Don was our site coordinator for the week, and if I'm being totally honest he threw me off a bit at first with his seriousness, but became one of my new favorite people by the first work day as I learned more about him and realized the passion he has for his community and his family. He's the principal at the school we stayed at, and his hospitality was incredible given that 80 or so strangers were basically taking over his school for the week.
Don’s work ethic is something to truly be admired, and he’s quite hysterical once you get to know him. He was a wealth of knowledge throughout the week and I was in awe of how humble he was despite working what seemed like 20 hours a day to keep us all taken care of and comfortable. His wife was our cook for the week and their son was also around every day, and I loved watching their family dynamic and seeing how much they all supported each other’s hard work.
It seemed like Don genuinely knew - and cared about - every single person in his community, and was an expert in every single story involving the history of his tribe. Our group got bounced around to a few worksites during the week (which isn’t totally standard) and no matter how many times we told Don we didn’t mind and our group was up for whatever they needed us to do, he continuously thanked us for our flexibility and willingness to go where the need was no matter what. At the end of the week, Don gave Dan and I a gorgeous blanket, which we later learned is a huge honor as it is a symbol from his tribe that indicates wanting all of your needs to be met. We’re lucky to have met Don and his family and be able to call them friends.
Don - thank you for hosting all of us and allowing us to come into your life and be a part of your community for the week. Your humility and passion for everyone around you is a true inspiration, and I'm honored to have worked with you during my favorite week of the year. It was incredible to watch how you handled every situation we all threw at you with such a calm demeanor, and I truly appreciate all of the opportunities you provided our group throughout the work week. Thanks for bringing us popsicles on the hottest work day, for the amazing blanket, for being our teacher and answering every crazy question we had, and for sharing your family with us. We miss you!