Well, I have been back from the most amazing/rewarding trip for a few weeks now. I learned so much on my trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I learned that we are VERY fortunate in so many ways. We are able to jump in the car and go to the Doctor or the grocery store. It was very difficult to see mothers who were not able to provide for their children due to lack of resources. But, at the same time it was SO rewarding to be able to help them.
I will utilize this experience in my future nursing care. The one thing that stands out in my mind is compliance. Next time I have a patient that is non-compliant, I need to sit down with them and figure out why. It might not be because they just don’t care, or don’t want to take care of themselves. It might be because they don’t have the resources to do so, but really want to.
I served as an advocate for Social Justice by helping those who were in need due to their lack of resources. The Native’s do not have a choice on their health care provider, or where it is located. Many of residents do not have cars, and if they do they might not have money for gas. Since, some might have to drive hours to the hospital. So, I was able to help the Native get a small picture of their health. I provided them with their total cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and BMI. This way they know where they stand.
For future trips to the Rez, fundraising will be very beneficial. At the school, we could sell Indian Taco’s, or Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. I think that food goes over very well at the school. Also, holding a bake sale in the hospital cafeteria. These are things that we could do several times over the next year. As a way to generate donations, we could have a car seat drive, or children clothes donation day/week. Possible enter the participants for the drive in a drawing to win something.
This was hands down the best thing I have ever done! I hope to help the school fund-raise so more students could experience this…. or so I can go back 🙂
I just want to say thanks to my teachers who took me on this trip!
This gallery contains 20 photos.
This is how we worked for most of the week, out of a van. I felt like a creeper, with the big white van. But, it was what we had to do.
Today was a lot of sitting in the car!
We left Rapid at 7:15am. The best part of the car ride was talking about what he had done, and how we felt about it. It was a nice closer of the week. It shared our thoughts and feelings with everyone. We also tried to come up with 15-20 quotes that we could put on the back of a t-shirt. But, we ended coming up with 30+! There was so many great times of this trip, I will miss everything! We also talked about a alumni trip! How awesome would that be??? I think it would be SHAAMAZING!!!!!!!!!! We finally made it to DesMoines about 7pm. We pulled into the hotel parking lot and there was Jess’s BF! He surprised her, it was so sweet. The best part was, he offered to take me home! So, of course I jumped in the car and came home! I got to Princeton about 11:30pm, and Jer picked me up. Of course, we had to go to Wal-Mart and get groceries. Going to Wal-Mart is not the same after this trip. I feel so guilty being able to drive to Wal-Mart and buy what ever I need. I wish I could of loaded up my cart and take it to the Rez. There were so many cute dresses, I know exactly who I would give them too! But, since I am not able to, I guess I will start my stock pile for next year 🙂
Ugh, Pine Ridge Rez definitely has a piece of my heart! I would go back today, if I could (if Jer would come). But, I can wait to till next year.
Thanks to everyone who followed me during my journey to Pine Ridge! It was nice to be able to share with everyone! I will post some pictures tomorrow! I also want to say THANK YOU to my fearless leader Julie Mattingly! It wasn’t for her, I would of never been able to go on this amazing experience! We had a lot of laughs on this trip, and I will remember every single one 🙂
ITS MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Today we got all packed up to head home. It was hard to leave the Rez, but knowing there is a chance I might be able to come back made it better. We loaded the van and headed to Rosie’s. We ate breakfast and finished up our shopping in the Trading Post. After the other group was packed up we got on the road. We went to Red Shirt Table to see the Badlands. I told Julie just to leave me there with a lawn chair, Gatorade, and Uncrustables. But, she wouldnt 😦 It was so beautiful, I could look at it all day, everyday. But, as usual we were on a tight schedule and couldn’t stay long. He headed to Custer State Park. I was finally able to see some Buffalo! We also saw antelope and burrows. The burrows would walk right up to the van! So, of course I jumped out and got my picture next to one. After a nice ride through the park, we stopped at had a picnic lunch at the lodge.
Next, we headed to Mt. Rushmore. The weather wasn’t the greatest,but I was able to take some pictures and of course get some ice cream. If anyone goes to Mt. Rushmore, you MUST try the ice cream! After Mt. Rushmore, we headed into Keystone. The town looked really neat, but it was raining so I sat in the car. One day, I will go back and shop in all those stores. Then off to Rapid City we went. We stopped at ate at Golden Corral. It was ok, but it would of been better if my family was there. After dinner, we headed to our hotel. At the hotel, some of my friends and I went out for my birthday. It was just what I needed to get my mind off the fact that I was not at home for my birthday. But, we had a lot of fun! So many laughs!
As you can tell, we had a pretty full day! I wish I was at home. I did pretty well being gone, until today.
10+ hour car ride tomorrow, then 1 more day and I am HOME!
Today we got up and did our usual morning routine. Today we set out for Wounded Knee for another block party. We got to Wounded Knee, and we set up behind the “housing” on a basketball court. As I looked around at the houses, I realize how lucky I truly am. The houses are in poor condition, and some have graffiti on them. The other group brought their jumping balloon, hot dog and popcorn stand, and additional activities.
We had a fairly good turn out. There were quite a few kids there, but not many adults. We were able to give away everything we had! It is such a good feeling knowing that we were able to help so many people. I did several cholesterol, but not as many as yesterday. There were a lot of children there without parents, which was sad. But, I am happy the kids had a fun and safe activity to come to. I am sure the kids will miss us, but not as much as we will miss them.
After the Wounded Knee block party, we went to back to the Oglala Lakota College bookstore and historical society. The bookstore was SO cool! It was WAY better than MCON’s. I got a T-shirt and hoodie, and a T-shirt for Joshua. The historical society was also very nice. The walls were covered in art work and pictures. Then there was an audio tape guiding us. After the historical society we went back to the “resort” for a little R&R. I went with a group to the restaurant.
At 4pm we left to go back to Wounded Knee Massacre Memorial site. There Emerson Elk talked to us about the massacre. Before talking, he smuged us. This is when they burn sage, and then you cover your body with the smoke. This is to prevent the dead from becoming restless. He talked to us for about and hour, then we went to the cemetery to see the mass grave site.
After the cemetery we went to Mike Her Many Horses’ house. He served us a traditional native meal. He served Elk stir fry, salmon patties, and fry bread. I ate the Elk stir fry. It was very tasty. After eating we enjoyed watching the sunset, and had our last meeting. This time the Eagle feather was given to our fearless leader Julie! It was a very emotional meeting. Jess gave an amazing speech on why Julie should get the feather, and then Ray spoke about leaving the Rez. I will miss this place so much! It has really changed me! The rez will forever have a part of my heart. I hope to be coming back next summer 🙂
We were not able to sleep in the TeePee tonight because I started not feeling well. Jess said is was because I ate 10 ton of elk. But, oh well. We are not here for me, we are here to the Natives and their needs. One day, I will sleep in a TeePee!
After we left the housing, we went to Pinky’s. As soon as we got things set up, we were busy. The children section gave away so many car seats, diapers, wipes, clothes, and hygiene products. While we had a record number of people at our health check. I love it when they would come up to our table excited to be poked! Some of these people haven’t had their blood pressure checked in years, let alone blood sugar and cholesterol. One thing that I enjoyed doing was comparing the results between clients.
While we were at Pinky’s we saw a mom with her infant. We approached her and informed her what we were doing and what we had. We asked her what size the baby was in, and we went and grabbed stuff. After sitting there talking to her for a while, she informed us that he was born prematurely, and had to be in Rapid City for a while. But, he was SO cute! We all took turns holding him, it was so hard to put him down. But, we did.
At 2 we left to go horse back riding! I was so excited to go. We went to Tyler’s, which was an experience in its self. But, we made it there all in one piece. When we got there, they had to set up all the horses still. So, we waited for a few minutes. I was the second one who got a horse. They told me to take the time to get to know Red, before I got on her. She was great for ohhhh about 2 seconds! She started shaking her head up and down rapidly, which I guess is ok. But please remember I have little to NO experience around horses. Julie gave me the best advice ever! She said make care plans. Who would of thought giving my horse nursing diagnosis would calm me down! WOW! But, it did. I eventually got on Red. Then, she decided she wasnt going to go anywhere. At this point, I am thinking they need to rename this horse and it should be Diva or Princess. So, I went from this horse who wouldnt stop moving to this horse who wouldnt move at all…..GREAT! I finally get going. Tyler’s sister took me and two other girls up the hill and back down. When we got back everyone else was ready to go. So we went back up the hill, which was so much fun. But, on the way back down it was a different story. Allison, a girl on trip decided that she was ready to have her horse pick up speed. So, off she goes. Well, Red thought it would be a great idea to follow! OMG! There I was on a horse going a MILLION miles a hour, down a hill! I did everything I could to stop that horse! Finally after what seemed a LIFETIME, which I am sure it only lasted 30 seconds, Red decided to stop. At this time I have tears rolling down my face and I was shaking. Oh, if you could only see the images running through my head during this experience……. But, we made it down the hill in one piece. As soon as I could, I got off that horse and said good bye! I do not see being a cowgirl in my future! But, they are such an amazing animal! I just like them better from the car. But, to be able to say I rode an Indian horse AND on an Indian Reservation is so COOL!
After the horse experience, we went back to Rosie’s for dinner. After dinner, we went outside for a roping demonstration! Mark is a real cowboy who is not a native, but he still lives on the rez. He showed us how to lasso a bull, or in his terms BEEF. After he showed us a few times he was asking for volunteers. So, I went up and tried it out. It is not as easy as it looks at all! But, I tried a few times, and I finally got it. I wish I could do it again! After the demo, we had our nightly meeting. We had it outside sitting on the side of the hill, watching the sun set. It was breathtaking! At the meeting, Jess was awarded an Eagle feather! I was so excited for her! After that we finally made it back to our “Resort” and crashed!
Lessons for today: Think twice before I complain and the nursing process can be using in any situation!
All I have to say is AMAZING!
We decided to go back to Pinky’s to set up. So, we got the van all packed and ready to go. On our way to Manderson, we saw a person walking along the road. We passed her and realized it was a lady carrying diapers, so we slammed on the brakes and kicked it in reverse. We picked her up and she told us that someone dropped her off to at Sharps Corner (gas station). When we picked her up, she had been walking for over 2 hours. Our drive to Manderson was still another 20+ minutes. She would of not made it to her house until dark, if no one picked her up. Just to think that she had to do that for her child, just broke my heart. If any of us needed diapers for our baby’s, then we would just get in our car and have them in 10 minutes top.
When we dropped her off we gave her more diapers and other baby supplies. So, she didnt have to go back to Sharps Corner for a while. When we were at Maddie’s house, another family came out. Jess approached them and asked if they needed anything. They had a newborn and another little one. So, we gave them clothes, new car seat, clothes, diapers, soap, and lotion. They were very grateful!.It just made me want to cry! I ended up buying a bracelet from Maddie, so I will always remember this special day!
TO BE CONTINUED!!!! We got to get going to another block party!
Well, today was the day of patience and flexibility. Everything that we planned to do today, changed.
We set out with the plan of going to Pinky’s, the convenient store in Manderson, SD. We were going to set up out side and have a block party. But, when we got there the wind was blowing like CRAZY!!!!!! The gravel dust was blowing across the parking lot. So, we went inside to see if we could set up in there. But, it was the day of their shipment. So we left, after some of our group bought homemade burritos from a guy in the parking lot. Then at 3pm, we were suppose to go horseback riding. But, then again the wind was so bad we had to cancel. But, we do plan on doing both of these tomorrow.
So instead, today we went to the Porcupine Clinic to drop off a ton of donations. Then after the clinic we went to the prairie dog colony. We were not able to see many of them, but we did see some. Since we were making our agenda up as we were going today, we decided that we needed some leisure time at the “resort”, which was very nice to be able to sit for a hour. At 3pm we went to Rosie’s to see what everyone else was up to. Julie then decided that it was a great time to go see the Badlands. We stopped at the White River Badlands Visitor Center. The park ranger, Marcel did an amazing job talking to us. He talked to us about the Lakota medicine wheel and the importance of it. Then he sang us a song! It was so neat, we were all just mesmerized by it. I do have this on video, but he asked up not to post it on the internet because he came up with this song after talking to us. Such a neat experience! After the visitor center, we went for a drive. The Badlands is absolutely AMAZING! No picture or description would do it justice. This is just something that everyone needs to experience for themselves.
At 6pm we went back to Rosie’s for dinner and sat and talked for a while. Some of the group went for a hike, but I stayed back because of not feeling well from the car ride. When everyone was done hiking, we met for our evening meeting.
Today we did not get to do much with the people, but it was still an amazing day! After driving all over, I see why people are not able to go to the doctor. When we were in the Badlands, Julie was saying how people live out there. It just amazes me! Next time I get in the car and complain about my drive, I need to stop and realize that I have an amazing life.
Ok, enough for now. I am actually tired tonight, so I am going to bed.
Today was very interesting. I really saw the reason we are here. We helped host a “block party” in Manderson, SD. The block party consisted of us and the other group we are with. Part of our group were focused on the children, while we were focused on the adults. The children portion were able to give away a ton of clothes, car seats, first aid kits, dental supplies, and baby supplies. My group did blood sugar, total cholesterol, BMI, and blood pressures. We were able to provide all of this free of charge! At the block party what we saw was unbelievable. We hear about populations like this in our classrooms, but to be able to experience it first hand is amazing. This trip has brought on a whole new meaning of health disparities. This population is very poor. Many of these children were here alone, or with an older sibling (the older sibling might be 10). So, our turnout on our side has not as high and the children. But, that is OK! If we can help just one person, we made a difference.
At the block party I had a little girl come up and ask me to drive her to Rapid City, SD to see her mom. I asked why she hasnt seen her, and she replied that she is in jail for drinking to much. The little girl continued on about how much she missed her mom, and she wishes she could see her. It was very heartbreaking to tell her that I did not have a car. But, to think that this little girl was only 7 or 8, and she knows all this. Very sad!
After the block party, we went to the Oglala Lakota College of Nursing. It was neat to see how other nursing schools are set up. I learned that I need to stop complaining about my drive to class because they sometimes have to drive over 100 miles one way to clinical! We also found out that the students pay only $98 a credit! I about fell out of my chair! But, when you think about their lives, I am willing to pay the extra $500 a credit. We just don’t know how lucky we really are, until we come here.
After visiting the college we went to WALMART!!!!! The nearest Walmart was about 80 miles away in Nebraska. We had a lot of fun on this trip. At Walmart, we picked up our $1000+ order. This order consisted of car seats, strollers, diapers, and etc. We will be giving all this away at our block parties. Then we got to eat at Pizza Hut! We finished the day with a meeting with the rest of the group.
I will try to post pictures in the morning, I still haven’t figured this whole thing out yet.