Hello from Mexico!
As a group, we decided that for our first blog, we all wanted to do it together. We wanted to each write about what we have experienced here so far and how we felt. These are some of those experiences.Roxy – I had a pretty comfortable life in Alberta. A beautiful home, making good money, and doing what I love to do -looking after kids. But this year I felt like we needed a change. We had all this “stuff” but it wasn’t fulfilling me. I just felt so sad , and empty all the time, and I would think “What am I doing here?” When we decided to move to Mexico, I was scared, nervous, excited, and happy all at the same time. A couple of days into being here, I did a load of laundry that was life changing! Here in Mexico they hang their clothes up to dry, which is a new concept for me. In Sylvan Lake, where I live, it is a by-law that you can’t have clothes hanging up in your back yard on a clothesline because it looks bad. Here, in this village, they don’t have dryers, so you see clotheslines everywhere. I had just done a load of clothes and went over and started hanging them up on the line. The sun was just setting, and I started crying- one of those good cries. That feeling of sadness melted away and I felt like I was home. Not just physically but emotionally, mentally, I was at peace. Something as simple as doing laundry changed my life. Home is where the heart is, and mine is here.Brett – Every so often we do reviews with the students to get there opinion of how things are going, and talk to them, one on one. There is a written portion that was completed before we had a meeting with them. When I was reading the reviews, I got to know things about them I did not know before. Through the whole process I was blown away by the students, and I came to realize something. They are starting their life with an experience that many do not get, and through this some of them will be able to influence nations. They are young now, but they have the ability to become doctors, lawyers, mayors, and world leaders. I may not do much in my life to change the world, but if I have a part in changing the life of someone who does, that’s enough.Melissa -Back home I work in grocery store, I prepare food and put it on display. While down here, I noticed one of the boxes from a strawberry farm was one of the brands we get in our store. I make $13 an hour to put them on display and these workers who work all day in the hot sun, get 100 pesos a day, which is about $10. It really made me angry because they do all the work, yet they get paid the least through the whole process of getting the strawberries to Canada. It really gave me something I could relate to. This realization made me never want to complain about the simple tasks I do at my job ever again.Kelsey-When we were driving through Mexico into our town of Zapata, Charles told us that on average the field workers make 100 pesos a day which is about $10. When I heard that I got really angry because at my job I make more than that an hour and I do nothing compared to these workers. Most of them have family to take care of as well, where as I just blow my money. It took me a while to grasp the concept of how this could even be possible. I realized how much I took for granted at home, just how fortunate we are and how I want to make a changeAdrian– I love this place, I love the lay of the land, the friendliness of the people, and the weather. I love being able to just kick back and relax in a hammock and spend time in your thoughts. It is a care-free place where you can get away from the everyday whenever you feel. There is no real time just time spent.Bryan– I’ve recently come to be aware of the power of what we are doing here. It’s not always obvious in day to day life, but there are times when I realize the gravity of our decisions and the actions they lead to. Staying in the Comfort Inn, before going down into Mexico the next day, Adrian and I spent some time in the hot tub with Brett, Roxy and Charles. I heard the story of Vaden and Christal’s new daughter being carried across the river, and I knew right then and there that…well…this is where it’s at. This is where great things are happening…and I am part of it! Just last weekend, simply by making the choice to investigate Hurricane damages in the Southern Baja, we ended up playing a vital role in bringing food, clothing and medicine to isolated villages devastated by the hurricane. We are truly making a difference, and I’m embarrassed to say that it has taken me six years of Hero Holiday trips to Mexico to fully understand that.Laura– As I look back at my life in Oshawa, I see my family, friends and part-time job at Sears. This was what my summer consisted of, drama from which high school couple broke up, which one got back together, things that seem to consume others’ entire life.When I came down here the society seemed to care about more important things. They cared about the people who they meet off the street, and were consumed with providing everything they had to make their new friend feel comfortable. We were putting food bags together to be sent to families that had been stranded by the hurricane that hit Southern Baja. While we we’re putting these bags together everyone was working together for a greater cause, we weren’t scoping the web to see the celebrity scandal of the weekend or going out to a party and getting drunk. Everyone was there to help and provide hope. The people that we’re organizing where we we’re going, were also providing a place for us to stay and even food for supper and breakfast. I am not talking just about the group of LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) that consisted of 12 of us, I am talking about 31 people to eat and sleep.Most people would suspect that we would have to find our own place to stay, or pay for our own meals, but that is how North America operates. Whether you are rich or poor you offer everything because this is their culture. We think that we need to come down and help these people because they have LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute)ly nothing. But that is not true…. they have each other, something that Canada should really consider to model after.