I was absolutely blown away yesterday when I saw the home my kids are now able to live in. I don't think I've ever felt anything like it. I actually experienced real tears of joy. This is such a stark and extreme contrast to the tiny hovel they were living in.
The kids were thrilled when they were finally allowed to see the finished product complete with little gifts (brought by the group from Lethbridge), furniture, and blankets (donated by people in my church). They loved the dresser and were already picking whose things would be in what drawer. The big kids excitedly exclaimed which of the 4 beds they would sleep in. Little Carmela and big brother Alvaro were the two who would brave the top bunks.
The group that came down also took Minerva's mom shopping for some basic groceries and supplies.
Since my initial amazement at seeing the finished product though the eyes of the kids we built it for (and our own after living here for nearly 5 months), I have since looked at the photos through the eyes of my fellow Canadians or Americans. Suddenly I notice that the sofa is actually a broken piece of a sectional, the countertop is plywood, the furniture is chipped, and there is no plumbing. On the other hand if you come from having no real roof over your head, nothing but dirt beneath your feet and not so much as a stool to sit on, suddenly all this looks pretty amazing. Perspective is everything. We weren't setting out to Americanize them a house but to build something that would genuinely suit their needs.
After living in a 30 ft camping trailer I thought their house was looking pretty great. I jokingly told Carmela that I wanted to come live with them because her house is so big. She quickly assured me I could have her bunk and she would take the floor. :)