There’s nothing better than working together, alongside a group of people all for a common purpose. A rush of wanting and needing to complete the task overwhelms, and in that moment nothing feels better. I sometimes find myself complaining at home, whether it’s about school, work, or ‘there’s no food in my fridge’. On this trip, I’ve come to realize all of those are trivial and I should be so grateful. In the Dominican and many other parts of the world, there are kids who can’t go to school, Haitians who work in garbage dumps in order to make an income, and families that don’t even own proper refrigerators since they only get electricity 4 hours a day.
The people here in the Dominican have made a great impact on me. All of those involved on both worksites and at the dump will always bring me fond memories and crazy emotions. Today, the Monkey Jungle crew drove down to the farm and we were able to check out the cows, pigs, birds, et cetera. What really stuck out to me were the two young boys who live in the house adjacent to the farm. Once we got out of the truck and checked out the the animals, the boys were hanging out and goofing around. When we were transferring over to the area that houses the pigs, we spotted a cryptic old doll’s head with one eye and a bald spot on the ground in front of us. We then heard giggling coming from the young boys and realized that they had put the head there! I couldn’t stop laughing, I thought it was so hilarious. We then got back on the truck and they chased after us, and you could tell they were having so much fun.
Even though they don’t have some of the material goods we had when we were kids, they’re still able to have a good time and be so full of life and joy. I feel that I have learned so much from them, and before the trip that wasn’t something I was expecting. I see how the boys smiled when we were with them, and so I feel that we have influenced them as well, which gives me the ultimate thrill. This LiveDifferent trip has made me feel things I’ve never experienced before and I’m so thankful for the opportunity. I don’t want it to end!
Sophie – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteer, Dominican Republic, 2013