Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Trip To Martin, SD

Hello Everyone. I thought I'd share my story about my family's trip to the reservation:
On Labor Day weekend my husband, our 2 children and I went to Martin to visit the family we sponsor. They have a daughter the same age as ours. We live in the Northeast corner of Colorado, so it was only a 4 hour car trip. Not bad. On the way there we drove through beautiful sand hills, rolling prairie hills with desert like plants, sage growing EVERYWHERE and all the little creatures to go with it. Hawks are everywhere also. It's so cool to look up in the sky and see this magnificent bird almost like he's looking over you. Looking out over the landscape, I could almost imagine what it was like before the roads and power lines and automobiles. We arrived in Martin and checked into our hotel room.
The next morning, I called the family to find out when we could go meet them. We got it set up and again, loaded my family into the car and off we went.
When we arrived at their house, the welcome we received was unimaginable. The mom (for the sake of anonymity, we're going to call her "Ina") came out as we were getting out of the car and hugged me while she introduced herself. Her daughter and my daughter were instant friends and her little boy hid. We went in and sat down and just started talking. Talking about the weather and our drive up there. About our kids and we laughed as my 1 year old waddled all over her floor. We then made plans to take the kids somewhere for lunch and ended up at the bowling alley.
As the kids played video games, Ina asked me if I wanted to go to a powwow. Since I'd never been lucky enough to go to a powwow before I said, "YES!". My daughter was just as excited. We headed toward Porcupine.
On the way there, Ina told me we were going through Wounded Knee and did we want to stop and visit the Memorial. Of course we did. We arrived at the memorial and started walking around. It was surreal. To think that this amazing tragedy had happened right on the land that I was standing on was hard to absorb. She started telling me about the stories she had heard growing up about the Wounded Knee Massacre, stories that had come down through her family's generations. Her family, the descendants of those this happened to.
After we left the memorial, we stopped at the KILI radio station, but it wasn't opened. BUMMER!
Then we headed on to Porcupine for the powwow. There was such a feeling of community. The dancers were beautiful! That is all I can say because words don't do it justice. The traditional dancers were what I enjoyed watching the most. With these dances being handed down through the generations and still practiced today is what impressed me the most. We got to see the men and the elders do their traditional dances. What a beautiful culture! My daughter liked the Fancy Dancers. The drumming and singing were unlike anything else. I wanted to stay all day and night. But, it was time to go.
We drove back to her house, the kids stayed outside until dark playing and Ina showed me her bead work. We talked about that and our kids for a long time. I finally couldn't keep my eyes open anymore and my daughter was starting to get cranky. So, we said our goodbyes, looking forward to the next time we could visit and we left.
I had the most blessed day! I was filled with a feeling of joy and sadness that we had to leave. Ina and her children are the most genuine people I've been lucky enough to spend time with in a long time.

No comments:

Post a Comment