A Day Worth Waiting For
Intern week is dedicated to community projects and intern-community bonding. It’s a five day week that not many get to experience, and this year I was one of the 12 people who got to experience it in Mexico. We took part in projects such as painting the Las Aves community centre, checking in with previously built for LiveDifferent families, a community soccer game, and a community garbage pick up. Each day was different and life changing in its own way, and they were all able to teach us skills and lessons in life that no high school, university, or other schooling could teach us. We are just 12 people that were lucky enough to get this opportunity, and none of us will ever forget it.
Las Aves is a community that all of us interns have had a chance to get close with this summer. When we were told that we were doing a community clean up, all of us were excited to get started, and get cleaning. Upon arriving we were told that there may be a few locals there, and that if we could pair up with someone if we wanted to. To our surprise, nearly all of the people from the side of community we were cleaning showed up. To see that many people taking time out of their lives, forgetting their problems for one morning, to join together with us, was genuinely touching and there was nothing to do other than smile.
Right off the bat, I saw an elderly lady struggling to open her garbage bag. So I walked up and asked if if I could help her with it, and I opened the bag for her after she said ok. I then handed her one side of the bag and I held the other, and we started to walk and gather garbage. Although there was such a huge language barrier between us, we didn’t need to communicate through words, we were able to communicate through smiles and nods. For me it was such an uplifting experience, to help Marcella-Carmen clean her community. Although we moved slowly though the community because she had and injured foot, we still made our way around the whole community, and she even made sure I knew where her house was, because she was very proud of it.
Although I do not speak Spanish, I am able to understand the jist of it, and know a few words to speak. One moment that I will never forget is when Marcella-Carmen and I had been working for about an hour. The sun was beaming down, and we were getting near the top of the highest hill in the community. When we finally got to the top and had a second to take a breather, we simply looked out, and from there we could see the whole community. I couldn’t let the moment pass without telling her that she lived in an amazing and beautiful community. So I said “Bonita ” (which means beautiful), while over looking the community, because as I said, my Spanish is very broken. She looked back at me with the biggest smile on her face, and agreed, “Si, gracias”. This moment topped it all, it was such a momorable moment in my day, and I will never forget it.
At the end of this amazing day, we played soccer in the afternoon on the community soccer field built by LiveDifferent. All the little boys came out dressed in their soccer jerseys, and played against us, and some other kids, and even some parents from the community joined in on the game. It was a great time, with many laughs, smiles, and a little friendly teasing from both teams. Everyone worked as hard as they could to play against these kids who were superstars at the sport. In the end we all came together and shook hands, played around on the field for a little while, and then took some pictures all together. It shaped up to be one of the best, and most memorable days of the whole trip so far!
– Jeremy, LiveDifferent Intern, Mexico 2013