Today, we continued helping to rebuild Minh’s house for the second day. After having spent the prior day learning to use the tools and establishing systems to complete the work, it was definitely easier to get into the swing of things when we arrived on site. This experience has been so fulfilling in many ways. Each nail drilled in the wall or layer of paint brushed on a beam is just one little element of our project, and we get the opportunity to watch it become a person’s home right before our eyes. Then, knowing you’re doing it for someone who will really benefit from your work makes it so much more rewarding. Sharing this with a group of people who have the same love for service gives a lot of meaning to the hard work we’ve been doing. I think this trip was the perfect way to culminate our first year in this program. We have spent the last months learning about essential qualities in leadership and the importance of taking our part in community service, so it is inspiring to really see those lessons in action now. Not only was working on the house today incredibly gratifying, but it was also really fun! I have definitely made bonds with people that I wasn’t as close with before this trip. Hours of painting in the hot sun flew by when we were all jamming to music and working as a team!

– Madeleine Smith