Day number one…”UNO”

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Today was the first day on the building sites for the groups from Penticton, and I was given the privilege of being the IMG_0847 photographer for the week. I spent my day traveling from work site to work site, taking pictures and peeking at each of the mini-groups in progress. The big group of over 70 students and leaders from Penticton were broken up into 5 smaller groups, each with IMG_0845 their own project to do. We have 4 houses to be built this week, and a childrens’ program being during the afternoon. There was excitement and movement all over the area as all 4 house groups started framing and sheeting the walls and roof panels put together today, in prep to start putting up the walls and roof of the home tomorrow!At any given time you could hear the pounding of nails, cutting of saws and laughing of kids, as everyone had the  opportunity to work on the house, spend time on with the families and play with the kids. Everyone got a considerable amount of work done on their first day, and a few groups even managed to get a healthy competition going between the pro IMG_0857 Mexican “football” team (the local children) and the Canadians. I heard a few people marvel at how good the kids were at soccer, and everyone who played talk about how much fun they had.This fun traveled across to an empty lot of a soon to be built church. This 5th group was setting up a puppet show for the neighborhood children. Kids gathered around to watch the team set up their puppet stage, they asked the students for piggy back rides and just enjoying their company.When I asked a lot of the students how the day went and what their favorite part, a few of the girls enthusiastically told me of a conversation that their leader had with some of the kids, through a translator. He was simply asking the kids questions like “Where do you think we’re from?” and “Why do you think we are here?” They were quite surprised when one boy told them he knew that they were not here simply to build a house but for bigger more compassionate reasons. They were totally taken aback when the kids answered that they were “amigos” after being asked “Who are we?” and the same little boy replied “We are brothers.”muscles IMG_0854 Everyone found a lot of meaning in there moments spent with the kids, and this one is just one example of the memories that our group made in their first day. I can only imagine the countless memories that each student will have to bring home with them, and the cute little smiling faces that they will never forget.It seems to me that all of the groups are having a great experience so far, and even at the end of the day everyone seemed to be building up their enthusiasm…excited for next day spent with their families, “their amigos”.I look forward to spending the rest of the week with this group, snapping pictures, chatting about their new experiences, and new friends.~ Kristi, a School of Leadership student and “journalist” for the week.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: March 18th, 2009