Thoughts and Reflections, Hero Holiday, Mexico
Miguel, Father and Man of the House, MexicoToday, as the house was going up, Miguel took me aside and said thank you. He said words could not express what they were feeling so all he could say was thank you. Ofelia, Mother and Lady of the House, MexicoTo begin with, on a sad note, Ofelia’s mother passed away the day the team arrived in Mexico. I went and visited her the morning after, and she couldn’t speak and was just trying to keep it all together. I was standing with her today as the house was going up, and she commented on how fast it was going up. I smiled at her and said it was very good. She looked at me and quietly said that it was perfect. Participant, 16, QCI loved meeting the family we are building the house for and trying to communicate with them in broken Spanish. It is so funny, lots of body language:) The girls are really cute, they run right out to me and want me to twirl them around. Lisette, Summer Intern, BCA definite highlight was getting the project started, seeing the empty cement foundation with nothing on it. And now the house is up, the roof is on, the tar and shingles are on. I look up at it and said “we did that.” We created that. Making the walls, and putting it up, gives a sense of accomplishment and sense of fulfillment. It is a group of people, youth, mostly who have no idea what they are doing, and you can see what they have accomplished in a short period of time. Jamille, Summer Intern, ONI was talking to a little boy today, he was carrying around a baby all day. I didn’t know why he was carrying it around all day. So I started talking to him, and he was taking care of his one year old brother, he was 13 years old. I asked him if his parents worked, and he said yes. I asked him if he went to school and he said no. So I asked if he had ever gone to school and he said no. That one really got to me. He had this look on his face, it was sadness or something like that. He would smile, but it was only a half smile, it didn’t reach his eyes. And that really got me. We take education for granted when people in other places don’t get it. It made me cry. Participant, ON, 17Pretty basically, my highlight is being physically able to build a house with all the physical problems I have. I feel happy to see the smiles on their faces. Participant, 15, ONSeeing all the poverty was a challenge for me because I heard about it in the papers, and on the television but I have now seen it in a whole new way, first hand. Experiencing it was overwhelming to me. Hearing the stories of families living here have been hard to take in, and reading the book One: A Face Behind the Numbers was hard for me because poverty is now real to me. Simon, Summer Intern, BCA highlight of the week was going to Sand Dollar beach, boogie boarding and swimming with the dolphins so close. Sitting and watching pelicans fly over and waiting for the next big wave. Heidi, Summer Intern, SKOne of the highlights is that Alfonso, one of Miguel’s friends has come over to help. And he is helping us dig the outhouse hole. It has been really cool to work as a team with people here, who haven’t come as part of the team, but we are all sharing the work and getting it done. We can still understand each other through camaraderie, hand gestures and a common goal even though we don’t speak the same language. Participant, 17, NFLDIt was really gratifying to see how the house was actually starting to come together. It was amazing. If all you are doing is nailing boards together it is really hard to visualize how it would come together. Another gratifying moment was getting dirty. It shows I am working and stuff is getting done, even if there was tar in my hair. And playing with the kids, that is great.