I'm not quite together enough to get any pictures us right now, but I will say it's beautiful out here! Like no other landscape I could ever imagine. Hills and plateaus and grassland with sage growing all over and cows and horses and the endless sky! You just have to see it, it's amazing, like breathing for the first time.
I'm currently at the Rosebud Casino Quality Inn 20 miles south of Mission, SD and 10 miles north of Valentine, NE, literally a matter of yards from the state line. There are 26 of us new TFA people here and we have had a very warm welcome. This week is "induction" and we have a very structured schedule filled with lectures and visits from various tribal leaders, professors and school administrators all of whom have been very warm and very inspiring. Their culture is so rich and deep, I feel honored to be here and learn about it and be a part of it for a while. We are also occasionally driven around in two large vans to see some of the cultural sights. Tonight we ate Indian Tacos and had a performance from a drum and dancing group and even did a bit of dancing ourselves, part of which involved potatoes. Tomorrow we're off the the Pine Ridge reservation and I can't wait to see the Badlands!! We'll also be visiting a resort ranch which should be cool. It's almost like I'm finally fulfilling my childhood dreams of becoming a cowgirl. Last night we went out to a bar in Valentine. There was pool and darts and a game called shuffleboard (not the old people kind) and lots of country music. It was fantastic! I will not at all miss the trendy/preppy DC bars. This is real life, I'm going to need a new pair of cowgirl boots :)
On Thursday I'll be interviewing for an English High School teacher position at St. Francis High School on the Rosebud reservation, so that's most likely where I'll end up. Woo hoo! I'm super excited and pumped about this whole adventure and my next two years here and all of the challenges I'll face and the good things that I will see and do.
I am also incredibly exhausted and can hardly believe that I'm still as chipper as I am right now, but I'm pishing through. I feel like I've done this whole orientations meeting new people thing so many times I'm kind of an expert ;) The other corps members are some pretty great people and I'm looking forward to getting past these first few awkward days and weeks of 'getting to know you' questions and building real friendships.