Thursday, November 01, 2007

Red October

October 2007 will go down as one of the most impactful months of my life. It was a time of travel, kicking it with the family, and focusing on what's going to be important as I "Transition" into making my impact on this world.

I started the month in The Dominican Republic, getting my passport stamped for the first time. I headed down with 21 others to work with Habitat for Humanity on a 35 home construction project. One of the first things that stuck out is how what's done here with CAT construction equipment, is done with shovels, back picks, and wheel barrels in the DR. This is only one example of how everyday things that we have come to expect as a way of life are not accessiable in other countries. We learn early on that food, water, and shelter are essential needs, but there electricity and drinkable water are luxuries for many that live in what we call 3rd world countries.

The most impactful contribution the group of 22 made was delivering a year's worth of Pur packets to aid in the manipulation of the trapped rain water into purified safe drinking water for the students. The children were so lively, they left me wishing that there was more that I can do. This project has taken on even greater significance given the hurricane that struck the country a few weeks after we left. I recieved a note from our Habitat team lead speaking to this topic directly;

"Due to the storm the country is in greater mess, with 84 dead person, 48 missing, including a community that was swept by a river, others that were floaded with mud,many broken avenues and brigdes, and an announced that we will not have clean water from around 2 weeks due to the contamination the rivers has been exposed to, and I just want to say: thanks,because today I realiced that your contribution represents a big gift to this community, none of us knew that this storm was comming at all, you never want or expect this things to happen, but in the midst of the pain and confusion and vulnerability, its good to know that with our ideas we can make a difference. "

This experience was humbling and has helped me better understand my responsibility to get out and work to improve my community. It will be awhile before I take another trip. My next focus will be in being of more of an impact where I live. There are little boys and girls growing up in infected enviornments. In a land of opportunity, we must work to ensure that everyone gets there fair chance at a decent life. I want everyone to have a chance to see the things I did.

Wes got older... my too. Both of their birthdays were a good reminder of how great of a family I have. There is nothing like being able to enjoy a meal with your family.


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