Thursday, July 19, 2012

She Who Disappears to Geocache or Dances With Ticks?

 Today's lectures centered on Native Americans ---
 specifically the Lakota.  I have been very interested
 in the Lakota heritage because of our foster children,
 Laura, Chris, and Kody.  

This is Laura with her first daughter, Victoria, in 2006.

She abruptly left us in November of 2005. It wasn't until 
she showed up with Victoria that we knew why.
It was easier for her to return to her family than to 
tell us that she was pregnant.

She and her brother Chris lived with us on two separate occasions.  
The first time they were with us was for a period of two years.
Then when Laura was in the fourth grade, 
they came back and we ultimately became their legal guardians.

Chris wasn't coping in school because of one
 teacher (yes, one teacher can make or break a child's education)
and he elected to go live with his brothers and Laura 
chose to stay.  We didn't want her to lose her heritage, but we
also wanted her to be able to function productively in a white 
world without falling prey to alcoholism. 

I was interested more in the culture of the Lakota and attended
several of the Pow Wows at Fort Robinson and in Scottsbluff.
Laura was a jingle dancer and enjoyed it immensely.

I am Kody's god-father. 
Now that you have quit laughing, I 
can explain that his mother had already
picked out a godmother but he was insistent,
so I agreed to be the god-father.
From tomboy to god-father in thirty years.  
Not too shabby.

Even though the kids no longer live with us, I am still
very interested in the heritage and culture.

In the mid 18th century there were about 20,000 Sioux. 
 Today there are about 70,000 and only one-third speak 
the ancestral language. 

Lonnie gave us a brief overview of the history of the Lakota 
including treaties, encounters with various soldiers and battles.

Did you know that there were 720 treaties with the Native Americans?
The number just boggles my mind and also impresses
 upon me the need to be aware of what our
 government is currently doing.  If we broke them 
back then, chances are that we still are .... just with a different group.

After Lonnie finished talking, Shari presented a
 fantastic lesson on finding stories in cemeteries.
 I had been kicking around some ideas for our final
 project that we have to present in October, 
but nothing had grabbed me. 

Shari's grabbed me!  Instantly I saw how I could
set up a scavenger hunt for my kiddos, which she later suggested.
It just goes to show that great minds think alike!

In fact, Traci and I went out tonight and started my field study for this.
Yep, you guessed it ---- geocaching in and around cemeteries.
Okay, so there is more to it than that, but it is geocaching that 
really got me interested in nosing around tombstones.

To start our field study for the day, we arrived at the Drifter's Cookshack.

It was a beautiful day.

If you can call 100 degrees beautiful.

We ordered our lunches

 and then were free to nose around the town.

I started with the blacksmith ....

and moved on to the jail ... 

and then on to the Post Office .....

 and then to the Mercantile.

Hmmmm ......

Traci seemed to be stuck at the saloon.

There was also a school house .....

however, I don't think they quite have the 11,500 books 
 in their classroom like Vicki and I do .....

I could see myself as a settler here ....

 ... especially with this view!

Give me a few donkeys  and I'd be happy.

I want this for my barn ....

This was the size of the house back then ....

.... I think House Hunters might have had some trouble!

I'm going to need this sign in exactly one year.

They showed how settlers had to raise their own food ....

  and chop their own wood for the season!

They also raise buffalo

and chickens.

This one had the right idea for beating the heat.

Grandma Fritzler had one of these and 
 I can't tell you how many times I wet
my pants when I stayed overnight
with her because I was too damn
scared to go out there!

This is a typical wagon used to haul things.
Piaget would need to be present to help pack!

Mardell, here's an idea for your favorite turkey!
Then you could have Lizzie with you forever. 

Because it took longer for lunch, we were forced to 
skip Hudson-Meng and move on to Fort Robinson
so that we didn't lose our reservations. 

This is the site of the Red Cloud Agency.

 The green trees are the site of a geocache.
My wonderful classmates covered while I snuck
off to look for it.  They lingered at the far edge  
of the mowed area looking at a blue sign with four words
on it for fifteen minutes.

Thanks guys --- I owe you one!

This is the marker showing where Crazy Horse was killed.

The bound packet is more than likely sage.
When Laura's grandmother died, we attended
parts of the wake with her.  I couldn't believe
how strong that was when it was burning.

By this time, we were all hot and grumbly
(Yes, I know that's not a word, but it's my blog and I can use it if I want to!)

and we gratefully sank down into the shade
 for a break before leaving for the buffalo stew cook-out.

I especially liked the cook-out because I slipped away
 (do you notice a theme here with the title?) 
and looked for a geocache during the sing-a-long.

After traversing a marshy, swampy area three times,
I was successful!  I also saw one red fox, two cottontails, three
white-tail deer  and a partridge in a pear tree turkey vulture.

I returned just as everyone was loading up; 
however, as we returned to the bus I discovered a multitude of ticks. 

By midnight I was up to a count of eleven.
If I were given a Native American name, it would probably either be
She Who Disappears to Geocache or Dances With Ticks!


Cris Potmesil said...

Ft. Robinson, my favorite place on earth. Sorry about the ticks. I pulled one off the back of my head yesterday morning. Ewww.

Anonymous said...

Just make sure you have plenty of koolaid for the students when you go geocaching at the cemetary.

Mardell said...

I have heard of all kinds of magnets and now I can add one more to the list. It is TICK magnet.