There’s No Place Like Home
It can be overwhelming to travel to a foreign country, to work with people you’ve never met, and see things you’ve never seen. However, after coming to Mexico as a volunteer two years ago I knew that I had to come back, and deciding to be an intern in Mexico this summer was one of the easiest choices I’ve ever made. Although the choice was easy, I cannot say that I did not have concerns about being here for a month. So many thoughts went through my head before leaving; would I make friends? Would it still be new and exciting? Would I get homesick? Not long after arriving though, all my questions were answered. Within five minutes of meeting my fellow interns, I knew it was going to be an amazing month.
Being an intern was different than volunteering, it gave me an opportunity to work on leadership skills, but it also allowed me to see the trip from a different perspective. Watching the volunteers grow, change, and appreciate life during their week in Mexico is such an awesome experience. It really brings me back to when I was seeing and experiencing all that hero holiday has to offer for the first time. Listening to all the open-minded conversations during the debriefings is such a rewarding experience, and something I love doing every night.
It is such an amazing feeling be able to wake up every morning knowing that you will be one step closer to changing the lives of the families who are receiving homes. I always find it interesting that in Canada doing labour that we do here is strenuous and something I would more than likely complain about, but when you are building a house for a family in need, it barely feels like work. Every day you experience feelings you’ve never felt, and every build is unique. Being able to hammer all day, while laughing hysterically with the family and team is such a humbling feeling. Watching the families open up throughout the week is always so wonderful to watch, and their smiles are what keep me going each day no matter how tired I am. Coming on this trip you expect to change the family’s life, and you have no idea how much they change yours in return.
The relationships that you build in Mexico are something that always stand out to me. It’s hard to believe that people you spend so little time with could become your best friends, and people you confide in once back in Canada. Although provinces may separate us, I am confident in saying that I could call up almost all of the volunteers at any given moment and have a friend to talk to. After being on a Hero Holiday, you are filled with so many emotions and dealing with them can be hard, especially at home with people who don’t always understand. But because of the tight bonds I’ve made down in Mexico, I always have someone to help me through hard days.
Summing up all the emotions I have about Mexico is fairly simple. Mexico is a place where I feel safe. It’s where I know I’m not judged. It’s where I find myself, and who I want to be as a person. Mexico is where I’ve made memories and friends that I’ll never forget. Mexico is my home, and like everyone knows; there’s no place like home.
– Emily, LiveDifferent Intern 2013