UND Center for Community Engagement

Annie-Day 4

In Students' Reflections on March 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm

We have made it to the fourth day of our journey! Today, we got to spend time with the people from the Senior Citizen’s Center of Tioga. After sleeping in an elementary school gymnasium on wrestling mats and playing some late night basketball to let off some energy, we were ready for a good breakfast with the senior members of the community.

Marlene Knutson, the owner of the craft store in town called Crafty Hands (her son calls it crappy hands and stinky feet), explained that the simple relationships and communication of the community members in the past have changed since she was growing up. The former daily knock-on-your-door visits have been replaced with text messages and emails. Although, the community of Tioga still seems to express their love for their neighbors and their community, the absence of technology really forces them to talk to one another and engage in face-to-face conversations. We then went to the Norsemen Museum where we helped tidy it up. My new friend Ronnie made the cleaning fun because he was so upbeat, had a great sense of humor, and makes the best chili I have ever had!

After Tioga, we traveled to Rugby, ND, the geological center of North America. We got a chance to have dinner with the editor of their local newspaper editor, the radio director, and the JDA, which was great because it was as if we were having a meal with friends. They each talked about their roles in Rugby and how they all have to work together to shape their community.

I have to admit, I have created a new appreciation for North Dakota. I never realized how much land is an asset and how much I appreciate open space until I experienced the hours in the back of the van driving through the beautiful prairie land. I cannot believe how much I‘ve learned and enjoyed these past few days. What wonderful people!

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