Throughout the course of our lives, we often experience what I usually call “panarama moments,” – a split second where time seems to slow and sound ceases to exist. These moments tend to stand out in our minds and allow us to fully take in our surroundings, to experience everything that is going on around us in a pure and focused way, and to find a new appreciation for the situation at hand.
On the second build day of the second public trip in Mexico this summer, I experienced one of those ‘panorama moments’. A group of us were up on the roof, nailing trim and plywood to the frame. I stood up from one of the boards I was nailing and for the first time since climbing up there, I took a thorough look at everything around me. The build site was up on top of a hill and you could see the community of Las Aves for miles, it seemed.
A dust cloud plundered a cluster of houses in the distance while the wind made my eyes water. Turning around, I could see over the tarp fence on the property and I watched one girl from the family wash blue paint from her hair in the basin that served as a clothes washer, then walk back towards the house build only to have a cousin smear more on her face and in her hair. I could see my new friends hammering nails around me and the Mom and Dad of the family carrying paint trays in and out of their new house.
In that moment, I felt the roof under my feet and knew there was a floor, walls, windows and doors holding it up. I realized that I was standing on what soon would be a home for a hard working, loving, and well deserving family.
I felt a deep sense of joy and anticipation for what we would soon present to these five people – the keys to their new home. Those keys would represent shelter, hope, safety, and a boost forward for this family. In that moment in particular I felt a strong connection with the incredible individuals I was lucky enough to work with in the past week.
I took a deep breath and let it all sink in and then I picked my hammer up and returned to work, filled with a refreshed sense of purpose and drive. Those few seconds felt like a lifetime, and the importance and images of my rooftop realizations are going to come to mind every time I think of my time in Mexico.
-Abby, LiveDifferent Intern, Mexico 2014