Today’s work on the reservation began with the continuation of the projects we began yesterday. For my group, that meant mixing and pouring concrete for the new horseshoe pit. The other volunteers worked on either adding new tiles to the floor of the community center or fixing the water pipe. Then, after several hours of work and breaks for water and meals, summer camp started. We gathered the local kids in the red school bus and spent the next few hours playing and having fun. So far the work here on the Reservation has been tiring but rewarding, and I will certainly cherish the experience for the rest of my life.
We continued our adventure with thrilling tales of dish washing, tile placing, and latrine cleaning. Do we regret anything? No. It’s worth it to be here and spend a fabulous week with the kids. The kids are smiling. We will share moments that are way more important than finding the next level in your video games. The experience you gain here is so awesome and I love all these kids, I just love them. And they love me back. Just seeing that from a kid makes me so entirely happy.
I woke up, and we stumbled out groggily to go onto the big red bus for our morning walk. As I headed towards the bus I peered towards the magnificent landscape that encompassed the South Dakota tall grass, and a seemingly infinite view of miles of pure prairie. I felt good about the work we were doing, we were doing the very best work we could to help the people of La Plant. The workers here at Simply Smiles are an inspiration and role models to us all. The way they carry themselves through each day teaches us a little more about what we can be. There is nothing purer and more genuine than doing hard labor to the point where you’re tired, but you have a cause that is worthy enough for you to not care about fatigue or the load of work that lies ahead of us. It felt surreal at first, but being on the reservation is perhaps the realest thing you can feel. We loaded onto the bus, all excited for the day ahead of us.