June 9th, 2017
This morning I once again woke up early, but this time it was sadly to pack, not journal. We had to be packed and ready to go before we went to the work site. Our breakfast was leftover casserole from the day before except they had added cheese to the top of it. Despite having spent A LOT of money on food at the beginning of the week, we didn’t end up with that many left-overs.
At the site, all we really had left to do was put up the trim and paint over it. My hammering skills had definitely gotten significantly better and I was becoming both less frustrated and more confident. I again spent quite a bit of time on top of the roof work. When I finished for the day, I had tar all over myself and nineteen bruises, and that was only on my legs, not my arms and foot. As Drew later said, “I bruise like a banana.”
The final thing we did for the front of our house was built a cross for the front, and not a small cross either, it was MASSIVE. It really put into perspective why were there. It’s not about us, it’s all about God and now He was visibly the focus of all we were doing on the house. When we were done, it was time to give the keys to the family. They were so excited and now we share a bond with this family that will never be broken as long as they live there.
For lunch, our family made us the most amazing enchiladas I’ve ever had in my life. The most surreal part about being in their home (the sister of our family’s mother) was how at home we felt there. The house was completely falling apart on the outside, but on the inside, you would have thought that we were in the United States. I am pretty sure Drew ate about six enchiladas and the family probably would have kept feeding us if we let them. As we left, they told us we were always welcome back and they would make us more amazing food.
We then drove back to the orphanage for the final time to pack our bags then headed to the border. In the van, I ended up sitting in between Dylan and Joe. We were told the drive to the border could potentially take three hours, so the three of us managed to rearrange ourselves in some sort of sleeping positions. It felt as though we were finally comfortable when we pulled over. There was shockingly no traffic, so in order to go to the souvenir shops, we had to stop on the side of the road.
I bought a blanket for myself and Joe and I got churros for our car to split. We made it across the border with no issues and I fell asleep using Dylan as my pillow until we reached the church we would be staying at for the night. We had two hours to explore La Jolla (the rich area of San Diego), eat dinner, and/or shower before our final chapel time.
Joe, Dylan, Drew, Adam, Katie, and I decided we would the couple blocks to the beach, then find someplace for dinner. I purposefully left my bathing suit in the room since we were supposed to just be dipping our feet in the water. I apparently made the wrong choice because I ended up completely drenched, coated in sand, and without two flip flops. We decided our best move would be to head back to the church and get changed.
Once we were dry (and I had Katie’s extra pair of flip flops on) we headed to a sub shop for dinner. When we walked in they informed us that they were out of bread!! Following that unexpected turn of events, we ended up at some healthy burger place that was decent. We rushed back in fear of being late and getting yelled at, but we ended up being early and everyone else was upwards of fifteen minutes late.
I decided to end my trip with the same word I began it with– friendship. The feeling of love that I felt at the very beginning of the trip had extended over the entire week. After the week I truly felt like a part of the family. I had met and gotten to know better a group of people that would probably be in my life for a very long time, if not forever.
After chapel, I called Peter (Wow! Haven’t said that in a while!), showered, then went to see what everyone was doing. They were all playing spades so I watched Sean and Dylan for a while. Slowly the number of people awake dwindled until I too gave up and went to sleep around two in the morning. Two and a half hours later, Suzie woke us up and our journey really came to an end. Joe had two empty seats next to him that Adam and I moved to sit in. Then, in what felt like a blink of an eye, we landed in Philly and this adventure had come to an end.