To begin with it looks like I am advertising Mike, I am not, although he does enjoy long walks on the beach an the ocassional crazy adventure in other countries. You are free to keep that in mind.
The following is Mike’s story of “What I Did On My Summer Vacation”…
Wow, what a month! I had been on two incredible Mexico trips in the past, but when I first heard about the leadership program for August I knew there was no way I could leave home for an entire month. However, as August drew nearer, I came to the realization that if I didn’t seize this opportunity, I would be making a huge mistake. I gave Charles a call, quit my job and booked a flight out to Toronto to meet him. When I told my friends that I would be going to Mexico for a month, most of them called me lucky. They didn’t know what exactly I was doing down in Mexico, and I was quick to dismiss the notion that I was lucky. Was I ever wrong.
On the 25th of July, I flew down to Toronto. I drove to Hamilton and got to meet with most of the Absolute staff. I was able to see off an energetic group that was going to the Dominican Republic. Then it was off to pack up Charles’s house. It became a running joke between Charles and me that I was a princess because I wasn’t able to survive off six hours of sleep like he somehow could. On the evening of the 27th, we left Hamilton and began the long drive to San Diego, where we picked up Charles’s wife Tricia, his three kids, Gabe, Micah and Isaac, and Tricia’s dad, Neal. The next day it was off to Vicente Guerrero, Mexico!
At the beginning of August, after a few days of settling in, we drove back up to San Diego to pick up the first group of students. We couldn’t ask for a better group to start the month with. Every student in the entire group was friendly, outgoing, and excited to be there. I got quite sick and had to stay in bed for almost a week, but encouragement from the students brought me to a quick…err…steady recovery. The enthusiasm from the group made it a fun environment to be in. The group put together a house for a very humble and deserving family. They also did a great job doing painting and insulating for a daycare that was incredibly short-staffed and that didn’t have the time or money to do so themselves.
The next group made the long drive down from Abbotsford. Since the second group was so much larger, they were divided into two house-build teams. With one team as all females, many who had never hammered a nail before, I questioned how the house would ever make it up. I sure was mistaken, as they ended up being the fastest house-build team Hero Holiday had ever seen. The house looked amazing too! My house-build team worked incredibly well as a team to build the house and develop relationships with the family, children, and one another as well. Twice, we set up soccer games for the children and played games of Canada vs. Mexico. While my team-mates played well, my soccer skills were often shown up by kids no taller than my belly button. It was great to see such amazing teamwork and cooperation from the entire group.
To the students, student leaders and staff of Hero Holiday; you all are amazing. It turns out I was lucky to come on this trip because I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to work with. These families will never forget each and every one of you, just like you will never forget them. Continue being passionate about what you do and never forget what you’ve learned. The youth of this generation is powerful beyond measure and capable of reaching incredible goals.
…You can also check out some of Mike’s stuff on YouTube, starting with: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeYhLwD5YtY
*All participants are given the opportunity to blog so many views are represented. These views do not necessarily reflect the views of Absolute Leadership Development. If you are a Hero Holiday participant that would like to share your experience please email your story (and picture, if possible) to email@example.com