My favorite part of my job with Live Different is part of the program we run called “Day In The Life”. While we are hosting a group of volunteers here in the Dominican Republic, I pluck two participants away from the house builds at a time to go and experience something quite unique. With these two lucky people, we go and spend a few hours in the home of a family in the community we are working in. This home is one that has not been rebuilt yet. The purpose of the visit is for our participants to see what a typical day in the life is like for a particular family or individuals. In this time we get to know the families on a more intimate level, learn how they clean their homes, do their laundry, cook their meals, etc. To facilitate this process, and as a huge thank you, we buy the family the groceries that we will be cooking (with often a lot left over for another meal), as well as all the cleaning detergents needed to do all of the chores.
I love this part of the job. It is extremely uncommon that you would get an opportunity to get up close and personal in a situation like this in any other scenario. With all of our travels we have seen our fair share of impoverished communities, from a distance, but even for me, this was the first opportunity I had to actually enter a home in shambles and live the life. Even for a short period. And now these communities have become a second home. The people I have met are absolutely beautiful. I love getting to hang out with these families, getting to know them better, and seeing the effect of this visit on our volunteers. It is life altering.
Yesterday I was almost in tears, seeing the home of one of our past Day In The Life families, getting rebuilt by our organization. The change this will have on this family is immeasurable. I remember sitting in this woman’s living room, with the bedroom ceiling nearly caving in, and having her show us the waterlines, two feet up the wall, from where the water flooded in during the last rain storm. Now that will be a worry of the past for her family. I couldn’t stop smiling. Having personally known her situation before, and seeing what it will be like now, makes this build so much more real in my mind. I am still smiling thinking about it.
Here are some pics of just a few of the families I have had the opportunity to work with, along side our awesome volunteers.
|The 2nd from the left is Raffaela, she is the owner of one of the homes we are currently rebuilding
|here is another picture of Raffaela, our current home build
And here is the inside of some of these homes