‘When’s Your Birthday? January First!’ Report from Sioux Falls

‘When’s Your Birthday? January First!’ Report from Sioux FallsScreen Shot 2014-12-07 at 10.29.18 AM
by Deborah Fallows
Sioux Falls began welcoming Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s, and it continues welcoming refugees today, including most recently Sudanese, Somalis, and Nepalese. I say “welcoming” deliberately, as the outreach and cooperation among  churches, schools, civic groups, the city, and community volunteers is deep and obvious. The phrase I heard most often in my talks with those who work with refugees is something like “embrace the challenge.” (Read it here.)

How to Make Nice with the Call Center

How to Make Nice with the Call CenterWelcomeSF   When we arrived in Sioux Falls, I was very excited about hearing the Dakota accent. Think Frances McDormand in the movie Fargo. Or try listening to the language in this mash-up video (not embeddable) between McDormand and Sarah Palin.  Those “O’s” ; the friendly “you betcha’s”!  Having spent 7 formative childhood linguistic years in nearby Minnesota, I find the Dakota way of speaking familiar and comforting. (Read it here.)

Rapid City Report: What Does ‘Green’ Mean?

Rapid City Report: What Does ‘Green’ Mean?Eco Platinum Rushmore 3A
by Deborah Fallows
At the Adoba Hotel, the carpet is composed of individual tiles, which show up as tan and dark brown in the photo above; the tiles are made from recycled natural grass, stone, and fibers from other carpets. The carpet backing is made from sugar, salt, sand, and rubber. If carpet tiles get soiled or stained, they can be replaced one by one. When the carpet wears out, the Meralis can sell the tiles to a recycler, who will remake them into new carpet tiles and maybe even sell them back to the Meralis. (Read it here.)