Our Lives Have Changed As Well
Although we have left our own families behind, we have become a part of a bigger family. From the first day we stepped off the bus, it was amazing to feel so welcomed by all of the people in the village. It was like we had known everyone there our whole lives. It was so nice to see people from the village come together to help not only the families we are building for, but us too. The lack of jealousy and generosity is simply mind blowing.
Today, we did a day in the life activity where we spent the morning with a separate family that consisted of a single mother (22 years old) with a three year old boy. We started the day by hand washing the clothes that were dirty for two weeks, because believe it or not, she simply could not afford detergent. Almost everything done down here is by hand therefore requiring a lot more time and work. We cannot tell you how grateful we should be for having machines to do almost everything back home. We then had to walk to her mother’s house with the clothes in buckets to hang them outside in her back garden (not your typical back garden) to dry. She does not hang them outside her own home because she is afraid that they will be stolen. We could not believe that the little boy had for example, only two pairs of underwear and about three shirts.
On another note, every time it rains the mother has to put plastic bags on the ceiling above their beds because the roof is leaky. Although she does this, some of her things still gets wet including her bed. We also helped her prepare lunch that was provided by LiveDifferent. We helped her cook half of a chicken with rice and a small amount of vegetables that was going to be shared among six people. It was so nice to see how giving she was with so little, to share the meal with some of her family. One thing we couldn’t believe was how little they waste. When we were adding the rice into the pot, she wanted every single grain to go in!
We cannot believe that today was our last day of work! It was extremely hard work but definitely worth the effort and time. We are so looking forward to dedicating the house to the families. Not only will their lives change but ours have as well.
Ashley & Melanie, LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteers, Dominican Republic, Making More Change Trip, 2013