"From the standpoint of daily life, there is one thing we do know:
That man is here for the sake of other men." ~ Albert Einstein

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rotary / Interact / Families Helping Families Service Project

Bright and early Saturday morning, June 11th, we loaded 61 teenagers and 25 adults on a 55 passenger bus, 3 Suburbans, a 15 passenger van and a pickup truck and headed for Puerto Peñasco Mexico. This was the beginning of a joint service project made up of Rotarians and Interact club members from across Utah and in cooperation with the Families Helping Families Foundation. Our purpose: Build and house and paint an orphanage...in four days.

16 participants from Brigham City, including 8 teenagers and 8 adults, were involved. Rotarians Jim and Tere Moore, and their daughter Michelle, Rotarians Brad and Annette Barber, and their son Tyler, Interact Club advisor Lou Ann Thompson, Alan Shakespear and his son Colin, Colin's uncle Jason Wilson, Matthew Pulsipher, Preston Shaugaurd, Matthew and Lexi Payne, Tyler Bond, and Emilie Conover.
A brief lunch and volleyball stop in Page, Arizona prior to stopping in Scottsdale, Arizona for an overnight stay. 15 hours on the bus the first day.

Sunday, June 12th, we were on our way to Mexico by about 12:00 noon. As we approached the border, the youth were asked to exit the bus and file one by one through Mexican immigration. The lone attendant asked where we were headed and how many there were of us. When I told her we had 51 teenagers on the bus and we were headed for Puerto Peñasco, she was not very excited.

She asked for our "papers" and I let her know we all had our passports with us. "No", she said, "Do you have your official papers allowing you entry into mexico to work?" My heart sunk as I was now standing with 51 teenagers and 4 adults in the hot Sonoran sun and no idea how we were going to get us into Mexico and back on the bus.

After a few phone calls to her supervisor, she once again asked where we were going and where we were staying. When I told her the hotel we were scheduled to stay at, she said "Oh, you're going as tourists??" "Uh, sure" I replied, "Tourists". "Well then, we can take care of that with each person filling out this form and, since you'll be less than seven days, there will be no charge"

After a massive sigh of relief, and 2 hours of filling out individual forms with each youth there, we were back on the bus and headed for our destination.
Finally, about 8:00 pm, we arrived at the Las Palomas condominium resort in Puerto Peñasco, completely worn out and tired of sitting on a bus.

The next morning, we awoke to view our surroundings. A beautiful resort witth swimming pools and a gorgeous beach just steps away.

Not that we had time to enjoy it then, because half of us were back on the bus at 7:00 am and headed for the Esperanza Children's Home about 35 minutes outside of town. The other half headed for the construction site to begin work on the house.

At the Children's home, we painted, played with the children and delivered gifts to them including clothing, toys and sports equipment.

After dinner and a nights sleep, we were back at it the next morning at the construction site where everyone jumped in and continued the labors of the previous day laying block for the house.

The construction site was about 20 minutes from our condo, but a complete contrast in scenery as the roads and everything surrounding us was dirt, sand and dust. Not to mention the 100+ degree temperatures each day. But the kids didn't complian. They knew this was why we were here and they dove right in, building, learning and giving of themselves for someone else.

The girls did not tlet the boys show them up. And with smiles on their faces!!

We worked Monday through Thursday, 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. Lunch was delivered each day to the work site. And the evenings were filled with volleyball, dinners and fun on the beach and in the pools. Not to mention a couple of hours before heading home to do some shopping and bargaining at the souvenir shops down by the port.
Everyone was proud of their efforts and we received numerous compliments from our construction foreman, Jared Parker, about the quality of work done and the quality of our youth.

To be quite honest, there are a number of those that went that are already excited to go again!

1 comment:

  1. Nice coverage of our trip! You saved the day over and over again and we know it wouldn't have happened without you! It is amazing what the kids did! they were great to be with- especially our kids from Brigham!! We are so proud of them! Tere