British Airways School Building Trip Scrapbook
buildOn is both fortunate and proud to have the support of British Airways. Recently, a group of BA staffers took it upon themselves to fundraise for buildOn’s international programs and have the eye-opening experience of a school building trip. They shared thoughts with us after returning from Nicaragua. Below is a scrapbook of memories, epiphanies, and photos.
We travelled from all over the USA to come together as one,
With the earnest hope we could give some help and at the same time have some fun,
We were mostly BA, proud and true but some folk we’d never seen,
We soon put our world behind us and became the BA buildOn team.
We knew not what to expect or even what we would do,
But with the leadership of ‘El general’ we knew that we’d get through,
The task ahead was enormous but a challenge that we could embrace,
We had no doubt that we’d get through once we saw the smile on each child’s face.
To be able to experience first hand such profound differences from our daily lives was truly a privilege.
My own personal special moment will be just passing a Rugby ball around in our host family’s home with the children and their friends who came to stare at the strangers. Despite our inability to communicate through speech, the common bond of playing pass quickly broke the barriers and we laughed with each other. To me, it seemed as if the children momentarily forgot their hardships and had a few moments of fun.
One cannot really appreciate the need of people and what a difference we make without experiencing it personally. I am glad we had the chance to experience this.
I also cherished our time together as it gave me the chance to get to know my colleagues better. Nothing like sharing a village experience to get to know someone really fast!
I had visited Central America before, even spending some time in an orphanage, so I thought I had an idea of what we were heading into. I was completely wrong. This trip has brought my experience to a new level and I am so grateful.
The warm affection and love I ( we) received from the village was amazing. It amazes me how these people do not have a lot and they are so happy, yet here in the US we have everything at our fingertips, and sometimes that is not even enough.
If I had to pick one word to describe our trip it would be “eye-opening.” Actually a lot of the trip was amazingly surreal.
My wife and I were getting ready to sleep in our not so water-tight “kitchen” and Isabella, our host, knocked on the door and insisted that she and her family sleep in our room and we spend the night in their house. Of course we turned down her special gesture. She truly touched us.
It’s funny, we are now finding ourselves looking at things and saying: “that would pay for 20% of a school, that would pay for half a school.” Wow, how we live ? .. . . .
A chance to build a school we hear, helping kids get on their way,
to attain an education and offering them a brighter day,
What better way to spend your time, reaching out to those in need,
‘Beware’ they say, it might be tough, this warning we will heed.
Tough were the conditions, living in one room old and young,
and should you need to use the loo, go through the field with wet cow dung,
Chickens, Parrots, Dogs and Geese all indoors and roaming free,
but a loving family living simply with hearts wide open for all to see.
Humbling does not cover it, our disbelief could tell no lies,
To live like that for just one day really opened up our eyes,
We were so grateful for that chance to see how the other half lives,
and from today a change of heart on what it means to give.
I’ve travelled the world, both far and wide in an endeavour to open my mind,
But my heart and my soul were touched so much more by this trip I’ve just left behind,
I hope that I can continue on this path of giving more,
And thank you for all your efforts and love, great people to the core.