It is official, we are part of the Live Different team! We came back to Canada on a whirlwind trip to meet the Canadian contingency of the organization and to cement in our position with them. After a meeting with the big dogs, Charles and Ryan, yesterday to dot all the “i”’s, we signed on and have dedicated ourselves to this amazing organization for a position March – August.
To explain it VERY simply, Live Different is split into multiple components. They have two “road teams” that drive across Canada speaking in schools, inspiring youth to make use of their life to better the world around them. Of any organization they have one of the largest face-to-face school interaction across the country. They also have an internship program where people can go live on the organization’s Mexico site doing volunteer work and academic learning about development for a four month stint. And then there are the “Hero Holidays” where volunteers fly out to job sites in either Mexico, Dominican Republic, or Haiti, to help build homes for the needy. This is done with the help of local contractors so that they are creating work and healthy development in the communities. The organization also runs a trip to Thailand once a year to deal with some of the local issues they face in the northern regions of the country. We believe this organization has it right, working hand-in-hand with the local communities to learn, teach, and ameliorate, rather than swoop in and try and fix it all themselves.
We have been hired on to help with the influx of volunteers that will be going to Dominican Republic and Haiti during the busy six months then and potentially much longer. Eben will be running teams and building homes on the job sites, where as I will be doing a lot of the behind the scenes paperwork as well as the “Day In The Life” where the volunteers experience first hand what life in these areas is truly like. We think it is fun to be a part of an organization that can have such a life changing experience on people, not only for the locals, but for the dramatic change it can have on the Canadian volunteers as well. For those of you who don’t know Eben and I met doing a similar program, on a longer timeline, years ago. The program affected us greatly and helped shape us into the people we are now. And now we get to help facilitate that for others.
We are very excited for this change and look forward to seeing what it will bring for our futures. For now, we will be flying back to our boat in Puerto Rico, turning her around, and sailing back to Luperon. We estimate this will take about a week of actual sailing, and so are giving ourselves a month to get there, keeping in mind that we will be taking breaks and waiting on the weather. We will leave the boat in Luperon, as it is close to where we will be living, and so we can always go back and work on it or visit. It will reduce our stress levels knowing that our “boat home” is close and safe as hurricane season will be approaching. While in the DR, we are hoping to enroll Arias in school, and Ellia, well we will see how busy we are and what to do with her. It will be a huge change in our family dynamics, going from both parents full-time 24/7 with them to juggling a job as well, but we believe in our guts, and brains, that this is the right decision for us and that our daughters will learn an insane amount from this experience. So if you are looking for us between March and August we will be getting our hands dirty and living a difference.