First Day on the Work Sites in DR

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WOW! Today was an amazing day! Lots of sun and sweat! The group started off with a quiet ride to the site, but as soon as we arrived, our energy was back to full blast. After the awareness tour yesterday, the group realized how much their hard work meant to the people so we worked extra hard. We also knew how much the kids love to play with us, so even though we were tired, we put on our best faces and fought with the sun! Our group today was split into 2 individual groups; one went to play with the kids, while one stayed behind for construction. Today, we were helping out at a house construction and it was TIRING! The blocks were quite heavy, but when we saw a nine-year old girl was running past us, we gained our energy right away! Due to the heat, many people were getting headaches from the sun even though we drank a lot of water, so that slowed us down a bit. While we sat in the shade, we played around with the kids and they loved us. No matter how tired we were, looking at the kids lifting and carrying buckets of rocks really motivated us to keep going and work even harder. For the playing group, the kids loved playing soccer and parachute! People there really enjoyed our company and everyone had a very bright smile. After a good 2 hours of hard work, we left for lunch where we ate some delicious pizza! Then, we head back to the same site for a switch around of tasks. The afternoon was very hot and the team had to take breaks frequently. When it was time to go, the kids chased the truck down and it was sad to say goodbye. Right now, everyone is treating themselves to a nice evening down at the beach! There will be more sweating and even more sun tomorrow, but our group will come through with no problem!~THOUGHTS BY TIFFANYToday was a big learning experience for me. We were helping out a family who desperately needed a new house to live in. Most of the work consisted of moving big buckets of dirt and gravel along with heavy cinder blocks. The hardest part wasn’t even the lifting, it was walking! We had to walk straight up and down a hill with all this stuff so that they could use it for their house. After 5 buckets I felt like I was going to pass out. I couldn’t really complain though, when a four year old boy could carry two buckets at once back and forth, back and forth. The work was rewarding of course, but what made it meaningful for me was the fact that we knew who we were helping. The mother of this family told us that she was grateful to each of us for what we were doing for all of them. It is easy for us to be frustrated by the problems in the world because it feels like we are helpless. I used to feel like my contributions were just microscopic specks when you compare them to the entire problem. Today helped me realize that even though this issue is gigantic, everything really does make a difference. I wasn’t just building a house. I was building a shelter for this mother, our new friend, so that she could know her children were safe. I was helping this young child sleep at night without the fear of his home falling to pieces on top of him. I felt LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute)ly blessed to be able to do this. The best part of the whole thing was realizing that these people are open to us and we are open to them. One of the young girls that I became close with drew me a picture. She wrote down her name and her parents names and her grandparents names. She even showed me her house. We really wanted to be a part of each others lives forever, and I truly believe that we will be.~ Tess

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 9th, 2010