Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pow Wow

We planned to go to the Mille Lacs Pow Wow on Saturday. I asked John when he wanted to leave on Saturday morning and when he said "Oh, about 5 or so" I almost cried. I am not an early riser and as a matter of fact, it's hard for me to get up for work in the morning at 7 a.m. so 5? Not easy. And on top of that, getting Katie up at 5 would be even less fun than dragging myself out of bed at 5. John... well, John has no problem getting up at 5. He could happily get up at 4 without any trouble... he is an early riser.

So, I told him to wake me up an hour before we needed to go. Fast forward to Saturday morning, I woke up to go to the bathroom and breathed a sigh of relief. It was almost 8 a.m. and John was up drinking his coffee and NOT waking me up. Whew. I went back to bed for just a little bit till I heard Katie get up and then we started to get ready to go. Left the house at about 9:30 and drove up. Stopped at 10:30 to eat at McDonalds and kept on driving. We were on 169 when traffic stopped. Literally. We could see the ambulances and fire trucks ahead and we just sat there. For about 15 or 20 minutes. Finally the police let cars go and we saw that it was a motorcycle accident. That was it. One motorcycle and one car with no bumper. Good thing we weren't involved in the accident!

Got to the pow wow and found John's dad and Rose and the rest of the gang. Sat and visited for a few minutes and then walked down to the circle to get our seats. The grand entrance started at 1:00. It's something to see. Drums and singing and each group of dancers being introduced by the type of dance - men's traditional, men's fancy, womens, jingle dancers, and so many I lost track. There's a story behind the types but I don't know them. Joe and Rose were in their costumes. When Katie saw Grandma Rose, she said, "Mommy, why gramma Rose in that *outfit*?" And she whispered the word outfit. It was cute.

After the grand entrance the royalty was introduced. I was pretty impressed when some of the kids answered the questions in the native language. Each age group danced later in the day.

It rained a few times throughout the day - I was just relieved that it wasn't 90 outside like it was supposed to be.

At 4:00 they announced that dinner would be served at 5 and that elders should stay seated and their food would be delivered to them. That was too ambiguous for me. I need to know at what age is someone an elder but I don't know if anyone could tell me. Sooo, me, John, and Katie went to get in line for dinner. In the rain. In the rain that got worse as we walked to the food area. It was so rainey that John gave Katie his hat to keep the rain off of her face. Then a kid came by, looked at John, and gave him a meal. I laughed so hard. I guess that if you have grey hair, you are an elder. I laughed so hard but John was holding his meal and I was still in line to get mine. I probably shouldn't have laughed so hard.

John graciously offered to share his food with me and Katie (or maybe I just told him that we could share food, then when we left we would stop at the casino and eat at the buffed... that might have been how the conversation went). I took Katie back to the seating area while John went to the car for blankets and jackets. Rose heard what happened and she waved down one of the kids delivering to the "elders" and got a second meal for us. Whew! It was pretty good food. We had chicken breast, wild rice, potatoes, fruit, green beans, a bun, and a brownie. John was happy to see that there was a second meal because I didn't really wait for him to get back before starting to eat!

We walked back to the camp area and sat for a bit in front of the fire and then we took off for the casino so we could go to the bathroom. Katie and I hadn't gone ALL day. I tried to get her to go but she said she didn't have to so I didn't push too hard since all that was available were the port-a-potties. Need I say more.

At the casino, we used a very nice bathroom and caught up with John who really wanted to play poker. This coincided greatly with my desire to eat at the buffet. We split up and I took Katie with me. We ate a very yummy meal and we were just about done when John was looking for us. He won $11 and decided to stop. He was up by $40 but it's a fickle game.

We got in the car to head home and I heard "Uh oh" from the back seat. Katie had lost her grip on her water bottle and it was spilling in great gurgles onto the floor of the back seat. Luckily her clothes from the day managed to catch the spill and the back seat wasn't too wet.

Got home and wound down and went to bed!

Here are some pics:
Joe and Katie:

Grandma Rose and Katie:

Katie loved the water cup

Sitting by the fire just before we left for the casino

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