Saturday April 22:
On the bus ride to build a house today, I thought that I would just be building a simple house. Little did I know that meeting the people who would live in this house, experiencing their way of life, and the hard work I put into this project would affect me so much.
After getting off the bus, we walked through a town to get to the land which we would be building on. Except this wasn’t a typical town. There were dirt roads, homes without doors and missing bricks, stray cats and dogs everywhere and kids walking around barefoot. It was a complete culture shock. It was crazy to think that just an hour and a half away from the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, life could be so different.
When we got to the land where we would be building the house, the family that would be living in the house was already waiting for us. A mother and her seven kids, ranging in age from 2 to 19, greeted us. They were so excited and happy to have us with them. For most of the day, I played with the kids. Although they did not speak a word of English, the bond that I created with them will never be forgotten. They tried to teach me some Spanish and I tried to teach them some English. Despite their living conditions, each of them had a smile on their face and were so happy that people were there to play with them.
The house we built was placed right next to their current house, which is much smaller than the size of an LCC classroom and did not have enough beds for all of the kids to sleep in. The house had a dirt floor and didn’t have a front door or bathroom.
When we finished putting up the pillars for the floor of the new house, we all wrote messages on the pillars. When the mom wrote her message she started crying and when I wrote my message, I started getting very emotional as well. That was when I truly realized the impact I had on this family. They will have a clean house to live in with wood floors and life will become a lot easier for them. Their lives will be changed forever because of our hard work.
When it was time to say goodbye, I knew I didn’t want to leave. The little girls came up to me and gave me lots of hugs and kisses and asked me to come back the next day. I wish I could. I wish I could go back everyday and help this family and the millions of others suffering like them as well.
As we walked on the road to leave, I started crying. This experience was life changing. It made me realize how grateful I am to have everything I do in life and underlined the importance of never taking anything for granted. It makes me sad to think that I will never see these kids again.
This was an amazing experience and I am beyond happy that I had this opportunity. – Danielle Cutler ’18