Mary had asked us to meet her at her office at 9:30AM to receive our marching orders for the day. This would require leaving no later than 9AM. Given that our last ASBer didn't get out of her sleeping bag until 8:40AM, we didn't actually leave until 9:10. That was okay as we arrived and things were not as well planned as we had hoped.
Thankfully, Warren and Sam jumped in and helped us partner with the University of Miami trip in the morning. We drove about a half hour outside of Tahlequah to a project that Cherokee Nation was developing a series of cabins for groups like ours as well as retreats to use free of charge. Our project was cleaning up a bit and helping get the water line laid. We set to work with shovels and rakes and made fairly short work of getting a lot of small stones cleared out of a roadway and getting a lot of leaves raked up to be burned. After lunch we got the soft dirt to cover the water line so that it would not be broken by large rocks when the backhoe came along and filled in the ditch completely.
Warren came up with another project for us in the afternoon. We left Sam with the University of Miami group and headed back into Tahlequah where we worked in a school that Cherokee Nation had bought and converted into a charity distribution center for clothes and household items. We got one room full of stuff sorted out, a number of clothes into gender and size order, and about fifty bags of bedding and curtains folded and sorted. It was a thoroughly rewarding sight to see it all completed.
Tyson, who had invited us to work on the project, also had another project for us the next morning. He wanted us to head over near Tulsa to help him unload some lumber and sheet rock. The group was divided as to whether we wanted to do it or not, given that Friday morning was scheduled for rafting down the river. The group discussed it and worked together with Tyson to find some kind of workable compromise. The initial decision was to do the project early in the morning and then go rafting later in the morning. By evening, that had changed and we finally decided to skip the unloading in favor of a potential project helping an elderly woman clear her yard later in the day.
We went and had pizza at the Pizza Hut in Pryor, OK, thanks to the generosity of Maria from the Zoo Safari on Monday. Maria, John and August have been truly gracious to us while we've been here and we are deeply grateful to them. We also highly recommend visiting Zoo Safari if ever your are in the Tahlequah region.
After dinner we headed back to Four Corners so that the girls could spend the evening streaking their hair purple. I served as photographer for the occasion. I was strongly encouraged to get a streak or two in my hair, or maybe do my beard, but I refused. Of course, purple is the appropriate liturgical color for Lent... but no.