Stonehill College Rural Immersion

A Stonehill College H.O.P.E. service trip, originally scheduled for two weeks in Nicaragua, had to change plans when a travel advisory was issued, so the two faculty members and nine students came to Agape from May 21 to May 26. Students were dismayed that their Nicaragua planning sessions never came to fruition, but they enjoyed, learned, and gained a great deal from their time here. Hazel Dardano and Edgar Hayes assisted, including a talk by Edgar on racism. Other talks included Suzanne’s introduction of Eco Feminism to the all-female group and an evening presentation by Professor Elena Creef of Wellesly College entitled “Traveling with Warriors, Water Protectors, and Prayer Riders on the Trail to Wounded Knee.” The students found Elena’s personal reflection on the “Big Foot Ride” illuminating, and they were surprised that they hadn’t previously heard about this annual pilgrimage on horseback commemorating the massacre of the Lakota People at Wounded Knee, South Dakota in 1890. The rest of the week was filled with drumming, hauling wood, singing with guitar and ukelele, gardening, and reflecting with Stonehill’s H.O.P.E. process. On their last full day, Brayton guided students in a meditative walk to the Quabbin and an evening bonfire before departure the next morning.