Temporary Miracle

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She had no money, barely an education, but enough passion and determination to change the world. She was fifteen when I first met her. We were walking through a Dominican village, the road was rugged and the dusty, but she was barefoot. The excruciating heat was almost unbearable, but her face didn’t show it. I noticed her right away for two reasons: she looked almost my age with a glowing smile and she was pregnant. I walked over to here, and unknowingly and ignorant of what I was about to hear. Immediately, she took me into a gracious embrace as she recognized the similarities between us. We were the same age, the only difference being that she was born in the Dominican Republic, and I was born in Canada. This reality was overwhelming and almost impossible to empathize with.Right away, we started talking. Her words resonate in my head to this day, and I can’t bring my thoughts away from her will and raw desire to learn and thrive in the world that she was born into. She explained in the simplest way she could that she wanted help. This astonished me because the idea that the helped was wanting to help in return. This fifteen year old girl was heavily pregnant, and was going to night school everyday in hopes of one day becoming a teacher and sharing her wisdom with her community. I was and continue to be unbelievably inspired by her maturity and consciousness of everything around her. Although I only knew her for a day, I could already see right into her selfless heart through the words that she spoke. I felt as though we had known each other for a life time.Even though her circumstances, she was a teenager like myself, she loved to laugh, to dance, and just be surrounded by love. We continued to talk, and the conversation led us to where she called home. We sat down, and if you could just hear us, you would think that we were two teenagers chatting over a cup of coffee. But when the lights of reality sunk in, you could see the walls of her house eaten away by termites, bug carcasses scattered across the dirt floor, and the table that was laden with a single basket of food that was meant to feed a family of over ten for a possibly a week. Inevitably, it was eventually time to leave. As she stood up from the table, I was suddenly reminded of yet another burden that she carried that was unlike mine: her baby to be…Now, over a year later, I saw her. The brightness in her eyes instantly drew me in. Once again, I was taken in by her maturity and sense of purpose. I watched in awe as she balanced a healthy looking baby in her arms. Although she may not reach her potential in terms of an education, a miracle had occurred: her baby made it. Her safety, and that of the baby was extremely uncertain due to the Dominican health care system, an the disease rate that could easily sever her pregnancy. But a sigh bigger than words can describe what was let out when I knew that she was okay. Currently sixteen, she continues to go to school, pursue her dreams, and now, care for another life apart from her own. The idea of miracles happening in everyday life can come about in unexpected situations, but in a way, it can bring us back down to where we really are. I am now content in the fact that she is alright and safe. I know now that year of endless worrying and constant fear is now over, at least for the time being.~ Megan, an intern in the DR.Many of the lives the our participants encounter on their Hero Holidays change their lives and views on our world. Now longer is poverty something that they hear about and see on TV, it is the faces and stories of the people they encounter each day on our work sites. Theses moment then fuel them to make a difference in the lives of people and communities back home but often continue these kind of humanitarian experiences in the future.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 13th, 2010