ABST in Merida, Mexico
Follow the Alternative Break Service Trip team in Merida, Mexico on their blog; read an excerpt below.
"I feel as though today was a special day full of challenging, yet fulfilling experiences. We started off the day bright and early, traveling to the daycare once again. However this time was not filled with hugs and kisses, but with blood, sweat, and maybe a few tears. Today was a physical workday where we partook in some gardening, where some of us planted some bushes and the rest cut down plants and trees surrounding the daycare. The sun was hot today, and you could see plain as day that the labor exhausted us all. We were drenched in sweat from head to toe and a little bit dirty too. Yet, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that I wouldn’t have it any other way. Performing these small acts of service humbles us when we get a little bit comfortable and start cruising down easy street. Being able to be here and to utilize our presence gives an overwhelming sense of fulfillment, knowing that we are listening and responding to the requests of the community. Though it was super hot and pretty uncomfortable, we made it and are still alive and well (probably better than we were before).
After we left the daycare, José and Katia took us to get refreshments from a little convenience store. It was definitely needed with the heat and a little bit of exhaustion we were feeing before we headed back to Nueva Vida. We were able to eat lunch with the girls and seeing how excited they were to hang out with us again really warmed my heart. I can say that I am not fluent in Spanish by any means. I can hardly say hello, let alone hold a conversation, but even though there was that slightly uncomfortable language barrier holding some of us back (me especially), the connections we made are truly unforgettable. The emotion in these girls’ faces when we show up, eat with them , play with them, and sing with, is really special. I can see it in myself, and all of the other women in this group, that this sense of service of learning and service of presence ( along with some manual labor) displays the most incredible feeling joy, gratitude, accomplishment, relationship, community, and refreshing vulnerability. Leaving the girls today, and soon México, is a hard pill to swallow. We’ve been here for a short period of time, but the intimate connections we have made with all of the people we have come in contact with has been the most life changing experience in some of the most simplistic of ways. It’s hard to put into words the way that I feel right now and the way I have felt on this entire trip, but I truly hope that everyone gets to experience the essence of beauty in this feeling at some point in their life. I’m lucky that I am experiencing this so young and I’m lucky that I am experiencing this with some of the most amazing and authentic individuals I have ever met in my life."