Strangers become family

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It’s funny how 10 days can make such a drastic change in your life. How what you thought was your reality becomes an entirely new one, and how strangers from a different world can become family. This Hero Holiday trip has changed my life.

Clarivel is a mom of seven, a teacher, a singer and an inspiration to me, as I’m sure to a lot of others on my team. She’s a strong, courageous, and independent woman who I look up to in so many ways. I got to sit down with her just by myself and I am truly glad I got the chance to do so. We talked about her love for teaching, her amazing kids, her strong faith, and her incredible story. I found out some heart-wrenching details that honestly broke my heart. She told me that when it rained her house would flood and there was nothing she could about it. Seeing how much it has rained in the past 10 days was a whole new view on how she had lived before we built her a beautiful new home.  She kept saying that all she wanted was a safe and secure home with a door that locked so she could feel a somewhat safe environment around her and to keep people from coming in during the night and trashing it. When she had started to cry I tried to keep it together but then I cried too. I never knew how much I had taken for granted. A safe home and a locked door, among other things in my life.

When she started singing to me all I could feel was pure joy. She has an amazing voice along with her oldest son, Vladmir. Even though I couldn’t understand it because it was in Spanish, I still felt the emotions she was feeling just by looking at her face. She had told me that she wanted to be a famous singer when she was younger but nobody had scouted her. She then told me now she just sings in church. It made me think that we as people in this world, may not live in the same conditions and have different ways of life, but we all dream the same dreams. We are just kids growing up in different parts of the world. It’s hard to find words to explain how much Clarivel has touched my life in such a short amount of time.

On the Dedication Day, Jen and I wrote the speech to read to her. I was truly honored to have done this along with being the one to hand her the keys to her safe and secure home! She surprised us with a performance of her singing two songs, it was inspiring and amazing to watch. You could tell that this was her passion.

When it was time to say goodbye, we both cried. Her entire family told our team that they were going to pray for us to live safe and happy lives along with how much we’re changing so many different families lives by doing what we are doing. I am so inspired and changed by this woman’s strength. Our last hug she said that she was my Mom and that I was her Daughter. I began to tear as I was hugging her because not so long ago I didn’t even know who this woman was and now she was considering me as one of her daughters. She ended up telling me that she loved me too, and I said it right back. I do love her, she has changed my life in so many ways and I can’t thank her enough. She is a gift from God and I will always remember the change that she has brought into my life.


Kyra ~ Building Dreams Volunteer 2013

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: August 29th, 2013