Mom! We built a house! And so much more!
What started out as just a concrete pad on the ground, turned into so much more…Build week isn’t all about just getting the job done; it’s about connecting with the family, giving out numerous capouchies (piggy backs) a day and building close friendships. The experience really teaches you about family and how fortunate we are. These Mexican families teach us so much about love, what life is about and shows us that there’s so much more to life than materialistic things.
This big family of 12 was shy and quiet the first few days, but their smiles were always bright and so full of life. As we started to progress with building, the father, Librado, showed great interest in being a part of this new chapter in his family’s life. He enthusiastically helped hammer in nails, put up the walls and paint. Slowly the children of the family began to help alongside their father and soon enough alongside all of us. Having the family be a part of the building is one of the best things to see and allowed for us to use what little Spanish we knew to build a small conversation with them each day. I had asked the oldest daughter and the mother what they were most excited about when they were finally in their new home, and they replied by saying, “We are excited to cook for our family, and just be together.” To some people, that may be so simple, but here, being able to do that is a huge thing and it’s a time that brings the family all together. Slowly, we were beginning to bond with this family.
Each day as we saw our progress, we saw how happy the family was every second we were there. The kids began to get more and more excited and they began to become our friends. Just the same as a child you would find anywhere else in the world, they loved to play, they loved to laugh, and they loved capouchies. Putting down the hammer for a few minutes was always a highlight of the day, it meant we got to spend time playing with all the cute kids. Hearing their laughs was the best sound ever, because by doing something so simple made them so happy. It’s crazy how much of an impact you can have on someone by taking a few minutes to spend with them. The kids here are absolutely amazing and are never seen without a smile on their faces.
Juanito, one of the children in the family, stood out to me like the brightest star in the sky. Where to even begin to describe this little boy… His love for his family was so clear and inspiring. He showed such love for every person in his family, especially his father. As I was in the middle of giving him a capouchie he saw that his father had arrived back home and right away he had an even bigger smile on his face, quickly wanted down and he ran to his father, hugged him and looked up at him with such a bright, loving face. It made me think about my family and made me wish that I was a little more like Juanito. He has such a big heart for such a little boy.
And then here it was – dedication day, the day we handed over a new future to a family who was so deserving of it and so thankful for it. Of course this is always the most emotional part, but also a really happy part. As we went shopping for beds, food and some toys we saw that concrete pad now as a home, a place for security and a place where they could have happy new memories. As we all stood outside their house sharing words of how much this week has impacted us and our wishes for them, I couldn’t help but shed a few tears- tears that were happy. I was so proud that I was a part of such an amazing thing and that we had transformed this families future. Building that house wasn’t work, it was something we all looked forward to each day; and in my opinion, one of the best memories that we will treasure from this four month experience.
Chey – LiveDifferent Academy Student 2012