The moment I saw the “LiveDifferent” presentation at my school (Margret Twomey Public School) I realized that a goal of mine was to learn more about this organization, poverty and to someday travel on a “Hero Holiday.” Those three years that “LiveDifferent” had come to my school, gave me the motivation to travel and help people in need, when I was old enough to attend on my own. When I realized that my family was supporting me to go on a “Hero Holiday” I was ecstatic. I was even happier that I was able to get the chance to experience this amazing adventure with my Mom.
The day I travelled to Dominican Republic to the village of Nuevo Renacer on our awareness tour, it was not what I was expecting to see. The homes I had seen were no larger than a small shack. Most homes were made out of scraps of wood, and tin, or anything that could be found. They had holes in the roofs and walls. Water was leaking from the roof and flooded on the streets on rainy days. The house I have been building with my team is for a single dad with three sons. The father has been raising the three boys on his own for the past fifteen years. I could not even imagine how hard that must be for him.
One of the highlights of my Hero Holiday is called “A Day in the Life.” I got to experience this amazing morning with my Mom. The family I had met was a Father, Mother, and two children (ages 15, and 11). The son was born premature, which has given him many physical and mental disabilities with upcoming surgeries to repair his vision. The father provided for his family, by fishing as his employment. Eight months ago, he had a terrible accident, and could not fish anymore. Today he picks and sells fruit, and he also has three rooms that he rents out for income. He also fixes electronics. When my Mom and I went into their home, the Father showed us a jaw of a shark that he had caught, and also a beak of a sword fish. This was the most amazing thing that I have ever seen, because he had so much pride in showing us that he had caught these.
Many people have running water, washing machines, dish washers, microwaves, but here in Dominican Republic they often have none of these things. All these appliances that many people take for granted this family that I had spent the day with only dreams of having. Washing clothes by hand in a tub with hauled water and hanging it on a string line is not the easiest thing to do, as I realized after spending time with this amazing family. After spending the day with this family, it made me realize how privileged I am living in Canada to get all the things that I have, and how much I take them for granted. Now that I am on this Hero Holiday, I realize what LiveDifferent is all about.
Grace ~ Hero Holiday Volunteer 2013