Time has flown and suddenly it’s a sprint to the finish. We know this is our last chance to complete what we started a week ago.
We’ve laughed and shared and learned so much. We watched a mother struggle to hold back tears as we installed a kitchen with table and benches that she’ll share with her family group of 13 children ranging in ages from 2-15.
Then with the help of Dr. Julie, the children received a dental fluoride treatment and new toothbrushes. I’ve never seen kids so excited to sit around a “real table” or to have a toothbrush of their very own.
We also saw 4-year old Vanessa take her first steps without a walker using the parallel bars we built. And 3-year old Jonathan got to celebrate his birthday with a pinata we provided to NUAFA. This day care partially supported by SAIL and Friends of Cozumel provides meals to children who may not have access to nutritious food in their home. For Jonathan, the only parent in his home is 83-year old Juana, his great, great grandmother.
At our final gathering, we shared a wonderful meal and felt blessed that we were able to accomplish so much. The challenges and the joys were reflected in favorite quips that seemed to reoccur during the week.
— “I found those extra screws I just went to the hardware store for. They were in Hoyt’s pocket.” Every nail and screw is precious and they were purchased sparingly—sometimes with multiple trips to the hardware store each day.
— “It should only take 20 minutes.” This always turned out to be a false hope as we learned that everything here takes twice as long to accomplish.
— “No problem, I’ll carry it on my bike.” We learned to be creative in the absence of resources we take for granted at home.
— “Wow, I love this meatloaf. For the third time.” Nothing is wasted here.
— “It’s amazing such a diverse group of people were able to work so well together and no one was bleeding.” But it did look like it at times when we were working with red paint.
— “I would have bet money we couldn’t have pulled this off.” It’s great to be wrong about this.
Now we go off in separate directions for very different kinds of work. I hope each of us can retain this great feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction in the other parts of our lives.
As Karen says, when the day ends, it’s all good. Very good.—Phyllis