I’ve been getting back into the groove of American life – work, happy hours, dinners with friends. It’s crazy to think that just one week ago I was in Nicaragua with a group of total strangers, building a house brick by brick.
I had the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua with Habitat for Humanity, and I’m forever grateful I went. I had an approaching-30 crisis and ultimately decided to use my spare time doing something helpful and throwing myself completely out of my comfort zone.
So I hopped on a plane to Nicaragua, met up with a group of 16 strangers, and went into the build site with absolutely zero construction experience.
And this may have been the best birthday thus far.
My parents grew up in Korea right after the war, and they lived in conditions very similar to the area we were stationed in (Masachapa). No toilets, dirt floors, and small houses without rooms. I’ve always felt incredibly lucky and grateful to have grown up in the U.S., and to actually see the way my parents and relatives grew up was humbling beyond words.
These strangers turned into incredible friends. In the midst of all the awful violence and hate, there’s something to be said about strangers coming from all parts of the country (and continent! We had two Canadians on our team) to work together towards the same goal: building a house and strengthening a community.
We worked with local masons, and the family who received the house was on site the entire time. In fact, the husband actually worked with us! Neighborhood kids would hang out, help us sift sand, and play fútbol during our downtime. At the end of the week we threw a fiesta to celebrate the build, and the kids played games and smashed open two piñatas.
I absolutely cannot wait to go back to this beautiful country, and to keep doing what I can to love a little harder. Photos below!