It has been a day of many emotions as we dedicated a new home to our new family, Policarpio, Augustina, Jennifer and Puol.

The day started with a flurry of shopping – beds, furniture, groceries, dishes, cutlery and household supplies. Then it was off to the house to install everything and set up bedrooms with bedding (including beautiful quilts handmade by Louise), and lay out donations of clothing and personal items, including teddy bears for the children.

And before we knew it, it was showtime. The family had not yet seen inside the house, and we all gathered around in a semi-circle around the front door. The keys were passed from team member to team member, each of us who wished to do so saying a few words to the family, with translation by our co- worker and amigo, Isaak. It was a time of honest emotion and more than a few tears.

Working alongside the family as a team, all our lives had been changed forever…and the Rotary Club of Parksville AM has been changed, as this project marks the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a long and successful partnership with Live Different.  This project was but the beginning – Rotarians are now engaged!

After the dedication, we ate together – chicken and fish with salsa, pasta salad and tortillas – all prepared by Policarpio and Augustina. It was a gesture of gracious hospitality that was unexpected but so appreciated.

And now for some final thoughts from the team:

– Definite highlight of the day – the smiles on the faces of the family as they entered their new home, leaving behind 120 sq feet of space for a 484 sq ft 3 room home.

– Long lasting impact – a feeling of truly bonding with the family and we could always come back and feel welcome.

– The biggest OMG moment came from Louise when a roll of toilet paper she was unwrapping flew out of her hands and landed in the toilet bowl – a major “oops” since toilet paper is not to be flushed.  Bring out the tongs!!

–  Favorite Mexican taste sensation – Jamaica – pronounced ha-micah – a delicious and refreshing drink brewed from hibiscus flowers.  another first – fresh caught mercado caught by Policarpio the night before the dedication, cooked whole and served in a huge pot.

– And we could not end this blog without mentioning someone who was with us every step of the way. Pedro and his family had their home built 2 years ago and, as his way of giving back, has participated in every home build as a volunteer since then. He an his wife also sell local crafts, and this evening he brought his beautiful merchandise to our compound. At the end of the evening, he gave us all a hand-braided bracelet as a gift. Such generosity was a wonderful end to our visit and a heartwarming highlight.

Adios Amigos,

Rotary team Mexico, Live Different Trip, 2014

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