My Experience: Summer Intern, Lisette, Mexico

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Hero Holiday Mexico Trip 1 is over, and as a summer intern I have the pleasure and privilege of taking part in the next trip that arrives this Monday. When I was asked to write a blog for the Hero Holiday website, I contemplated what I would write about. There are many instances…highlights/lowlights…funny stories and experiences that inspire me. Do I talk about the amazing people from all across Canada that I am able to share these experiences with? Or the fulfillment in seeing a house build through, from where only the cement pad lies to putting the beds and frames into the finished product? After much deliberation, I’ve settled on talking about the family we built for. This is my second house build for Hero Holiday; the feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment are definitely and noticeably greater with a stronger connection to the family. Last summer for my trip the participants didn’t build as strong of a relationship with the family due to the participants’ lack of familiarity with Spanish and because the family spoke their own indigenous language. This past trip we had two girls well-versed in Spanish; both spent time during the house build to get to know the husband, Miguel, and his wife, Ofelia. After the work day’s end both would relay their stories (mostly Miguel’s) to the rest of the group. It was touching and eye-opening to say the least, especially when learning the hardships and obstacles that both individuals had to overcome. Miguel expressed his thanks to everyone in the group and was having major difficulties accepting that a) this was actually happening to him and b) that students were going out of their way to do this for him. He asked one of our participants how much it cost to come on the trip-upon hearing the price he was genuinely shocked. On top of that the participants pooled together money to buy additional things such as beds, money for food, a stove, electricity and schooling for his three daughters for a year. During the house dedication, Miguel smiled and shed a few tears as he thanked us all for the thousandth time. Everyone was smiling, crying, snapping pictures, hugging each other, or hugging the family. There was an immense sense of pride and accomplishment as participants had their thoughts interpreted by Becky and one of our team members and vice versa with Miguel. This was a victory and an accomplishment that was much sweeter for me because of the deeper connection with Miguel and his family. It’s moments like these that I look back on when I’m back in Canada, and I feel humbled and fulfilled all over again.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: August 16th, 2008