A collection of photos from my trip wandering around the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota with a stop at Bear Lodge (aka Devil’s Tower) in Wyoming.
Here’s a photo of me and the Badlands embracing each other.
This trip has been such a homecoming for me.
I spent 2003-2006 as an Americorps volunteer working in a school in SD on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
I loved being able to explore the landscape when I lived here. The stars 🌟 are amazing and you can see the Milky Way every night.
This summer has been rainy so the wildflowers were BLOSSOMING and fragrant.
Also my cat, Skit, who recently passed away came to me out there 18 years ago. Someone dropped him off in front of my volunteer house and it was love at first meow. He was so tiny (probably 6 weeks old) that he could fit in one hand.
It’s been 13 years since I’ve been able to visit.
So excited to be back.
Our Lady of Lourdes is my school and is the rural campus of the Red Cloud Indian school system which is run by Jesuits.
I was raised Catholic but my religious orientation has been practicing witchcraft since my early teens.
Originally I went to visit a friend who had gone to volunteer there and had one of those “OMG this place is calling me” moments.
They didn’t care about my spiritual identity as long as I was willing to be of service to the children and school.
Everything about working on a mission school is complicated but I learned so much from getting to be around both people of faith and the Lakota community.
Learning where those traditions could work together (and where they couldn’t) gave me an abundance of profound lessons.
Info about the school’s name sake Red Cloud
…more in next blog post.