Carson Graham – Keys for a couple and caring for people

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Today was a very hard and emotional day. We did the dedications for the dental clinic at monkey jungle, as well as Freddie and Mamas new home. We all got onto our busses at one o’clock and went to the dental center. The final project was so amazing it warmed my heart, everyone there was so happy and full of life. Chuck and Candy, the operators of Monkey Jungle where we were building the dental clinic, were both so happy about what we all accomplished there. I can’t put into words how it felt to walk into a room that would be saving peoples lives and helping people in need who never got the care they truly deserved, and then on top of that knowing that I contributed in making that happen. I am forever changed and will see things with such a different attitude and mindset, I am hoping to take that home with me and keep those thoughts and memories with me for the rest of my life. A couple of people were chosen to prepare a few words for Chuck and Candy as well as the head dentist at the clinic. Listening to what the people had written inspired me and made me so emotional. It was so nice to see those three people’s faces light up as well as everyone around them who contributed to make this all happen.

After saying goodbye and our thank you’s to everyone there, we hopped back on the bus and went down to Mama and Freddie’s new home. I will never forget coming down the last road before Freddie and Mama’s house, and seeing the house that just the day before was incomplete had become a beautiful turquoise home. It looked like the house that Freddie and mama deserved to spend their lives in. Once we got off the bus we all went to hug Freddie and Mama. They were so unbelievably happy. I have never seen anyone so genuinely happy in my entire life. It brought so much joy and emotion to me and everyone else who worked so well as a team to make this all happen. After everyone settled in we did our second round of appreciation, and It was so overwhelming. Everyone there was crying, some tears of joy, and some people were just so changed and moved – it was impossible not to be. The things people wrote for the translators and mama and Freddie were amazing. After the appreciation we all had cake and talked to all the translators and workers and said thank you and gave them our hugs and goodbyes. One of the things that impacted me most today was just before we left, we were all saying bye to Freddie and he started to cry. I have never felt anything like that in my entire life, seeing that made me feel every single emotion all at once and it was so overwhelming and moving. We got on the bus and left watching their house get smaller and smaller as we drove away. Everyone was so emotional when we left but once we had been driving for a while we did appreciations for each other which made everyone very happy and positive. It was great seeing everyone who had put blood, sweat, and tears into this experience become happy and realize what a positive impact we had all made.
I couldn’t have picked a better group of people to have gone on a trip like this with. I really enjoyed becoming such close friends with people I had hardly ever talked to as well as strengthening the bonds I already had with my very close friends. This has without a doubt been one of the best experiences that I have ever had in my life. I would like to say my biggest thank you to Mr. Olson for believing in me and bringing me on this trip and helping everyone and motivating everyone in every way possible. I have full respect for him as a teacher and a mentor, as well as a man. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Nettie and Cole for this amazing opportunity and giving me a chance to experience all of this and become a better person. I hope I can take everything I learned on this trip to my life back in Canada and apply it to my daily life and not take so many things for granted. Lastly I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came with me on this trip, you’re all very amazing and unique people and I respect all of you. Thank you for letting me take part in such and amazing experience with all of you and for being such amazing people to me. I am so thankful for this experience and will be for the rest of my life.
Andrew – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteer, Dominican Republic, 2013

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: March 22nd, 2013