Participant Blog: With Eyes Wide Open…

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The Keychain Yesterday I was at the Sosua dump and it was a major eye-opening. All the garbage from all the hotels and people living in the Sosua area ends up here. Haitian refugees also end up here. They say that its better living and working in this dump than trying to survive in their own country that is stricken with even greater poverty.

The Hero Holiday team went out there to meet them and to give water to the people. We gave out agua to all the workers while they were picking throught the piles of garbage looking for bottles and any scraps of food to eat. We played games with the kids. I had a fun game of hackeysack with a boy who had such talent at juggling and hacking. No one will ever see his talent. After about 20 minutes, a garbage truck came in with kids hanging off the sides. Suddenly, all the kids that we were playing with dropped everying and ran straight to the truck. They began rummaging throught the bags, eating what ever scraps of food they could find. One of our leaders noticed a pile of keychains sitting by the garbage heap. They were the old keychains from our hotel that had been replaced by new ones just a couple of days ago. In that moment we realized that this was real. This was our garbage, our food that they were desparately looking for. Our garbage was their lifeline. This whole experience impacted our team beyond words. It told us just how much these people need our help. It painted a picture of just how horrible these living conditions are and contrasted how lucky we are. How could I ever take anything for granted from this day forward?

~Jean, student leader from BC

*All participants are given the opportunity to blog so many views are represented. These views do not neccesarily reflect the views of LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) Leadership Development. If you are a Hero Holiday participant that would like to share your experience please email your story (and picture, if possible) to

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 17th, 2007