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Our last build day is filled with mixed emotions. Excitement to see the houses near completion, confusion about how the time flew by so fast and relief that we don’t have to manually mix anymore cement. It’s come to that point where we’re having our last moments with the families, translators and kids. I’m not sure how to say goodbye. 

On this night we celebrated the project. We dressed up in our cleanest clothes (if we could find any) and headed out for dinner. We haven’t changed the world, but for 10 days we’ve chosen to LiveDifferent and it’s paid off. People who were strangers to us a week ago we now count as friends. There is a great sense of humanity that has come with spending our energy on others. I think the name of this trip should be changed to the Human Holiday. 

I’m thankful to work for a company that embraces the idea of making the world a better place. The Dominican Republic brings money into each of our pockets and it’s nice to put a small portion of that money back into this community. The final song played during our celebration was Don’t stop believing  – truly fitting. We took a chance and tried to help five families get a new lease on life. We’ve accomplished that and more.

When I say “we”, I don’t just mean the 50 WestJetters that traveled here. I mean the people who donated money towards this project, the community leaders that enabled this project to be effective and the translators who helped us get to know our families. Then there was the LiveDifferent staff that took care of all our needs, all the contractors who led the build, the neighbours who joined to help every step of the way and our hotel that kept us safe and fed.

To all the behind-the-scenes people who filled in the blanks – I know there has been a lot going on in the background we haven’t seen. It’s impossible to imagine how many people played a part it getting these homes to completion. 

I can’t wait to see the families move in – a new life awaits them.  I wish you could feel how strongly we care about these people, but know that as a company, we were doing a good thing down here. I hope you’re all celebrating with us. 

Jennifer Sinyerd, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Edmonton

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: November 15th, 2013