As was stated in my post about our first Friday in Peru, we were blessed with the opportunity to help rebuild the house of a local woman named Sara. Sara constructed her house on the hill of the El Augustino district of Lima, Peru. Her family consists of herself and 7 kids, their ages ranging from two to eighteen. She is also about to be a grandmother. Her house was originally made out of cardboard, rotting wood, tarp, and torn tin sheets. It was in rough shape, and it was filled with bugs, trash, feces, and rotted food. Through two days of work, we were able to tear down the old house, dispose of all of the trash, create a wall of rock, build a house from wood and solid tin, and paint it bright blue. The end result was a sturdy house that stood out on the mountain top, but most importantly it resulted in a happy family who had a luxury they hadn’t been able to afford.
As I mentioned in my post, I met a beautiful young girl named Corri at Sara’s house. Corri helped us to move small items, but she then specifically helped me to carry some very large pieces of wood and debris from the house. After I told her that she was very strong and did some great work, she smiled and gave me a huge hug, and ran off laughing. Although it was a brief moment in time, this little exchange filled me with joy and made me realize what exactly I came to Peru to do. I didn’t come here to have my first cultural experience or to take a break from the summer heat; I came here to help others and find myself, and to discover just how important my faith is in my life. Life in the US is pretty hectic, and it is easy to get caught up in the ideals of those around you without holding your own values as the most important thing. Here, all that matters is my experience, and other peoples opinions have no effect on how it goes. However, the only factor that determines how this trip goes for me is my level of commitment to all aspects of this trip.
I committed myself to doing all I was asked and helping in any way possible that Friday morning, and that decision changed my life. By committing to that, I set myself up to have this interaction with Corri. Corri really changed my life and my view on the world. Spending my Friday working in a place that on the exterior looked so desolate and hopeless, but was filled on the interior with God and so much happiness that I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude for the opportunity presented to me by Señor Cordova in January 2016. If I hadn’t gotten sent to school early on a Saturday morning in the frigid January weather, where I first met Sr. Cordova, I wouldn’t be sitting in a Starbucks in the Lima airport, surrounded by some of my closest friends, typing this piece right now. Its funny how things that seem so small at the time have such a resounding impact on life in the future.
As we near the departure of our flight back to the United States, I am filled with a deep sense of happiness at the result of this trip. I am sure most of the people around me would agree that this trip is a life changer that will have permanent impacts not only on us Brophy boys, but on the people of El Augustino, Circa, Arequipa, and Wayra. This trip has been a blessing to my soul, and I cannot wait to continue to participate in trips like this so I can share my faith and help others.