Sunday, June 06, 2010

Global Volunteers Montana Team #64

Saturday, June 5

A team of four intrepid volunteers and a fearless team leader arrived in Browning, Montana for a one-week service project with the Blackfeet Indian Nation.

Most of the group arrived at the Blackfeet Boarding Dorm uneventfully.

Steve, a retired school teacher, drove the 670 miles from his home in Puyallup, Washington to Browning. This gave him a chance to travel through the Flathead Lake Valley to the West of Glacier National Park. He arrived early, explored Browning, visited the Plains Indians Museum and was waiting at the boarding dorm.

Team leader Michele, the co-founder of Global Volunteers met Rosa, a University of Scranton student from Long Island, New York and Don, a member of the Global Volunteers staff at the airport. The three traveled in the Global Volunteers van for three hours to Browning where Steve was already waiting.

Michele, Rosa, Steve and Don took a quick tour of Browning and then returned to the Boarding Dorm where a hot meal was waiting. After dinner and stories of each others’ adventures, and Michele thinking that Steve was a little off the wall, the four settled in for the night. Something else was in store for Kevin.

Kevin, an aviation engineer from Virginia, had his first flight canceled due to a mechanical problem and notified Global Volunteers emergency line that he would be arriving late. With a seven-hour wait before his baggage would arrive in Great Falls Airport, he rented a car and toured the Lewis and Clark Center and the river near Great Falls. Arriving at the locked dorm at 12:30am, he had the pleasure of sleeping under the stars in sleeping bag in his car.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday morning awakened to a crisp day and a delighted team as we found Kevin asleep in his car.

A few adjustments were made to the day’s plans because all of the team was now aboard.

Kevin and Don attended 10:30 AM mass while the other team members checked the storage shed. After mass, it was a quick tour of Browning, a cup of tea at the casino and a visit to the Plains Indians Museum.

The first highlight of the day was an Eastern tour of the reservation along the boundary of Glacier National Park. We were up close and personal with the mountains at 5,900 feet above sea level. A quick stop at East Glacier National Park lodge included a walk through the lodge.

Then the super highlight of the day was a visit to a local art gallery, where we had a chance to visit one on one and as a team with some of the Native American artists. We heard their stories of legends and artistic interpretations. Returning to the dorm, we prepared dinner, actually warmed up leftovers from the evening before.

Our first formal team meeting was then held and the plans for the coming day were discussed. This was a great start to an even greater week.

Thought of the day:
We often wonder what we can do for others, especially for those in need. It is not a sign of powerlessness when we say: “we must help one another”. To help one another is, to first of all acknowledge, in the presence of God that we belong to each other as children of the same God. Without this acknowledgement of human solidarity, what we do for one another does not flow from who we truly are. We are brothers and sisters, not competitors or rivals, we are children of God. Where we work, God works with us and we find all our brothers and sisters.



seth said...

there is no greater heart than the heart of a volunteer. its great to be happy knowing that the reason for being one is because you made other people happy as well..