The Best Party Ever!!

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IMGP0336 This past Monday morning, when my alarm went off, I wasn’t sure I wanted to get out of bed! I knew the day ahead of me would be wild and busy, and that at the end of it I would be physically and emotionally drained; and I was right:)

For the past 3 weeks, I have been leading the Hero Holiday teams here in Dominican Republic as we go to the garbage dump in our community and I have been overwhelmed with what we have experienced and how we have been changed; most of all myself! I have always considered my life to be rich beyond measure because of the people that I work with in LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute), but this summer, I have a new reason: the Hero Holiday people that I am proud to lead. On Monday we threw a HUGE party at the garbage dump for the people who live and work in that community: complete with dancing, rice and beans, two huge

roasted pigs for 400 people, and 350 gift bags for children! We had a huge fiesta!! It was wild-and it was the best party of my life! There were points in that party where I would just close my eyes and listen to the sound of love and friendship and the laughter and delight of children as they were embraced. I saw the beauty of dignity and value being extended beyond cultural and language barriers, and I experienced the power of making a difference.

As we pulled into the garbage dump and began the long climb up the hill towards the party location, we were greeted by shouting and dancing children who were running beside our vehicles and telling us how excited they were for the party. My heart was filled to the point where tears began to spill out, as I was overwhelmed with how privileged we were to be a part of these people’s lives in this small way, and as I saw our own students jump off the trucks and begin to hug and embrace the children waiting for them. As we started up the sound system and started pumping out the music, cheers of delight rose from the crowd and laughter began to ripple through the party. Who would have ever imagined themselves dancing on top of a heap of garbage with 400 people they had never met before?!?

Is this not what life is about? Mother Theresa said that if you changed the life of one, then you have already made a difference. That day, I saw my Hero Holiday crew change the life of many; and in the process, they themselves were changed! There was laughter and tears as we celebrated the gift of life and friendship in the middle of a garbage dump with people who had captured our hearts and encouraged us to continue to be the change that we want to see in the world.

At the end of the party, we were exhausted beyond words, but our faces were content: we had just lived the dream! We waved to the last truck load of our honored guests as they caught a ride back to their homes and we got ready to leave. But for me, there was one more sweet treat in the whole deal. I got to see the look on one of my little orphan boys’ face as I handed him the soccer ball for him to keep and take back to the village with him: you would have thought I had handed him the moon! To top it all off, my husband and I took him back in the car and he got to ride in the front seat between us. He had his soccer ball under one arm and held my hand with the other hand. Is there a more sweeter moment in life? I wish I could have captured it in a bottle and opened this bottle whenever I wanted to relive the bliss of this moment. For my little friend, life is very difficult, but for those few moments, all was well: he had a soccer ball, a friend, and a full belly and heart from the best party ever!

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 26th, 2007