After two full days of construction with the hand of fifty WestJetters, the houses are beginning to take shape and transform from stacks of cinder blocks. These houses will turn into homes where families will regain their dignity, their sense of pride and above all, reclaim their safety. No longer will wind and rain come screaming through gaping holes in the ceiling or will they watch as their possessions go flooding away with every modest rainfall.
As a collective, this WestJet Hero Holiday team has pulled together and is working as hard as a construction crew found in any Canadian city. The blazing Dominican sun wraps you in a blanket of humidity so thick that beads of sweat begin to form even before the first shovel digs into the mounds of concrete. By mid-morning, most of us are totally drenched – the perspiration soaked Hero Holiday T-shirts serving as a silent reminder of WestJet’s commitment to the people of the Dominican Republic and to the community of Aguas Negras.
There is a saying that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So the good folks of LiveDifferent have injected a bit of rest and relaxation into the mix. After working the morning shift, one half of the team went on a waterfall hike to one of the many beautiful hidden treasures on the island. A welcome reprieve and a chance to soak tired muscles under a cascading waterfall on a magical afternoon escape.
As WestJetters we are known for being fun and friendly, and this afternoon fun was both king and queen for the day. It was good to see and hear everyone laughing and having a good time as we swam under the waterfall. Tomorrow we head back to the build site with renewed vigor, giving the other half of the team their opportunity to experience what we had experienced today. I have no doubt that they will be just as delighted with their afternoon hike as we were with ours.
Did I mention that we have personal coconut deliveries? At lunchtime a gentleman arrives with a wheelbarrow full of coconuts, enough for the entire team. So as the other half of the team is out enjoying the falls, we at least have coconuts.
Veron Marsh, Guest Service Ambassador, Vancouver