A Smile is the Shortest Distance Between Two People

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Trying out a circular saw for the first time, laughing at every bent nail while hammering through the frames, putting up the walls, the roof, and after plenty of painting…at last, we’ve reached the final building day at the worksite! It’s amazing to see how far things have come since Day 1 and how fast time flies by on this trip. The newly built house is ready for dedication tomorrow to a very deserving and a loving family and I can’t wait to see their reactions upon receiving their new house keys.  Ely the father, is a dedicated family man who devotes strenuous hours to work in the field and his wife Ilda is one of the sweetest women I’ve ever known. Despite the little they had, Ilda and Margarita (Ely’s mother) wanted to cook for everyone at the worksite and it was so heartwarming to see how loving and generous they can be. Ilda and Ely’s 20-month-old son Michel too, has been getting his share of the attention (especially from the girls!) as he has one of the cutest smiles that can surely brighten up anyone’s day – I’m definitely going to miss his penguin walks and random outbursts of infectious giggles.

When we were given the opportunity to interview the family, Ilda was asked about what she was looking forward to the most upon receiving their new home. Both Ilda and Ely had hoped the new house will help mitigate Michel’s breathing problems (as he coughs fairly often during the day) and the risks of burglary around the neighbourhood. She also shared her values in education, her goals in wanting to start a business in the fashion industry after graduation, and how she wants to continue to set a good example for Michel. Ilda would also not mind having another girl in the family while Ely wants another boy! 🙂 I really wish the best for this family and I pray that they will be blessed with everything good as they begin a new chapter in their lives. I hope they are stoked as I am with the house dedication just around the corner!! I’m too excited to sleep haha 🙂

Thinking back to my Day 1 at the worksite, I remember being filled with excitement mixed with a touch of confusion (since house-building let alone hammering in a nail properly wasn’t my forte) but working alongside Saul (our translator/construction leader), “Papa Kent”, the family and the ever so hard-working teammates, I was able to learn so much from everyone within the week. The family has been a huge encouragement in many ways and they reminded me of all the things I can really appreciate having back at home. I am truly grateful for all the relationships I’ve been able to build and most of all, grateful to have made an impact on Ely, Ilda and Michel’s lives. Being on this journey with great staff, interns, participants and a welcoming community have definitely made this trip worthwhile and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in the past few days.

“A smile is the shortest distance between two people” – and it really is. Even though we come from two different places with two different languages, this community has never ceased to remind us that a smile is the same in every language. 

I will remember their welcoming “holas” and bittersweet “adios” and a part of my heart will always stay here in Mexico. Thank you for the unforgettable experience Hero Holiday!

Con mucho amor,

Sabrina – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Mexico Trip 2012

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: August 23rd, 2012