Broken Hearts: Mission Accomplished
When facilitating the experience of the young people who spend four months in Mexico with me, one of my goals is that their hearts would break when they have to say goodbye. Not because I like to see people suffer, but because then I know that they have really experienced true friendship and the Mexican culture. The people that I have gotten to know here are some of the most generous, determined and resourceful people I have ever met. If people are willing to try new things and put themselves in awkward, unfamiliar situations, they are bound to have their heart stolen by the people and this place. This spring the girls have thrown themselves into this experience in a way I haven’t seen previous groups do. And now as they wrap up their time in Mexico, I can see that my mission has been accomplished. In some ways I wish I could take away the ache in their hearts as they say goodbye to the friends they have made. But in other ways I am proud of them for spending four months cultivating relationships with everyone they met. They no longer focus on the differences between them and others, but see the similarities and how we are each an important piece of a larger family. And I am proud of what they have learned about their world and about themselves. When they talk about the things that they have done in Mexico, there is a sense of awe and pride in their voices. This is one of the best rewards I could ever ask for in my job.
On Friday we start the journey back to Ontario to spend a week with the other team and celebrate their year. From there some of them are off to university, others to continue doing humanitarian work and others will be working and volunteering. I will be returning to Mexico to lead another Hero Holiday group and to prep for a summer of building 13 more homes. While the girls’ hearts are breaking as they say goodbye to this place, all of them are venturing off with names and faces of friends that will be their inspiration to do what they can to make this world a better place. They are not going to be paralyzed by the enormity of poverty and injustice in our world. They may not be able to do everything but they have learned the power of small actions, and that when everyone does their part, it’s no small thing at all.
“Once we have experienced solidarity, we can never forget it. It may be short-lived, but its heady sensations remain. It may be still largely a dream, but we have experienced that dream. It may seem impossible, but we have looked into the face of its possibilities.” – Ronald Aronson
– Rose, LiveDifferent Academy Facilitator