What a Birthday is like on a Hero Holiday…

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December 9th, 2010Every year, a day that’s usually filed with gifts and celebration was completely different for me today. Today was my seventeenth birthday, and instead of spending it in Canada with my family and friends, I spent it in a garbage dump in the Dominican and made a new special friend.Right when we got to the dump, a young girl approached me and she was going to be the person I worked along side with for the day. She was a beautiful girl and the whole day changed my life. She showed me what garbage to collect and what was no good. Every time I’d ask her if something was good or not, we exchanged a smile, one that I will remember always. It was hard to see her pick up one of the used water bottles we just collected, fill it up with the clean water we brought and then drink it. She introduced me to her family and even offered me a piece of the small portion of bread she had. I knew she cared about me and I cared about her. She watched out for me and made sure the way when a truck filled with garbage was coming so I wouldn’t get hit.She told me her hopes and dreams were to go to school and become a doctor to help people. It amazed me that someone who can barley help herself still wants to help other people. I could tell she had a big heart and she truly inspired me. She picked up some used socks that had holes in them and put them on her feet. There I was wearing rubber boots and there she was in sandals with used socks on her feet. We found a small football and it was fun to throw that around with her. It reminded me that children like her should be playing and not slaving away in a garbage dump.She seemed kind of confused when I took my gloves off to hold her hand, she hesitated a bit at first but I noticed a big smile on her face when she grabbed my hand, I wanted her to know that I cared about her. She told me she liked my boots and it felt good to give them to her before I left. I didn’t even care that I had no shoes on for the bus ride back to the hotel. As long as her feet are protected, I just hope they fit! I was so overwhelmed that I truly forgot it was my birthday. It felt way better to give on my birthday then to take.Nettie and her niece colored a beautiful picture for me and that was better than any materialistic gift. I’m so gratful to be here right now, surrounded by the most beautiful people. Today was a very special day. I can’t say I remember any of my past birthdays, but this one I’ll never forget!Lots of Love,Rebecca

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: December 10th, 2010