Zirk Team Updates – Hero Holiday Mexico
What does “LiveDifferent” mean? To me it meant that I would help to build a home for a family, provide them with a shower and an outhouse and furniture, and complete an Extreme Home Makeover, Mexican style! Once our week was completed we felt assured that a family would be able to “LiveDifferently.”
We boarded the bus to go to the neighbourhood to meet the families that we would build with. We all knew that the people in this area lived in poverty and we had seen pictures of the families in front of their present home. The current living conditions for these families literally took my breath away. My vision of poverty did not even come close to what we were surrounded by. It brought tears to my eyes to see four young children and their parents who called an eight foot rectangle made out of cardboard, tarp, and a blanket their “casa.” The Mexican people are very proud and the family invited us in to see their home and show us how they had fixed it up. Seeing is believing; yet I still could not imagine living in this structure with four young children. The one room home held one bed for all the family to sleep in. All cooking, washing, and family time was spent outdoors in the oppressive heat. I kept asking myself, how do these people live under these conditions? Almost every waking moment must be focused on survival for this family.
Each day dawned hot and humid and the week passed quickly. As we arrived at the property we were greeted by six smiling faces who worked beside us sawing, hammering, painting, and playing, while we shared key Spanish and English phrases. Little did I know that this experience would change my heart and my view of the world. Over the course of the week I learned that a group of people with love in their hearts, a desire to bring about change, and a week of time can make an impact on the course of poverty. But more importantly I learned that I had stretched myself in many ways and built connections with these hard working, happy people. Their gratitude and willingness to share overwhelmed me. I know that I will not look at my standard of living the same way for a long time.
What does “LiveDifferent” mean? For me it now means that I need to LiveDifferent on a day to day basis and know that I can impact change for a family in poverty. It also means that I will LiveDifferently because of the people and my experiences during this week. It is my hope and prayer that the differences that I helped to initiate in Mexico will be felt for years to come for me as well as that family I grew to love in five short days.
Edna – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteer – Zirk Team Mexico
Today was a good day for the family of group two. I believe our stick frame of a house is now complete with trim and roofing. The family seemed very happy today as they toured their nearly completed home in what our translator described as ‘awe.’ The walls and banos were painted and the window trim looked spectacular. The highlight of the day however had to have been the arrival of the ice cream man. Kids appeared as if from nowhere to collect their sweet treat, and we all enjoyed a moment of rest while soaking up the especially hot sun. The anticipation in the group is building as we just can’t wait to purchase things for our families and their homes. With each day our relationships with our family grow stronger and our arms get longer twirling our kids around:) Looking forward to a final couple of days in the sun!
Shelby – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteer, Zirk Team Mexico