Through The Looking Glass

Ann White, trip sponsor, and Afza Asif, a non-degree seeking student of Pakistan, examine artwork by Norwegian artist Einar Hanson Olstad. The De Mores Interactive Center in Medora, N.D. featured  a gallery of Olstad’s work. &mdash Photo by T.J. Thomson

Photo by T.J. Thomson

Ann White, trip sponsor, and Afza Asif, a non-degree seeking student of Pakistan, examine artwork by Norwegian artist Einar Hanson Olstad. The De Mores Interactive Center in Medora, N.D. featured a gallery of Olstad’s work.

Khawla Bali non-degree seeking student of Tunisia, stares along the length of a collection of western miniature scenes contained within the Schafer Gallery of Art in Medora. “Thanks to Medora, N.D., I got to discover the real Western civilization and history.” - Khawla Bali &mdash Photo by T.J. Thomson

Day 1 (Sept. 4)
During the first day, seven students sponsored by both NESA and IREX (including the Pakistan division of IREX) traveled from Chadron to Medora, N.D. The seven students were accompanied by Dr. Gary White, Dean of the school of B.E.A.M.S.S., his wife, Ann, and Iuliia Protopop, Interim International Education Program Coordinator.

On the way to Medora, several stops were made including a visit to the historic Bear Butte monument and one to the ranch of Roger and Cordella Thompson. At the ranch, students were treated to a home-cooked meal and shown a working wheat-harvesting combine, sunflower fields, and were given the opportunity to get up-close and personal with several head of angus cattle.

Following the group’s arrival in North Dakota, the students stopped at the Badland’s Ministries Retreat Center (where the group stayed) to change and prepare for the evening’s activities.

The last item on the agenda was the famed Medora Musical, which is lauded as one of the most popular attractions in the entire state of North Dakota. The musical featured historical representations of Theodore Roosevelt and his memories of his time in North Dakota., as well as singing numbers and drama. A comedy act, the New York Goofs, also was featured.

Day 2 (Sept. 5)
On the second day of the trip, group members ate breakfast at “Theodore’s” restaurant in the Rough Rider’s hotel. Two of the student’s birthdays occurred with in the trip’s time frame, and so were presented with a red velvet cake at breakfast to commemorate the occasion.

Following the meal, students had the option to shop at the various boutiques and shops in the town, play mini golf, ride in a horse-pulled stagecoach along the Little Missouri River, ride horse-back, and visit the historic De Mores Interactive Center; however, due to a combination of the weather and over-booking, several of the activities [horse-back riding and mini golf were ruled out]. The rather mild afternoon showers turned into a fantastic lightning storm later that evening which included a deluge of rain.

Day 3 (Sept. 6)
The morning of the third and final day of the trip had been slated for horse-back riding, but due to the weather conditions, was canceled.

In lieu of the cancellation, a buffet breakfast was enjoyed followed by a final sight-seeing stop at the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame. Students arrived back in Chadron around 6 p.m. Monday.

Kateryna Simonova, G.A. of Ukraine, said the following about her experience: “The trip to Medora was probably one of the brightest experiences I’ve had since I became and international student at CSC. I couldn’t even imagine that you are able to make that many memories within such a short period of time.”

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