May 8, 2002

After waking up I started with my water tests because I didn't have a lot of time for carrying them out. In a certain way my results were contradictory: On the one hand, I did the tests on the same place as yesterday, but the outcomes were very different from the last ones. I have expected them to be more similiar.

On the other hand, I had many difficulties to interpret the data I measured in context with the water quality because while some results show a good water quality (the saturation of oxigen was higher than 80%), the side insde the water was very limited and the nitrate level was quite high, which are signs for a less good water quality.

At noon we went off the boat and drove to an indian reservation where we met Joe Campbell, a native American. At first we had lunch with him in a casino belonging to the reservation where we were given a video about the problems with nuclear power by him; he said we should give them to our schools.

The nuclear power was also one of the subjects he talked about. This topic is a very big problem for people that live in the reservation today; A nuclear power plant was built up immediately next to the reservation. Of course, nuclear power causes a large danger because of the radioactivity and the native Americans feel as if there were a "nuclear racism" for the reason that this power plant was built up next to them instead of near other cities. Joe's opinion was definetly against nuclear power. But I think he was a little bit exaggerating because there isn't any special danger for the people living next to a nuclear power plant; if there was an accident, the radioactivity would be in a large territory, so they would even be affected if the nuclear power plant was built a lot of miles away!

But this was not the only topic Joe was talking about. He also told us a lot about the history of native Americans and politics today as well as the problems originating from it.
In addition, we got to know a lot about his opinion of the right way to live; he said one should always remember the kind of life his parents and grandparents leaded. In difficult situations we should ask ourselves how they would have reacted.

And he added that everyone should remember his dreams in order to get to know what will happen and behave in the right way.

Now I'd like to add another subject Joe told us about; this was medicine. He said that Indians usually don't get ill because they had the right "medicine". In his opinion our medicine doesn't really work, it just helps because of the mind that thinks to be sure it helps. A proof of this would be the so-called "placebo-effect", which means that a person who is given a medicin that definetly doesn't help, but he thinks it would be a real medicine, becomes healthy because of it. So Joe follows that the real use of medicine was the believe in it.

In contrast to this, he thinks that all the things nature gives us, for example food, would be real medicine.

All in all, I have the impression that he believes in many supernatureal things, but he doesn't think in a scientific way.

After lunch we went out to a place which was used for graves in earlier times. Joe was still talking about some things he believed in. After a time a thunderstorm began and we had to go back to the car. For Joe it was a sign that he had talked about things he shouldn't have talked about.

Then we drove back to the "Lilly Belle", Joe came with us in order to visit the boat.
Alexander, Desmond and I went to the library in Red Wing, where we looked at our web page.

At about a quater past seven I came back. Now we all (except Desmond) went swimming at YMCA where we had a lot of fun although we only had one hour time until the pool closed.
In the evening we watched one of the videos about nuclear power Joe gave us for our schools.

May 7, 2002

Our boat didn't drive today; instead, it stayed in Red Wing. In the morning Desmond from Jamaica joined us.

We went to the national eagle center in Wabasha. Over there we got a lot of information about the eagles as a state symbol of the USA as well as about this kind of animal itself. It was very informative to talk to Mary from the eagle center who explained everything to us because she really knows a lot. In fact, I think it was very useful for us to visit the eagle center.

We had the possibility to see a living eagle called "Harriet". She wasn't able to survive in the wilderness because of her demaged wing (there was an accident with a car), so the people in the eagle center care for her. But she didn't seem keen on doing a photo with us, this was a little bit difficult. However, in the end we did this photo.

Afterwards we met Dave Palmquist who told us a lot about the geological history of the "Bluff land". We also climbed on a "Goat prairie" which was very steep and high. Climbing on it was not that difficult but strenuous. Going back down was a much bigger problem for me; when I arrived at the bottom of the bluff land, I fell on the street...

In addition, Dave showed us a rattlesnake and gave us a lot of information about the animal. We got to know that only one-fourth of the rattlesnake-bites are really able to kill a human being. In Minnesota they have about three bites a year, and most of them happen to people that work with this kind of snake. I recognized that rattlesnakes are not that dangerous as I thought they were.

Now we went to a supermarket in order to buy everything we're going to need the next three days. Then we went back to the boat.

May 6, 2002

Today we had a great time outside the boat. In the morning the "Lilly Belle" had to leave very early, so that there wasn't any possibility for me to do the water tests on-board. Because of this I took a couple of samples as soon as we left and did most tests on the bank. The results looked quite similiar to the ones of the days before.

Now we drove back to Winona, the town we stayed in three days ago. After we had taken a shower at YMCA, we went into a restaurant in order to have breakfast. As we were a little bit tired (it was early in the morning and there had been a thunderstorm last night!), this brief break was really welcomed.

We had the chance today to visit "We-no-nah", a popular company which produces canoes and kayaks; it was very interesting to see through the whole producing process, particularly since an employee of "We-no-nah" showed us around the factory. In the beginning you only saw some pieces of plastic, but afterwards there is a finished canoe!

Nevertheless, we also saw the sights of "Pickwick Mill" - an old water mill built up in 1854 till 1858. Being shown all these old machines was very informative. First we saw a video about this building which introduced us into the most important facts. Afterwards we went through every floor. Especially the giant waterwheel was interesting to see.

Unfortunately we got to know that we won't be allowed do a trip to "Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant" which we originally wanted to visit; they said the reason for this was security. I was a little disappointed because I am very interested in every kind of science and for this reason I'd really like to visit a nuclear power plant.

But on the other hand we did in my opinion the most fun thing we ever did during this week: We drove to Camp Pepin. Over there they have some poles where you can climb on and do a couple of things in the altitude of more than ten meters. For example one can cross a narrow, swaying bridge or even a rope. Of course, we were secured by a rope and two carabiners, but it was very exciting. Sometimes it also was quite difficult...

Our last task was using a kind of cable railway, but only hanging on two ropes with the help of one carabiner for each one of them. It was great!

In the evening we drove to Redwing. Ike was waiting for us in the "Lilly Belle". For dinner we went to a restaurant he showed us, so we didn't have to cook on our own.

The "Lilly Belle" will stay in Redwing tomorrow. I just hope the next days are going to be as fun as today was!

May 5, 2002

We left Winona in the morning. On the way I did my water quality tests; it's funny to do it while the boat is moving! Apart from a coule of difficulties with the nitrate test, it was all practicable. As first results, one can say that this part of the river is almost unpolluted.

Today I was allowed to drive the boat on my own for a time. A great feeling! Imagine you are sitting upstairs and turn the steering wheel, being able to overlook everything on the water... I thought it would be difficult, but it's quite easy.

In the early afternoon we arrived at Wabasha, a small town which is named after an Indian chief. We walked through the town and after that we drove to a museum by car. But when we arrived, we had to recognize it was already closed. So we turned back and drove to the "Weaver dunes", a lot of sanddunes where we walked on. It was fantastic! The weather was pretty good (it didn't rain), so we had a very nice time. We saw a flower called "prairie smoke" as well as some cactuses that normally do not grow in Minnesota, but in the southern states like Arizona or California. Because of this, I think the possibility to see them was really unique. Afterwards we had an ice-cream and then went back to our "Lilly Belle".

In the evening we had a barbecue on-board the boat. We did this exactly the right time because a few minutes later a thunderstorm began, it rained an there were lightnings. Before, some people came to us again and visited the boat. I am always impressed how many people are interested in seeing it! Even when we are sitting outside and eating, for example, there are people going around the "Lilly Belle" and looking!

May 4, 2002

We spent most of the day in Winona. In the morning I was introduced into the use of all the water quality testing equipment by Hannah S., so I was immediately able to start with my project. At first I had the impression that it might be a little complicated, but I got into the material soon; these tests seem to be really interesting.

Afterwards we crossed the river with a canoe belonging to the "Lilly Belle". On the other shore at this place there were a lot of houseboats which we wanted to see. We also had the possibility to talk to two people living in a houseboat; both of them stayed there during their free time, for example on the weekends, but had a house in a town, too. We were told that there were about 80 houseboats in this "neighbourhood" (it really is a neighbourhood for the reason that many of these people live permanently in a boat). For me it was a great experience to get to know about this kind of life.

We also visited the museum of Winona which was a good possibility to learn a lot about the history of this country.

In the afternoon we left this place and continued our boat trip up to a small village called Minnieska. There were some wonderful views of the scenery again. We passed the evening watching an informative video about flood in 1993.

May 3, 2002

At first I had to wake up very early in the morning, which was terrible for me because of the long traveling the day before. But I also was excited; a few hours later, we would go on-board the "Lilly Belle".

We went to Dakota, where our adventure should start, by car. There we were welcomed by all the pupils of Dakots elementary school. What a great feeling to hear them applauding and singing for us... After that, we told them something about the country we are from; they seemed to be really interested in it and asked a lot of questions.

Finally we started our expedition. The farewell was fantastic: All the children as well as the musicians waved their hands and shouted.

The first day of this trip itself was also very interesting. The weather was very good, we all had a lot of fun. I was fascinated by these wonderful views of the landscape around the Mississippi river. In the evening we are arrived in Winona, where we stayed in the boat for the night. All in all, this day was really interesting for me and I am sure we're going to have a great week on the "Lilly Belle"!

Center for Global Environmental Education
Hamline University Graduate School of Education
1536 Hewitt Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104-1284
Phone: 651-523-2480 Fax: 651-523-2987
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