School of Leadership House Build in Mexico

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Have you even been so shocked that you didn’t know what to do or say? Well, that happened to me when my mom and her friend decided to surprise me when my team and I went to San Diego for some “grocery shopping”. I thought it was great that they got to visit me but then my mom told me they would be with us for a week helping us with the house build. I couldn’t believe it! I was very excited that I could share a wonderful experience with my mom and that she could see how much I’ve changed since being in the School of Leadership for 2 months. I was even more surprised though that my team and leaders could keep that secret from me.We built a house for a single mother who has 2 children, a 12 year old girl and a 13 year old boy, and we were told that just this August, Misiel, the 13 year old boy was riding his bike with his father when a drunk driver hit him. His foot was crushed in the accident which later got infected and the doctors needed to amputate most of his leg. His leg is no longer infected and he now has a wheelchair. I was very sad when I heard this story but felt better to know that we were going to help and try to make his every day life a little easier. Misiel is a boy who has lots of energy and just loves music. It made me really sad to see him watching all his friends play, because you could see in his eyes that he wanted to run and play with them.When we started building this home we could tell there was a lot of love for this family from the community, we always had lots of kids who wanted to play football (soccer) with us and some kids just wanted to help us work. The girls especially loved the paint because it was pink and purple and they would put it on their nails to make it look like nail polish. We also had help from our friends, Mundo and Danny. Mundo is our translator for our English class and Danny is a friend. Together they dug a hole for the bano, they worked really well together and learned a lot from each other. Mundo told us that when he was in the hole digging, he would tell Danny some of his life stories, and when Danny was in the hole digging it was his turn to tell stories. The kids were so happy and playful; they were a constant reminder to us why were there helping out. I really connected with a little girl named Maria, she lived close to the house build. Her father made donuts and pizza so he could make some extra money for his family, but mostly to support his other daughter who has a disability. My team and I made sure to buy donuts from him everyday to help them out. Maria was always happy and excited to see me, she made me realize that it’s the little things that matter in life.While we were building the house we started thinking of ways that would make it easier for Misiel to get around in his wheelchair. So we built them a shower and also bigger bano so he could easily get his wheelchair in and out. Brett, my leader, also thought of putting bars around his room to make it easier for him to start walking again. When we gave the keys to the house to this amazing family, everyone said some inspiring words and welcomed them to their new home. The mother and daughter had lots of tears, but they thankfully were tears of joy. My mom and her friend decided to buy big bags of rice and beans for them as well, and also at the end of the week we went around and gave little bags of rice and beans to families in the community. So far, this has been my favorite house build. I love that I got to build it with my mom and my new School of Leadership family.~ Melissa, a School of Leadership student living in Mexico and painter extraordinaire.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: November 18th, 2009