About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

This Is Exciting!

I am still fighting pneumonia and I'm getting really, really TIRED of it. It's been a week and a half now and I think that's long enough. Truth be told though, I only went to the doc on Sat. so it's only been a few days on meds. He put me on four different ones. Hopefully they will kick in and start to work SOON.

I suppose if I have to be sick this is the time of year to do it since it's a relatively non-busy time of the year for me. It's actually the fun part of planning the next trip to Pine Ridge. I hadn't really had a theme or a plan in mind for next year and usually operate under the "it'll come to me" rule. Well, last night at 2am, it came to me. Now I'm really getting excited about the next trip.

We will be doing an African safari theme! We'll get all the kids safari hats. Around the playground we'll put up signs with various African countries and the milage to them. We'll get them animal print bandanas and let them do a safari craft each day .... and then ... here's the kicker .... we'll take a moment to tell them about Africa and the desperate need there and then we'll give them an opportunity to give toward an African well project through Blood:Water Mission. How cool is that???

Some may question why we would go to the poorest part of American and ask for donations but it's my belief that EVERYONE has something to give, and that giving is a good thing - it makes you feel good to help someone else. The kids in the village need to know that as bad as they have it, there are other places in the world where it is worse. And it will be good for them to be a part of giving and helping. I think they'll take pride in that.

If you're not familiar with Blood:Water Mission, please take a moment to check out their web site.


Bar Bar A said...

What a great idea - especially the part about giving them a chance to give. I think that will be really meaningful. Can't wait to hear all about it next year :)

Bruce said...

Too cool. Sounds like something to really get excited about. Keep us posted.

BTW, if you ever DO get a picture of your mom with her new do, this I got to see.


Amber said...

Barbara and Bruce - thanks for responding. You really think it's a good idea? So far no one that I've shared it with seems to have much to say about it. I'm pretty excited about it but I do tend to question myself a lot.... especially when the idea hits at 2am and I'm on meds. But if you two think it's good I'll take that as a good sign.

David Cho said...

I think its a great idea too. Why should only the rich enjoy the joy of giving?

Get well soon.

Dionna Sanchez said...

Let your body heal and get some rest! I hope you feel better soon.

hallchick said...

i think it 's a good idea and i think Tim con come up with some good musice. just so we don't have to were custumes.

Gary Means said...

I'll be honest, Amber. I have mixed emotions about the theme. It mgiht be ok, but only taken so far. My hesitation only comes from a fear that it might be perceived as some silly white people thing to dress up like that. But I don't know the Lakota people and I have never been to Pine Ridge. I don't know the local cultural context. Is there someone you stay in contact with there who can give you some input? Or, perhaps the rap artist you were hoping to invite along--how would he feel about it?

But I have no reservations (sorry) about the idea of letting them know about the needs in Africa and encouraging them to participate.

The idea of letting the kids share in giving to that project is a beautiful thing. There is something validating about being able express caring for another person or another group. I also think it would be awesome to help them to visualize beyond their world.

My concerns may be way offbase. Over the years that I've spent learning the Northwest Coast Native American artform, and learning about these nations and their heritage, I have found a widespread suspicion of white people. While there may have been friendly relations on the surface, the Native people that I know have never been surprised when they or their culture was disrespected, or taken for granted. I am not saying that this is what your theme would be doing. I would just be very cautious in applying an approach that would work for suburban white kids in a native context.

Let me reiterate, I bring a very limited perspective to this question.

One last example, when I was volunteering as a literacy tutor, one of my students was a young african-american man. After working with him for a few months, one day I brought in an alphabet book illustrated by Leo and Dianne Dillon, two awesome illustrators. Instead of "A" being for "apple", "A" was for "Ashante". The alphabet book theme was African people groups and cultures. My student was very offended. I stepped over a cultural barrier. He felt like I viewed him as a generic "African-American". What I did was insensitive. My point is not anything to do with African, African-American, or Native-American culture specifically. It's just that I stepped in it because my perspective was too white.

One last thing. I am not saying that I think your perspective is too white. I am just cautioning you to get input from someone "on the ground" so to speak. Sorry for being so long, but this touches nerves for me.

Gary Means said...

Good grief that was long! Sorry.

Amber said...

Hey Gary,

Thanks for your honesty. It's always helpful to have someone present possible problems with an idea and I'm glad you felt ok with doing that.

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying though. I thought if anything might offend them it would be asking them to donate something to help the African people. If you can explain why you think the safari theme would be offensive to the Indians maybe I would get it better.

I do hear what you're saying about white people being given a lot of suspicion by Indians. That is very true and for good reason. I think that is wise on their part to view anyone coming out there with suspicion until they have proved trustworthy. I'm not sure how doing a children's party with a safari theme would damage the trust we've built up with the people there though. This year we had a pirate theme and the year before that the lady who was in charge of "teen night" did a mexican theme complete with a Mexican hat dance. Do we look like silly white people - definately! We are silly white people. I've never senesed any disapproval from any of the kids or the adults there over this. They seem to like "playing" with us - this year at the PowWow they clearned the circle and had all of us come out and dance. We looked incredibly silly. It was hilarious and they enjoyed having a good laugh at our expense - all in fun.

My take on it is that they are first human beings, then Indians, and that all children love to play and use their imagination. I think they understand this, but I'll give what you said some thought. And if you can maybe run it by me again maybe I'll see what you're saying.

Brian Buriff said...

Someday I want to go on a real Safari! But for now, to have fun with the kids who've already demonstrated their love for play,
imagination and interaction in a place of security, safety, love and ministry - that's good enough for me.

Amber said...

Yeah, check htis out. http://www.nathab.com/bots/#accommodations

I want to go!!