS) as their crew leader, worked all week at the Volunteer Center hanging drywall on the ceilings in the residential side.  None of these men had met previous to coming to Pine Ridge; however, they quickly formed an efficient team – working together in very tight spaces.  Despite the mundane work of hanging drywall EVERY day, their evening reports kept us all laughing and was a highlight at the end of the day.  On Friday morning, Tom and Ed worked on Merle’s house to complete the punch list which included installing sink drains and replacing faulty thermostats in the baseboard heaters.   When the deck approach is finished, this house will be ready to be signed off.

On Tuesday through Thursday, Fred and Gene worked together in preparation for Gene to assume Fred’s assignment as Construction Supervisor.  They worked at organizing the storage trailer and cleaning out the current dining hall.  The house we have been using as a dining hall will eventually become the home of Mr. Donald.  Interior walls, a bathroom and kitchen cabinets will be installed and then the entire house will be moved by a house mover to its final home.   Thursday afternoon, the office was moved into a bedroom and the office became the “new” dining hall.  Lots of transition!

Our cooks, Dave and Brenda (Stuarts Draft VA) continue to provide nourishing meals.   Dave surprised us on Tuesday evening with a pumpkin, designed entirely with vegetables (see the picture below).  That evening Maretta, from the Long Term Recovery Team, joined us for supper.  She graciously and freely answered many questions – the time together was greatly appreciated and we all were educated regarding life on the Reservation.

On Friday afternoon, we all packed lunches and took a road trip.  We visited Wounded Knee Memorial, the Visitor’s Center at the Badlands National Park, Red Cloud museum and gift store, and Abe’s store which has handmade crafts and anything else a person might need!   Saturday, Gene, Ed, Dale and Dennis spent all day preparing the camp for the cold weather.  We had snow on two occasions throughout the week, and we are bracing ourselves for the single digit temps and snow that is forecast for the upcoming week.

Long-Term Volunteers – Lois, Gene, Wayne, Ruth, Ed, Dave, and Brenda