A Horse is Not a Home

A Year in the Life of an Americorps VISTA on the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota

The Pine Ridge Billboard Project

Donate to the Pine Ridge Billboard Project

Show Notes

Hi! Welcome to a quick special edition of A Horse is Not A Home. I’m at the Westin LAX Hotel for my VISTA orientation, and it’s going pretty well so far.

One thing I noticed is that the age groups are very diverse here; a lot more diverse than I was expecting. I thought I was going to be one of the oldest people here at 28, but there’s people in their 60’s, people across the board, people with children, a lot of married people, and a lot of young people too.

One of the things I wanted to bring up really quick:

We just did a session on poverty and what people thing the causes of poverty are and what people think poverty is. There were a lot of shocking responses – a lot of people think poverty has to do with being lazy and a lot of people think that poverty is the fault of people living in poverty. Obviously, I disagree.

One of the other shocking things that came up (and this is the point of this quick video) was that somebody was talking about traveling through Mexico and seeing people using beer cans to hold up the asbestos tiles on their tiles, things like that. They talked about how people in Mexico get social security when they turn 55, but a lot of those people don’t live until 55.

She said, “It’s amazing that there’s no place in America like that. We don’t have that here.”

I said “Yes we do. We have that on the reservations in South Dakota, on Pine Ridge and Crow Creek. We have live expectancy of around 47. We have strange diseases like tuberculosis. Things that we thought we got rid of but are still alive and well in places in America that are often forgotten.”

I want to point out a really positive project – something that I believe in and something I myself have donated money to. I want to urge you to also donate to this project. It’s the Aaron Huey Billboard Project. The link is above and below. Please donate, please visit.

Thank you.


5 responses to “The Pine Ridge Billboard Project

  1. Mom April 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you Mark. I hope that the word will get out there to help the people that truly need help. I am so proud of you! Love, Mom

  2. Summer April 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I was at the LA PSO as well. I look forward to blog for the next year. I too will be keeping a blog about my year. Hopefully people will sign up and watch or read about what VISTA volunteers do. I think we have an awesome job and a great year ahead of us!


    • AphelionZ April 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks Summer. Please share your website when you’re ready and I’ll be sure to subscribe and keep track of what you’re up to as well.

  3. stun April 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    is there a transcript for this one?

    • AphelionZ April 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm

      I was on a little netbook when I recorded this and didn’t get a chance to type it up, but I can & will soon.

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