Nothing could have prepared me for this
experience. I was in shock for the first couple of days, just taking in
the living conditions. I had heard about slums but never seen one
firsthand. The smells, the people, the dogs… It was almost like another
When I got to know Goldi and the kids at the community center, I was
impressed by their resilience. They were bubbling with happiness,
especially about the little things, and eager to learn English. It was
hard for me to imagine myself being happy in their situation.
Interacting with them made me better appreciate life for what it is.
During the construction, I felt like I was making a difference. The
amount of sweat was unbelievable! It’s reassuring that a group of
people who hardly know each another can work together and accomplish
something under challenging conditions.
The trip made me more confident in my faith. The way the Waits can herd
people to do God’s will is pretty crazy. I’m working on my family to
return with me. Once they see what’s going on, they’ll help every year.