Building Houses, Building Memories – by Briana Bursten

Building Houses, Building Memories – by Briana Bursten

Today was a particularly interesting day, as we were able to visually and physically see the impact we had as a collective group. This morning, we boarded our bus and returned to the school we visited yesterday. Here, we met various people who joined us on our journey into the houses of locals. Little boys lined fences as we made our way up the hill to the houses, speaking to us in Spanish with every step taken. At the end of our short walk, we were met with a colorful shack that the cutest 82 year old woman called home. A tour inside revealed how deplorable her living conditions were; unpaved dirt floors served as the house’s foundation, while empty glass bottles hanging on the walls held photographs. We began our work by mixing together dirt, concrete, and water in order to create a foundation for the house. It was a true group effort, as the concrete weighed more than everyone originally thought, and the dirt needed to be moved from place to place with shovels and wheelbarrows. We worked with various others and watched as concrete was poured and smoothed, breathing new life into both the owner and her property. We ended our day when we decided to stop on a main road and give out assembled bags of hygiene and school products. It was the coolest thing to see everyone so grateful for everyday items whose significance we do not always see. Sometimes, these little reminders about the magic of everyday events makes us realize that such overlooked items should be celebrated, as they are nothing short of extraordinary.