Learning from the Locals

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We started out the day with sore muscles but with the same unflagging enthusiasm as the previous day, to get the job done. Yesterday was a huge learning curve, as many of us were learning to do things we had never done before. Today, however, we felt like professionals.  While some in the group mixed cement, the rest began the task of sifting the sand in preparation for the smooth coat which will be applied Wednesday. What particularly amazed us today was the energy and agility of 60 year old Martin, a respected local building contractor, who nimbly scaled the 10 ft. heights of the upper levels of the structure and provided directions for our team.  Martin was one of the many locals from this community who we immediately connected with.
Today we had an opportunity to hang out with some of the local children.  Kelly, our LiveDifferent Team Leader, had brought along some skipping ropes, a basketball, and badminton rackets and encouraged us to take some time to get to know and interact with the kids.  The children are very affectionate and welcomed the attention, especially the younger ones.  In addition to hanging out with the younger kids:  Jacinta, Amy, Debbie and Lisa tore up the court with some of the older local boys in a game of basketball.  Little did they know that they had met their match.  It was a lot of fun and it is easy to become very attached to these beautiful people. 
One of the most inspiring young people we have met so far would have to be Junior ( Castel Dakid ).  Junior is working with LiveDifferent for the summer as a translator for their projects during the day.  In the afternoon, when we are calling it a day,  Junior continues his studies in the Industrial Engineering Program from 4 o’clock until 10 pm.  If that isn’t challenging enough, originally from Haiti, he is pursuing this in a new language here in the Dominican Republic. But wait for this, Junior speaks four languages all of which he has learned on his own!  With a leader such as this, we are inspired to do more than we ever thought possible.
Viola and Michelle – Raising The Roof Volunteers – 2013

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: June 25th, 2013