UND Center for Community Engagement

Ruth, Day 4 – Fort Yates

In Uncategorized on March 16, 2012 at 10:32 am

Today we visited the campus of the Sitting Bull College, and I did my service project with the group that went to the nutrition center for the elders in the community.

     Before today, I’d never spent much time on a reservation, let alone a tribal college.  I was really impressed with the campus, especially the dramatic backdrop of the hills behind the buildings.  It was amazing that they had a windmill that generated the power for the science building.  Even though UND is one of the greenest campuses in the U.S. we don’t have anything like that that directly gives power to an important building.

     After the tour, our group split into two groups–one going to the head start program, and the other going to a small neighborhood for the elders to help out at the nutrition center.  There wasn’t much for us to do, because we arrived late since we stayed to speak to the faculty at the college.  So after we ate, we split into even smaller groups to go into the neighborhood and see if we could help anyone in their homes.  

     Michelle and I didn’t have any luck at the first house, but we struck gold with the next one we tried.  We met Robert, whose nickname we soon learned was Toodles, and we did simple things like wash his dishes and take out his trash.  We were even able to help him a little with his computer troubles.  But what I really enjoyed was talking to him.  He’s about 78 years old, but he told me that he only went to school up to 8th grade, so he couldn’t read well.  Now that he’s retired, though, he’s trying to improve with a computer and a Kindle his daughter gave him.  It was really inspiring that he’s set a goal for himself and is going after it.

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