Reggie’s Blog – “I Have a Dream”

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Today was an extremely emotional day for teams five and six. I know that this may be one of the hardest blogs to write because expressing my feelings about today is nearly impossible. We visited the garbage dump for an “In Their Shoes” experience. Each of us was paired with a local to help them rummage through garbage to collect plastics. This is the only means of income for these people; they make, at the most, five dollars a day. Many of these people are stateless. This means that although I could look at them with my own eyes and see them standing right in front of me, they are non-existent to the law.
I do not know about you but this upsets me. I find it very overwhelming to try and comprehend all of the situations that these people are facing. Thankfully, I felt very welcomed into their place of work. Despite all of the situations, the majority of these individuals are content and very positive. They are positive because they have hope just like many of the people in the other villages LiveDifferent works in. This positivity brings out even more positivity in me; all of my reactions at the garbage dump this year compared to last year were complete opposites. Last year I would describe the smell as atrocious and unbearable; this year the smell made me smile with excitement. The growth of the individuals in our group is stunning! I feel that many of the people who wanted their eyes to be opened really achieved this today. The tears and stories can surely back me up on this one. I apologize if this blog seems to ramble, but I have so many thoughts and feelings going on in my mind tonight I cannot organize them into meaningful information right now.
Tonight at debriefing Cole referenced Martin Luther King Jr. in his, “I Have Dream” speech. He said that those very first three words of the speech can mean so much. Having a dream is the beginning of hope and change. It was the dream that each community leader had that was the catalyst for where we are today and where we will be tomorrow. I get goose bumps every time I listen to a story about the community leaders. My eyes fill with tears and my heart sinks each time I listen to the horrifying facts about billions of people in our world. But, on a positive note, it all proves to me that I need to remain strong and remain the individual who has the motivation to create change because there are people out there, like Sonya (who I worked beside at the dump) who rely on the assistance of those with the motivation to change to help lay the stepping stones to a much brighter future. I am looking forward to visiting the garbage dump again while I am here in the DR. I am also stoked to get back on the worksite tomorrow where I can get to know our family a little more while we go with full force at constructing our house.
Reggie – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Intern, Dominican Republic 2012

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 8th, 2012