Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 15th, 2006

Video #2 Week 1: Day 4 to 6

We have created our second video for our adoring fans back at home. If you know anyone that might interested in seeing this, please let them know about this blog. Enjoy.

Author: LiveDifferent


Share those pictures!!

Welcome back to Canada all Week 1 Holiday Hereos! Now that you are home, lets start sharing photos with each other! This is the link to the Hero Holiday photo group: If you were on Hero Holiday please join Flickr and upload your pictures. Then use the “organize” menu in your flickr account to add photos to the Hero Holiday group. You will also be able to use this group to stay in touch and have discussions with other Hereos.

Author: LiveDifferent


The new heroes are here!

Happy Saturday. It’s pretty quiet here this morning. I’ve been up since four to meet the weary travellers as they came. So, yes, everyone is here safe and sound and…sound asleep! They have the morning to rest. This afternoon will be their education tour with Adrian. I believe we are taking everyone to Carraballo this time and then across the river to Ascension, where we built the homes and dug the pipeline last year.

First of all, for those of you worrying about Haiti, let me put your mind at ease! Only adults went except for a few minors who we received parental consent for. So don’t panic if you have kids here and didn’t know what was up with that! They are just going for the day with a medical team and a lot of gifts. We wouldn’t take to a place we didn’t feel was safe and they are with people from here who know the area.

We are missing a few faces around here and experiencing a bit of “separation anxiety” having to say a quick good-bye to those that returned home. To all of you who came and are now on the “other side of the blog” we love you and miss you. Thank you for giving of your time and energy this past week. You are truly amazing. You impacted the people here more than you probably realize. By the way, I believe we made the papers in Sosua and Santo Domingo or Santiago, can’t remember which it was. Everyone is talking about the crazy gringos who came to work. It meant so much to the Dominican and Haitian people that you came not as a tourist, taking from them, but came with hands extended, helping them, giving them honour, value and dignity. You weren’t afraid to hug the children and play with them. You touched people at the dump who are often despised for their lot in life. They are often seen as “lepers” – the untouchables. Yet you hugged them and shook their hands. That placed dignity and value on them. You worked alongside the local workers on the building projects; you didn’t turn away from the deformed and abandoned children at the orphanage but gave them what they needed most – love. You are heroes in every way. Don’t forget this week and chalk it up to a great experience you had one summer. Let it shape who you become. You are world changers and history makers. You are our nation’s future. We believe in you and we believe in your dreams. I’m so glad you’re in my world. Make every day count. Refuse to be average.

Go MAD! (Make a difference)

Author: LiveDifferent


Safe arrival

Hello to all the parents anxiously awaiting word of the safe arrival of their heroes. Everyone has arrived at Seneca College where they will either be picked up by their parents this evening or sleep tonight and catch a flight tomorrow. They were a great group of students and we miss them already.

Our coaches will be on the way to Santiago in about an hour to pick up our new group. We’ll see the happy wanderers in the wee hours of the morning 🙂

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 14th, 2006

Travel Day

Hi everyone. The wireless network is down here, so I just have a couple of minutes to let you all know that our one-week participants are safely on their way home. The first flight was delayed for about 15 minutes, but the layover in New York will put them back on track and they should arrive on time. The second flight is also on schedule. We were sad to see them go and hope to see them again next year. Our second-week team will be on their way today. I’ll post a note as soon as I can to let you know they arrived safely.

Author: LiveDifferent


And the tears began to fall…

My apologies for not blogging yesterday. How busy were we! And, of course, the internet was down. We’re up and running again today. Hopefully video #2 will be ready to roll soon. Yesterday the teams continued working on the two building projects. We had a bit of rain which really slowed things down. We also had a gecko meet his unfortunate demise when he ventured too close to the cement mixing team. They say it was an accident. The girls really did try to rescue him. So, does that mean he becomes a fossil? Poor little thing.

We continued with our dump, clinic and orphanage projects. The workers at the orphanage get lots of visitors but her comment to our team was that she had never seen these orphans receive so much love from visitors. Usually, they just come for a look. Our students – your kids – got right in there, helped feed them their meals, held them and just loved them with tears running down their cheeks.

Speaking of tears, there’s a lot of that going around today as it is the last day for our one-week participants. They are saying good-byes to all the kids in the villages and at the worksites. We’re having trouble pulling them away to bring them back to the resort. No one wants to go home. The last day is always the hardest.

Last night, we got to celebrate Dominican-style up on the mountain with a pig roast, music, bonfire and a pool party. Everyone had lots of fun and it was a nice reward for all the hard work they put in this week.

Tonight is our final debrief for those leaving to go home. We’ll talk about “re-entry” into Canada. Even though they have only been away for one week, it will be an adjustment to return home to “life as usual” after experiencing something like this.

The buses are staggered for the departure times to the airport in Santiago. The first bus leaves here at 10:30 and the next at 2:00. Ouch! Once again, I apologize profusely for the LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute)ly crazy flight times. It won’t happen again! Your loved ones should arrive at Seneca College Residence around 6 pm on Friday evening. There is a border crossing into Canada at Fort Erie, so an exact arrival time is unpredictable.

For all of the Hero Holiday Two people, their journey is just beginning! They are currently at Seneca College Residence getting registered and checked into their rooms. They’ll have dinner at 6pm and then a training session with our special guest, Henry Vanderspek from World Vision. Everyone should be tucked into bed by 11pm to have a good night’s sleep before the journey begins…

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 13th, 2006


You are truly a Hero too! You raise up and encourage the people around you to be Heros. That’s amazing. Thanks for believing in the kids, thanks for believing in Alix and Zachary especially. I believe in them too!

And in terms of how it’s impacted them, I not sure it’s totally evident at the moment, but I know it has. We have so much to be thankful and grateful for in our live’s…and it’s about love. It’s about knowing we are loved unconditionally and giving that love away to the people around us – that is what Hero holiday is about to me and it’s what you seem so very good at doing. God Bless you and have a great summer!!! Alix and Zack have said they’ll definitely be back next year and they’re even talking about wanting to go on a March break trip?????? Lawrence, (Alix and Zack’s Dad)

Author: LiveDifferent


Clinic, Dump and Orphanage Visits Begin

Well, the video is up and running. Thanks to Shlee and Josh for an amazing job; and of course Ryan for have the technology know-how to post it! If it was up to me, it would never come to pass. I wrote a nice long update this afternoon, took about an hour, hit send and I lost the whole thing. So now, here I am starting over in MS Word and using the little button marked “save”!

School. The walls are almost done on the first floor, well over 6 feet high all the way around. Our goal is to have it done by the end of the week. We seem to be training up some great cement mixers and brick layers!

House re-building. I hear it’s going well. It’s obviously taking longer to build than to tear down!

Orphanage visits. I’ve heard a lot of great reports. We had to tear a number of our people away at the end. We thought we’d have to leave a few behind. These kids are abandoned because they are all special needs kids. Our kids came with gifts, and just loved on them. They don’t often have people holding and hugging them. You could tell they loved the attention even though most of them couldn’t speak.

Sosua Dump. Probably the most intense part of our week was the visit to the dump where people have fled Haiti to live there with their families. They make a living by sorting through the garbage for recyclable materials. We brought a hot meal of chicken, rice and beans for everyone. Just to give you an idea of the significance of this meal. We spoke to one gentleman who just finished working for three weeks, every day. He received a wage equivalent to the one meal we brought for him today.

Medical Clinic. We honestly didn’t know how this was going to work today. We hadn’t done it before. It went really well. Between Dr. Yogi, a medical student and two registered nurses, they treated over 140 people today with everything from parasites to belly aches to malnutrition to diabetes to pneumonia. We have two more clinics this week and three next week, all in different surrounding villages.

The weather has been amazing. Not too hot, hardly any rain. Kyle says Hi Mom, I miss you and I love you lots. (He’s sitting next to me watching me post the blog and he wants you to know he’s okay.)

Krissie says hi to her parents but she forgot to tell them about the blog. So she says hi to all the parents of Hero Holiday children. Kelsey says hockey rocks, but ice has melted in Sosua. Oh darn.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 11th, 2006

Couple of pics

A few pictures for you:

We are building a new house for Carmen. Her old “house” was termite infested with giant holes in the tin roof.

July 11th Sosua garbage dump feeding program.

Author: LiveDifferent