May 1, 2014

Montana: Day 5

Today's reflections come from some of the students on the trip:

“Medicine Bear was a huge learning experience for me. It opened my eyes to reality.  Just because someone is addicted to a drug or alcohol doesn’t mean they are bad people.  They are normal people just like me, but have hit a bump in the road, all they need is some repaving.” –Tyler Tambouris '14

“Today we had a guest speaker named Marty.  From the minute he walked in the door, I realized how special this presentation would be.  I immediately had respect towards him and everything he said.  Marty told us all about the tribe’s history and how the tribe has transformed over the years.  Marty even showed us items like headdresses and knives and eagle’s wings.  Towards the end, Marty gave us advice that I know I will keep close to heart.  His presentation meant more than any other learning experience.  It just felt special.  It could have been because he shared stories that were close to his heart and made him emotional.” –Hunter Arling '14

“Today I had a great day as I peeled hundreds of potatoes for the Medicine Bear Shelter down the street from the school and it was cool!  I also made part of dinner with Tambo and everyone seemed to like my special pan fries.  We had a speaker tonight and he was incredible.  He had so much to share, show us, and teach us.  I can’t believe I got to hold an eagle’s wing!  Overall, another amazing day!” –Griffin  Fraser '14

“Even while totally exhausted from being kept up last night by the boys, today was amazing. I got to work at Medicine Bear. Everyone there was so nice, despite their situations. Later, after school, we had a speaker named Marty. I wasn’t there when he arrived because Erica and I were running and enjoying the scenery. When we did finally come in, I could tell that the presentation we were going to see was going to be amazing. He had such amazing stories and artifacts. He brought so many cool things that we could touch or try on. I love seeing those types of things and the experience will definitely never be forgotten.” –Margaret Windler '15

“At dinner we had pancakes. Tambo made them, so good! Grif made potatoes with soy sauce, way too good! Kylee made scrambled eggs. Then we had a talk with Marty Martain. We got to see a lot of artifacts, way too cool! We got to touch it all! I wore a headdress for women. Good night, I hope the boys let us sleep before eleven!” –Beatrice Cheung '14

“Over the past few days, I have had the opportunity to work with the fourth grade class at De Lasalle Blackfeet School. The kids are inspirational in their resilience in overcoming situations that could bring many people down. I love getting to work one on one with the students and seeing the improve in their school work. As I work with them I get to learn more and more about them and I have seen just how amazing these kids are.” –Erin Barry '15

“Today was a very good day because I got to know the kids on a personal level. We played ball tag and talked about their favorite movies and shows. I learned about the sports they play and what they do for fun. The kids after awhile warm up to you and are very enjoyable to be around.” –Shawn Dunphy '14

“Being in Montana has really opened up my eyes. I have seen the ups and downs of this beautiful state. But being here has shown me that we are not in our small state of NH anymore. Now even though we are in the classes helping the teachers teach, I feel like we’re the ones being taught. The kids have taught me many lessons. They have taught me that no matter what, you can’t give up. They care about coming here. By the end of the day on Wednesday the students already give me nicknames, ask advice and just simply want to talk to me. It’s an experience that I will never get ever again. I have been working alongside with the 4th grade class at the De LA Salle Blackfeet School. I have never met friendlier people in my entire life then I have here. The teachers are so welcoming into the classroom and most of the kids give us respect. Two days ago I worked at a soup kitchen with a few Immersion students for a few hours and I have never seen more appreciative people in my entire life then I did that day. If I wasn’t working in the kitchen preparing food, I was out chatting at a table with a group of Blackfeet people and talking about their life story. They opened up so much and the funny part was I had just met them! I am so glad that I decided to make this experience come to life by going with my peers. Mom and Dad. If you’re reading this I want to tell you I love you both so much and thank you for supporting me in doing this. This means the world to me and I’ll be home soon.” ~Carolyn DeBeradinis '15

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