Our week-long excursion at the GK Brookside village finally comes to an end. No more painting. No more sore asses from bumpy tricycle rides. No more creepy stares. No more scorching sunbathing. No more manual labor.
But our stay with the families we helped taught us a lot. Every bump is worth the trip. Each sunburn is worth the scorch. Every drip of paint is a life changed. Every stare transformed to a thankful glance. The manual labor may have stopped but the labor of love will forever leave a mark.
Whoever said that beauty is only skin deep should come visit a GK site, because for people living in these communities beauty is never only skin deep. Beauty reaches into the deepest crevices of their souls. For every sign of beauty they see, they find beauty in their lives.
I would like to think that we somehow made a difference in the lives of the residents of that small community. Because they made a difference in my life. In the five days we helped them I was able to see change not only in the way their houses looked but also in the way they live their lives. Children who ran around naked started wearing neat clothes. Mothers who greeted us with harsh stares during the first day were greeting us with warm smiles. They again found beauty around them, and so again found reason to continue living beautiful lives.
During our week long stay we were able to generate funds amounting to Php 4025.00! The money was used to buy plants which were used for a community garden at a dead end along St. Mary of the Passion Street. We also bought gallons of paint and paintbrushes which were used to repaint some of the houses, the wall of the multipurpose hall, the doors of some houses, the GK marker along the main street, and the plant cans found along St. Hermine Street. We were also able to finish the mural we planned on an unused wall along St. Hermine (thanks a bunch to Rhyzl for taking care of it…it was a masterpiece…truly a work of art!).
The projects we did may not be much for most people, but for the residents it made a lot of difference. Thanks a lot to the members of my group who all exerted effort to create a better community for the residents of Brookside. Thanks to Camille aka Abbey who is gracious enough to document our group in action. Thanks to Alexis for being my right hand man (or woman) during the past two weeks. Thanks to Bianca for following Habit 1 since day one, and stepping up to take charge when Alexis and I were both absent. Thanks to Marvin, who despite not being part of our group, continuously helps us and spends time to get to know the kids. Thanks to Aling Maly, along with the other residents, for receiving us graciously everyday for the past two weeks, and for helping us help themselves.
It was a wonderful two weeks. It was a bit expensive, and more laborious than our Sitio Pajo experience, but we were all happy nonetheless. I just hope that the projects we started would continue well after our stay…