From: Ryan Elliott, E.L. Crossley
It has been 3 days here, and 4 consecutive spent as a team. I many ways this place is not, and never would be the place we know as our home, but people make the home, not the place. The people here make this place feel like home. Whether it is a friendly “Buenos dias” from our amazing maintenance man Carlos, or an “Austa mañana” (see you tomorrow) from the children in the village, this place has a feeling of caring and comfort. At the orphanage, children came from all over, and lived in a house with 9 other children, some being siblings, some not. They has a “tia” which means aunt, who took care of them. In a lot of ways, our team resembles one of the families we saw. There are 2 major differences. We have 8 “tias” and we have only known one another a short time. In some ways, this is evident, but in almost every way, it is not. People we meet have thought that we were all good friends back home, and even a few have asked the students if we are siblings. We all have a lot of fun with eachther, and so much we can learn from one another. Sure there are jokes, but if any of us were truely ever in trouble, I can say that I would trust this team with my life. I hope everyone feels the same way, but I think they do. Building the house is a testament to this fact. If there is ever anyone who needs help, another person is right there, eager to help with a shovel, mortar or a brick. For those who are worried about us, don’t be. This team is a product that is greater then the sum of all its parts.
To my friends and family: I love it here, and the only reason I would ever want to leave is that I miss you all. I am enjoying everything about this trip, and I cannot wait to show pictures and tell stories.