The Real Heroes of Hero Holiday

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We came on this trip wanting to see a different side of life. Wanting to make a difference, wanting to change lives. We came on this trip knowing we would see poverty and expecting to see things that would make us very sad. Although lots of what we expected is true, there is a whole other side that we did not anticipate.

Half of our day is spent on the worksite. Our arms and backs ache, but it doesn’t matter when you know what the results of hard work will be. The family will be able to have a safe house, one that will prevent them from living in the toxic black water that flows in whenever it rains. They will be able to go to sleep at night knowing they wont wakeup to a storm that will take away everything they own. They will have a house to be proud of. We have shared the things that we have so they can have the things that they need.
The other half of the day is spent with the locals. The kids have made games out of nothing. They use the outer netting of a fan to go fishing, and they know tons of games to play with just one rope. They have nothing, yet what they do with nothing is so much better than what we do with everything.
When you walk down a street in Aguas Negra everyone smiles and says hello. Most of them, we haven’t met, yet they are not strangers. They already feel love for us, even though we haven’t done anything for them. Back home we seem to have created this world of distance that has separated us all. It’s weird to love and care for a stranger, or to say hello to everyone while walking down the street. It’s not normal to put the well being of others in front of our own, and parents wouldn’t let their children hug strangers. Aguas Negra is a place where despite its misfortune, or maybe even because of it, is filled with love and happiness. This is the type of love that you can feel in the air. 
We came to Aguas Negra and share the things we have the most of: the ability to travel, money, strength, and hope. In turn, the people of Aguas Negra share the creativity, selflessness, and love that they have in abundance. As a result we all receive what we need. The question is, are we really the heroes if they are saving us just as much as we are saving them? Maybe we are both heroes. Something I know for sure is that after this trip, we will all live a lot differently.
Meredith – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteer, Dominican Republic 2012

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 24th, 2012