Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation Trip – Pt. 1
So I’m currently en route to the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota for a volunteer work trip organized by the New School. It’s been a while since I’ve had time to write any new post updates or blogs here, so the little bit of down time between our overnight stay in Minneapolis and our trip over to Eagle Butte tomorrow is a good time to catch up a bit on some writing.
It’s been a while since I was last in MN, probably a decade or more if I recall. I honestly don’t have much of a recollection of the city. Having spent a while living in NY now, I have noticed that most urban skylines come off as a boring comparison. For example, here’s the skyline from our hotel window on the 4th floor.
Sure, there are cranes and skyscrapers, but it’s just not the same.
So our little group has about 11 people in it, all from The New School, mostly undergrads, and mostly people who have never been this far west in their lives. It’s a little odd for me to think that you could have grown up in the US, and now be in college, and never have crossed west of the Mississippi River. But there are actually a lot of people like that. A good reminder that all the family trips we took when I was little gave me a bigger sense of the world, or at least the US, than many people have.
So the trip is part of an annual work program that is organized by some of the staff in Student Services, and this one has occurred 5 or 6 times before, to the same area and community. In the past it had some affiliation with Habitat for Humanity, but it apparently does not any longer. So we will be doing any kind of work that needs done on homes in the community. This could range from cleaning and renovations to minor construction and repairs. We’ll have a better sense of the work by tomorrow.
So until that times it’s exploring downtown area of Minneapolis where we are staying. So far we saw an area that I can only describe as Park Ave meets Tompkins Square Park, with a huge gaggle of hobos and street hustlers side by side with upscale white shoppers and people riding some weird kind of pedal powered car with a mini pub setup in it. Sadly I forgot to take a picture.
Thanks to the magic of the interwebs I can show you a pic anyway. It’s called the Petal Pub, and apparently it’s the hip thing to do in MN on a Sat afternoon. My first thought was that it looked like a big kids version of a merry-go-round. Apparently it can hold up to 16 people, but you have to bring your own beer, and then you just peddle around and get mildly tipsy.
Anyway, that’s the latest for now. Stay tuned for more exciting updates throughout the coming week.