Category Archives: Candid Portrait

WPC – WEEK 204 – MUSIC

There is 1 day left to vote in the polls that will determine what pictures I enter in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

If voting in all 6 polls at once is too much for you, you can at least cast a ballot in the last poll. Hidden Treasures of Boone County.

Hidden Treasures of Boone County – Set 2

Poll will Start on August 7
Boone County Treasures Group 2 - Choose 1 (2019)
Water Tower
Tortoise
Goat
Llama
Dickcissel
Ledges
Big Boy
Freight
Lost Lake
Merry Christmas

If you are ready to vote in all 6 polls, click on the link below:

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Poll

Thanks for voting!

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It looks like there are lots of people that have MUSIC in their lives as MUSIC was a theme that once again hit double digits in submissions. This is, I believe, the 6th week in a row where a theme reached double digits in submissions.

There are only 4 weeks left in this cycle of themes. If you have any ideas or suggestions for themes for the next 4 weeks, leave them in the Comments section of this here post.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions!


WEEK 204 - MUSIC - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 204 - MUSIC - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 205 - FLOWER
FLOWER

FLOWER! What a great theme! As luck would have it, this time the FLOWER theme popped up during a time of year where almost all of us can just walk into our backyard and take a picture of a FLOWER. Or we can go to a park and take a picture of a FLOWER. This might be the best time of year for wildFLOWERs.

As always, I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

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HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very flowery Monday!

Available as Another Possibility

It is well established that my favorite theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is BLACK & WHITE. Therefore I took several BLACK & WHITE pictures in the last week and not just the picture of Taylan that I used as my submission for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

Here are a few more of those BLACK & WHITE pictures:


WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE ALTERNATES - BLACK & WHITE

Baby Got Rack Takes the Boone County Fair

Last Saturday was the annual Boone County Fair barbecue contest. Baby Got Rack decided to take a different tact this time. Rather than entering the pizza, we decided to enter something new. Meatloaf Cupcakes. This was a big risk just based on the fact that the pizza was a surefire winner.

However, Scottie D. had become bored with winning with the same item over and over and over and over again.

The other risk we decided was to enter pork ribs. Pork is easily the most popular category and hardest to win.

One last risk Baby Got Rack decided to take was to do little to no planning. Scottie D. thought that certain things would just take care of themselves. It turns out that Melissa does those things for Scottie D and she was in the horrible place known as Nebraska on Friday night. So things didn’t get taken care of.

Baby Got Rack stumbled out the starting blocks. We didn’t get our desired spot on the end. We didn’t have any of our stuff prepared. So Scottie D. dropped Hammer and I off at the fairgrounds to get everything setup and get the fire going. He went back home and worked on getting food prep done.

It all worked out because Baby Got Rack walked out of the Boone County Fair with 2 big victories. We won best Specialty AND more importantly Best Overall. Both for the Meatloaf Cupcakes.

This means that Baby Got Rack will be competing at the Iowa State Fair again. So if you go to the Fair on Tuesday, August 13 in the morning, look us up. We will be in the Grand Concourse.

Here are some pictures from what ended up being a humid, wet, and victorious day!


Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Last year we won the specialty category at the Iowa State Fair. Here is hoping for a repeat!

RAGBRAI – VOLUME 2

As we get very near the beginning of another RAGBRAI, I need to get more of
last year’s RAGBRAI journey through Boone.

As I was looking through these photos, I realized how great it would have been to have Rodan139 back then to get some aerial images of the mass of humanity that rode their bikes through Boone. Maybe this year, but let’s face it probably not. I’ve been hemorrhaging PTO lately and I think I’m about to ask for a bunch more.

Here are some more images:


RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

RAGBRAI - 2018

I have plenty more RAGBRAI photos left to share!

President Quest 2020 – Kamala Harris

On July 3 I went down to Water Works Park in Des Moines with Jesse and to meet Russell to see Kamala Harris speak. It was absolutely pouring down rain and Water Works is an outdoor venue.

The Kamala Harris campaign was nice enough to give us ponchos as we waiting in the downpour. After about 10 minutes they came down the line and announced that the event was moved to Confluence Brewing.

This sucked because I was excited to see Kamala Harris. She is the first candidate that I have see that has a legitimate shot of being the next President of the United States. You could make a case for Bernie, but considering his national profile, if he was going to win the nomination his poll numbers would be much better right now. Plus he seems to be fighting for the same voters as Elizabeth Warren and as she surges he becomes more of an afterthought.

I can say that Confluence Brewing is a better venue than the Livery Deli. The lighting isn’t great, but it is better than at the Livery Deli. One thing that is hard to get past is the odor. It is a brewery, so it smells somewhat like rotting hops. Even worse when the person standing next to you is drinking what has to be the world’s strongest smelling beer. Puke.

However, since it was pouring down rain, this was better than nothing.

If you don’t know who Kamala Harris is, here is a little bit about her from her Wiki:

Kamala Devi Harris (/ˈkɑːmələ/ KAH-mə-lə;[1] born October 20, 1964) is an American lawyer and politician who has served as the junior United States Senator from California since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the 27th District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011, then as the 32nd Attorney General of California from 2011 to 2017. On January 21, 2019, she officially announced her campaign to run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2020 United States presidential election.

Harris was born in Oakland, California, and is a graduate of Howard University and University of California, Hastings College of the Law. In the 1990s, she worked in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and the City Attorney of San Francisco’s office. In 2004, she was elected District Attorney of San Francisco.

Harris won the election as California’s Attorney General in 2010 and was reelected in 2014 by a wide margin. On November 8, 2016, she defeated Loretta Sanchez in the 2016 Senate election to succeed outgoing Senator Barbara Boxer, becoming California’s third female U.S. Senator, and the first of Jamaican or Indian ancestry.[2] Since becoming a Senator, she has supported single-payer healthcare, federal descheduling of cannabis, municipal protection for undocumented immigrants, the DREAM Act, and lowering the tax burden for the working and middle classes while raising taxes on corporations and the wealthiest one percent of Americans.

Kamala recently surged in the polls after her performance in the first Democrat Debate. I didn’t get to watch either debate because they happened while I was on the mission trip, but that is the analysis that I digested afterwards.

Here is an example of one of her positions from her campaign website:

OUR AMERICA
QUALITY, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL
Affordable health care should be a right, not a privilege. But today in America, the costs of health insurance, surprise bills, and prescription drugs are straining budgets and bankrupting families. Health care simply costs too much and it’s time to take on the powerful special interests that want to continue to put profit over people.

When Kamala’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, it was one of the worst days of her life. But Kamala was so grateful that her mother had Medicare. She believes we must guarantee Medicare-for-All.

Medicare for All will eliminate premiums and out-of-pocket costs. It will guarantee comprehensive care including dental and vision, and ensure Americans are not denied services or doctor choice. It won’t leave anyone behind, including the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and 61 million Americans with disabilities. It will save money by taking profit out of America’s health care system and finally make affordable, universal coverage a reality.

Affordable health care also means lowering the cost of prescription drugs by taking on pharmaceutical manufacturers and private insurance companies. That’s what Kamala has done throughout her career. As Attorney General, she won a more than $320 million settlement from insurance companies that defrauded elderly Californians and people with disabilities. As president, Kamala will continue the fight. She’ll prosecute opioid makers profiting from the health crisis they’ve helped cause, allow Medicare to negotiate for cheaper prescription prices, and shut the revolving door between pharmaceutical companies and our government.

Kamala also believes health care will never be a universal right unless we fight back against the constant attacks on women’s health care. That’s why, as Attorney General, Kamala led a coalition of 16 states to urge the Supreme Court to protect women’s access to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and, as Senator, fought back against President Trump’s attempts to repeal the law. As president, Kamala will nominate judges who know Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, protect Planned Parenthood from Republican attempts to defund essential health services, and address racial disparities in maternal health care. Reproductive rights are protected by the Constitution and Kamala will keep fighting until those rights are protected and guaranteed in every state.

Here are some pictures from the event:


Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

I didn’t get a selfie with Kamala. To do that, I would have had to shove several small children out of the way. I have a feeling this isn’t the last time I see Kamala speak though.

Rapid City Mission Trip – Day 4

We are approaching the Boone County Fair, which means that I need to select pictures for the Boone County Fair Photo Contest. I am picking those pictures in the same way that I did last year. I’m letting other people pick them for me.

The first five people that text me that they are interested in picking one of my entries will get to pick my five entries for the Boone County Fair. Once you have been selected as a selector, I will send you instructions on how to make your selection.

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For some reason, on Thursday of the mission trip they let everybody sleep in an extra hour. This is something that has never happened on any of our other mission trips. To be honest, I wasn’t that big of a fan of it.

There are parts of being on a mission trip that are like FIGHT CLUB.

JACK (V.O.)
A guy came to fight club (mission trip) for the
first time, his ass was a wad of
cookie dough. After a few weeks (days), he
was carved out of wood.

By Thursday you don’t even miss sleep. By Thursday you don’t miss hot water in the showers. Thursday was the worst day to sleep in. If you could move the schedule on any day on any direction, I would move it an hour earlier on Friday. Wake up at 6:30, nah, 5:30.

The normal walk time with Andy was 6 AM. It didn’t get moved to 7 AM just because wake up time was 8 AM. We were carved out of wood by now.

However, there was a change with the 6 AM walk. This time we were loading up into vans and heading to Dinosaur Park. Dinosaur Park is a sculpture garden built on top of a hill in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. There are many socialists that produce brilliant and prophetic art, like George Orwell, but not going to lie, Dinosaur Park is does not have a masterwork in its collection. This is coming from a guy that is a big fan of dinosaur related art.

But this isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy every second of Dinosaur Park. In fact, I loved every second of Dinosaur Park.

After Dinosaur Park we went to a coffee ship called Alternative Fuel Coffee House. I got a smoothie so I could load up on the protein for the morning. Then we headed back to the church for breakfast.

Because of the weird late start to the day, we only had 5 hours at Black Hills Works. It was a day of mixed emotions. There is the sense of accomplishment as you finish off work week, but there is the sadness when you realize that you are probably never going to see any of the people you worked with all week. It has been only 4 days, but the bonds with some of the clients feel really deep.

I was going to miss Shad and Chuckie and John and Cammy and both Mikes and Daniel and Amy and Joe and the twins and Bronco. I was going to miss some of the staff that we connected with like Chris and Abby and Andy and Joey.

In fact, on Thursday I had a long conversation with Joey about beards and beard products. He insisted that I take some of his beard products home. He opened up his work locker and he had a ton of beard products there. I took home some beard butter, beard oil, and beard balm.

We were supposed to leave for our mountain stream shower, but we hung out there until almost 3:30 before heading out.

When we had our orientation on Monday the lady giving us our orientation told us flat out, “Some of the staff don’t like having kids here. They think they just get in the way.”

While that might be the case, I think we really only experienced that with one staff member. Possibly two. The staff really loved our kids and they even told us that we had the best kids that have ever volunteered there. Most kids show up and let the situation overwhelm them. They shutdown and don’t interact with the clients. Our kids interacted with everybody and engaged the clients without waiting for them to engage with them.

I know what you are thinking, you cynic. They tell that to every group. I might be inclined to agree with you only this is the 8th mission trip I’ve been on with the youth group from our church. It has happened every single time. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

For example, in Milwaukee my group was working at a nursing home. They sent us up to a room and wanted us to organize it and clear it out. 3 hours later we came down and asked what they wanted us to do next. Their jaw dropped open and they said, “That was supposed to take you all week.”

They later explained that the previous week that they had not one but two youth groups work on that room and they had barely made a dent. I assured them that those youth groups probably weren’t from Iowa. Built a little different here.

This was a different style of mission than we usually go on. This wasn’t painting or drywall or staining or cooking. This was just being in the moment with people that often get kicked to our society’s curb. I wasn’t sure if our group would excel in it like they did with manual labor.

I am pleased to report that they knocked it out of the park, yet again.

We rushed back to the church after the showers. Our cultural activity that night is the same for every YouthWorks group in the country. Thursday they hold a community cookout. Rapid City hosts the largest YouthWorks cookout west of the Mississippi. To be honest, this is part of the reason that I picked Rapid City. Last year our cookout in Vidor, Texas drew 2 people. One of them was an ice cream truck that I flagged down, just so we would have something to do.

A few adults grill burgers and dogs. The youth serve the food and interact with the community. The size of the cookout did not disappoint. I’m guessing we served over 300 people.

I met and talked with several people. One was a Navy veteran. I told him about how my niece’s fiance was about to be stationed and he cut me off and said, “It better not be to Iran by that mother(beep)(beep)(beep)(beep)piece of (beep)(beep)(beep) Trump.” Then he apologized and I assured him that if I were not a leader at a youth function, I could add several expletives to his description of the worthless draft dodging coward that is Cadet Bone Spurs.

I also had a long conversation with a guy that had just moved to Rapid City to take care of his mother who was recently diagnosed with cancer. I talked to another guy that was there with his children. He had recently got out of prison and was glad to be back with them.

Rapid City has a large population of homeless. The majority of the homeless are Lakota. The demographics of the cookout backed that up.

One of the interesting things about the Lakota is they reveal their elders. So when an elderly person would show up, they would be allowed to go to the head of the line.

The cookout finished up about 8 PM. I actually had to pull some of our youth away from the community members that they were talking to. I regret having to do that, but we needed to get ready for our Thursday worship service.

Thursday night at YouthWorks is always a powerful night. It is the last night of the mission trip and the emotions of the experience start crashing down on you. The worship service ends with a foot washing service. Now I’m not going to go all Baptist on you, but the foot washing experience is definitely a powerful experience.

It is derived from this story in THE BIBLE:

John 13:1-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Lord’s Supper
13 Now before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that His hour had come [and it was time] for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. Having [greatly] loved His own who were in the world, He loved them [and continuously loves them with His perfect love] to the end (eternally). 2 It was during supper, when the devil had already put [the thought of] betraying Jesus into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, 3 that Jesus, knowing that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was [now] returning to God, 4 got up from supper, took off His [outer] robe, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He tied it around His waist.

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
5 Then He poured water into the basin and began washing the disciples’ feet and wiping them with the towel which was tied around His waist. 6 When He came to Simon Peter, he said to Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied to him, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but you will [fully] understand it later.” 8 Peter said to Him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me [we can have nothing to do with each other].” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, [in that case, wash] not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, and is completely clean. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who was going to betray Him; for that reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 So when He had washed their feet and put on His [outer] robe and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is who I am. 14 So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet as well. 15 For I gave you [this as] an example, so that you should do [in turn] as I did to you. 16 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed [happy and favored by God] if you put them into practice [and faithfully do them].

After the worship service we had our final church time. It was also an emotional experience as it was the last mission trip with Anna and Megan. Our two seniors. If you have daughters, these are the type of you women you want them to grow up to be.

I hope this is not their last mission trip with our church. I can’t even speak confidently on the future of the mission trip. We have a new Pastor and it is hard to tell what direction he will want any of this to go. Plus, Megan and Anna will be leaving for college and it is hard to tell what direction their lives will even pull them in.

I hope that one or both of them are leaders on this mission trip at some point in the future. Megan has already inquired about being a leader next year. I know there are some hoops that will have to be jumped through, but we will get there.

Autumn lead us in a couple of worship songs. After some stuff that I will keep to myself was shared, we ended in a group hug, as has become strangely traditional.

The next morning we packed up and heading back to Boone. Everybody strangely changed.

Here are some pictures:


Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

The 5 posts on my mission trip are from my perspective of the Mission Trip. It was hardly comprehensive. For example, it didn’t include the story about the homeless people I prayed with on a Hardee’s picnic table. Or when Andy stole my phone… on accident?

There were 24 other souls on this mission trip and every single one of them experienced it in a completely different way than I did.

Rapid City Mission Trip – Day 3

I woke up Wednesday morning and it was the first night I got something that resembled sleep. My hair was starting to look greasy as the ice cold shower wasn’t being 100% effective in washing out the travel shampoo-conditioner combo I had brought on the trip.

We got up and went to Black Hills Works. What had been awkward on the first day was now becoming routine. I knew the names of most of the clients and how to communicate with them.

It was the first day that I made a connection with Amy. Amy was one of my favorite clients because I think she has the system worked out. Amy spends most of her day in the fitness center. In the fitness center is one massage chair. Amy monopolizes that chair.

I also had a good conversation with Mike in one of the learning centers and helped with BINGO in the other learning center. I also played lots of War and Go Fish and UNO Attack and Yahtzee.

When we went to the shower site I went down to the basement shower with I think his name was Ken. I freely admit that one of my biggest weaknesses is learning the names of the other adults from the other church’s. It was either Ken or Steve. I know the Pastor from one of the other churches was named Tom because I had a couple long conversations with him. I had a long conversation with Ken or Steve as well, but I just can’t pull the trigger on his name.

The only thing I can remember about the other adults is that the kids in our church were convinced that a couple of the other adults were having extramaritals. I don’t believe that they were, but I didn’t put much effort into trying to convince them otherwise. This usually throws gasoline on the high school imaginations. Best to let those embers rest.

As Ken/Steve and I were waiting for the kids to finish up there showers so that we could enjoy the mountain stream that was the shower, a guy came walking down our hallway wearing a raccoon tail. Not a raccoon hat. A raccoon tail. Coming from his backside. He tried to go into the youth shower but we stopped him and let him know that there were kids in there and he would have to wait.

When our last youth came out of the showers, Ken/Steve and I went into the locker room and got ready for the shower. Raccoon Tail followed us in and then just sat in the locker room staring at his phone.

When I got out of the shower, he was still just sitting there. Staring at his phone. I never feared for my safety, but man was it creepy. I hoped I wouldn’t see Raccoon Tail again.

That night our cultural event was going to the Club for Boys and learning to dance with the Lakota. I can tell you that this was a tremendous workout. I must have sweat out about a gallon and my quads were on fire by the end of the night.

Despite Wyatt ratting us out, I still took the group to Armadillo’s for ice cream and our Church Time. This is always a light Church Time. With the set up at Armadillo’s it is difficult to communicate as a group. Jaxon wanted to run Church Time, so I let him. We went around and shared our favorite part of the trip so far.

Then we announced that anybody that we were going to take an early morning trip to Dinosaur Park. Anybody that wanted to go needed to be awake by 6 AM.

Here are some pictures from the day:


Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

The pictures with the potato dancers was a contest. I think Andy and I finished just out of the medal stand. Kyle and Autumn finished second, but they were bested by experienced potato dancers, so I consider them to be the winners.

+++++++

Here is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is ROAD TRIP:


WEEK 199 - ROAD TRIP
ROAD TRIP

A ROAD TRIP photo is any photo you take on a ROAD TRIP or preparations you make for a ROAD TRIP.

Happy photo harvesting!

Rapid City Mission Trip – Day 2

I should start this day by saying Happy Independence Day! Our country has seen much better days than right now, but I still believe that our best days our head of us. You know, a day when we aren’t locking children in cages and our “leaders” aren’t bowing down and licking the boots of dictators and getting literally, nothing in exchange for it.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up and got just a tad bit more sleep than the night before. I skipped the morning walk and tried to get caught up on some of my social media duties.

Our day at the worksite went much better than on Monday. It was much easier after the breaking ice on Monday. We had established relationships and now had an idea of how things worked at Black Hills Works.

I met a client named Shad. He is big into virtual reality and we talked computers for a long time. I also made a client named John. John wore a hat and shirt advertising his coffee shop. He badly wanted us to come to his coffee shop when he was working, but it was Friday and we were going to be long gone, back to the Cyclone State. I loathe few things more in this world than coffee, but I was sad that we never got to see his coffee shop. Maybe if I ever make it back to Rapid City I’ll try to make it there.

I spent good portions of the day playing Go Fish and Uno Attack. It was a good day. If most of the clients didn’t leave at 2:30, I might’ve been sad to go. I certainly wasn’t looking forward to the showers.

On Sunday night, Site Director told us that there was no hot water in the showers. This made no sense because we were showering at the South Dakota School of Mines. On Monday I had prepared myself mentally for the cold water shower, but it was so much colder than I expected.

The water in the showers wasn’t just cold, it must have been piped in from the coldest mountain stream in the Black Hills. It was painful when it hit your skin. You definitely hit a high note that you didn’t know you voice box could make that icy water hit a patch of skin that hadn’t been numbed yet.

When our group left the shower, Andy announced that we going to Armadillo’s, a nearby ice cream parlor to scout it out. We were going to take the entire group there for Church Time on Wednesday night, but if it was garbage, we would look elsewhere.

Andy explained to the van that this was a secret mission. NOBODY was to know about it. That NOBODY especially included Andy’s son and daughter. Everybody in the van agreed to the terms of the deal.

We got our ice cream, (I got a delicious baklava shake) and ate it in the pure joy one has when eating ice cream after a good day’s work and having endured an ice cold shower.

We arrived back at the church, thinking that our clandestine operation had been a success. However, when we walked in the door the Site Director greeted us with a:

“So you went to Armadillo’s?”

We tried to play it cool, but he let us know that the secret was already out. Andy and I went into the church a couple of minutes after the youth, but that was hardly enough time for them to rat us out.

Jentry filled us in later about how the rest of the crew found out about Operation Armadillo.

When Jentry had walked into the basement of the church he had been confronted by a gaggle of angry Methodists accusing our group of getting ice cream without them. Jentry, to his credit, tried to play it cool. He said we were late because Humble Narrator had taken a long shower. There was some truth in this fact. I was the last one to get out of the shower.

However, Jentry had walked into a trap. They already had the receipts. Wyatt had put the whole thing on his Snapchat story. Our armadillo was cooked.

I tried to quell the outrage by letting everybody know that they could get ice cream that night. Our cultural activity was an option night and we were opting to go to Mount Rushmore. At Mount Rushmore they sell ice cream. They even sell Thomas Jefferson’s original recipe for vanilla ice cream. Although, I’m sure it was actually a slave’s recipe and he took credit for it.

That night was Taco Tuesday, which is the best meal of the week. However, the roaster they were using to warm the taco meat up was busted, so the meal got delayed about 30 minutes. Next up was The Gathering. When that concluded we went to Mount Rushmore and had our Church Time there.

We got there pretty late, so we really just go to see it. Have our Church Time and then watch the abbreviated “Light Show”. I can say that the kids were way more impressed with Mount Rushmore than I even expected.

I didn’t take many pictures on Thursday. I thought I would take more at Mount Rushmore than I did, but it was crazy busy and we had some middle schooler drama earlier on the day, so I was watching the middle schoolers like a hawk. I was pretty sure our high schoolers could handle themselves.

Here are some pictures from the day. You will note, no pictures from Operation Armadillo:


Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019
Waiting for tacos!

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019
Megan and Anna’s signature pose.

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019
A dice game that is supposed to be a metaphor for faith.

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019
Dono and Anna

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019
The guy in blue on the right is thinking about photobombing.

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019
Church Time!

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019
Church Time!

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

After a fairly scary drive back down the mountain I was able to crash fairly quickly. Maybe this was the night I got some sleep.

Rapid City Mission Trip – Day 1

Mission Trip Day 1 started with a 6 AM walk around Rapid City. This is a Mission Trip tradition started by Andy. He takes people out for a 6 AM walk every day of the mission trip. I don’t join every day, but I usually join a couple times during the mission trip.

The church we were staying at was in downtown Rapid City and walking around that area, I loved the Rapid City downtown area. They have statues of all the president on their street corners. There are plenty of local businesses, but perhaps my favorite part of the the downtown area is the “Art Alley” where people are allowed to put graffiti, during designated areas, if you have a permit. I admit that all these things are the antithesis of graffiti. Kind of like a Republican claiming to be punk rock, but that being putting aside, it was a pretty cool alley.

At about 9 AM I headed to my worksite with my group. I don’t even remember the name of my group, which is rare, but as the official “trip leader” this year, I decided to dial down the amount of trash I talked to other groups. My group consisted of Andy, Megan, Anna, Jentry, Wyatt, and Noah.

We were assigned to work at Black Hills Works. This is an organization that works with people with physical and mental disabilities. We worked it what was essentially their day care program. They have a ton of other programs, but this is the one where we worked.

This was not physically demanding work, but boy was it hard. I split my time among 3 rooms. 2 learning centers and a fitness center. Our job was to interact and assist the clients.

That could mean anything from playing games with them or talking to them or taking them on a walk or helping them with an iPad or taking them for a bike ride or doing crafts with them or just doing a puzzle next to them.

The first day was hard. The first day was a lot of figuring out how to best communicate with each client. I don’t think I would be exaggerating to say that most of us or even all of us left the worksite on the first day and thinking, “I don’t know if I can do this for 3 more days.”

Even though, I feel like I made connections with at least a couple of clients.

The evening Monday cultural event was going to Bear Butte. It is a state park near Sturgis. It is a mountain that is considered sacred by the Lakota. We got a lesson on the mountain and then we climbed it.

They split people into 3 groups. 1 group that was going to try to summit the mountain. 1 group that was going to go halfway up the mountain. 1 group that was going to stay at base camp.

I was on the fence on whether I wanted to try to climb the mountain or go halfway. We had 5 adults. 3 of them decided to go for the summit. 1 adult decided to stay at base camp. I decided that we needed 1 adult to be with our group that was going halfway up.

I’m not sure how far I made it up the mountain. One of our kids had trouble breathing, so I went back down the mountain with her.

Even the limited distance I got up the mountain was beautiful. Some day I would like to go back up the mountain. We’ll see if it ever comes back in my sphere of influence.

We are not allowed to take pictures at our worksite, but here are some pictures from the day:


Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019
Buffalo!

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

After leaving the mountain we returned to the church. We had our worship time and our church time. I had Anna run our Church Time because I wanted to have the seniors have a leadership role on the mission trip.

On Sunday night I got about 45 minutes of sleep. I went to bed on Monday night hoping for a solid 6 hours…