I am up to my eyeballs in packing, planning and preparing for our trip to Pine Ridge Reservation. We leave Friday, June 2.
Last night, because I was starting to get a bit dizzy with all of this floating around in my head, I decided to make a list of the things I still needed to do. While it might ultimately be useful, it is also rather overwhelming to have it all in black and white in front of me.
There is too much to do and too little time to do it in.
I have to pack the usual vacation items – clothing and the like. I have to make sure I have all the necessary medications. I could probably do that part of the packing in my sleep at this point in my life.
I have to make sure I have the electronics I need to take with me this time organized: my new camcorder (which I also need to learn how to operate), my voice recorder, my netbook computer, the still camera, my phone, battery charger, cords . . . I’m sure I’ve forgotten something!
I have to make calls to persons on the rez to let them know when I will be around and hope that they will be available on those days. Of course, there are so many people I would like to see in addition to our friends that I have to pare down the list a bit. Since two days are travel days and the first four days of the visit will be used taking our friends to Salt Lake City to see my “goddaughter” then returning to the rez (about a 12 hour drive each way!), that leaves only four days to do everything else.
Everything else is a pretty vague term, don’t you think? I hope so, because it’s meant to encompass a wide variety of activities. There is a free concert by the youth involved in the Independence through Music project that we hope to attend. The Veterans Powwow is happening in Pine Ridge on those days. I have some people I want to visit to learn more about the kinds of assistance available to those who live on the rez. There are more people I have “met” by phone when assigning sponsors to them that I would now like to meet personally – actually a lot more than I will likely have time to meet.
That’s not all. My parish took a collection when they heard we were taking this trip so that we could use the cash to purchase art and crafts from local artists. The plan is to put the cash into the economy on the rez now, then bring back the items and put them up for auction. The proceeds will then go back into a fund to keep repeating the process — income rather than handouts. So I have those items for which I need to contact folks.
I hope to be in touch with KILI, the Voice of the Lakota Nation — the independent radio station on the rez. I’d like to visit the market so I can do actual price comparisons, not just say things are “much more expensive” when purchased on the reservation. I’d like to locate some of the neighborhoods in the areas I serve that I’ve only heard of, never been to visit.
I also need to get out all the things we’re taking to our friends (clothing, toys for the grandchildren, etc) so they can be packed.
I have to figure out how we will keep all of our equipment secure when we are there. I need to find out where I can buy some white sage before we leave (not holding my breath there).
If there was nothing else to be done, it might work. But you know that’s never the case, don’t you? (If things always get done easily and you are one of those talented multi-taskers, don’t talk to me right now!)
I just talked to a sponsor for about half an hour. I really enjoyed the conversation, but . . .
I talked to a grandmother on the rez who needs sponsors for two grandchildren a little bit earlier. I really enjoyed the conversation, but . . .
Time to get down to brass tacks here. How many people did I call that were on my list? Zero.
How many items have I crossed off my to do list? 4 How many items were on the list when I started? 24
At this rate, I’m going to be up the proverbial creek without a canoe by the time I have to leave for the airport.
My “to do” list is really a “too much to do” list!!
“Breathe! Slowly! Relax . . . . . . you’re just getting over a respiratory infection . . . you don’t want the fibromyalgia to flare up, do you?”
Okay . . .
So I may not do much writing this week, but I hope you will forgive me. I promise I will bring home stories, photos and video to share if you will be patient. Deal?