My husband and I prepared ourselves for the time we were going to spend at Liberty Children's Home (LCH) in Ladyville, Belize. We knew it was going to be physical work, but we love working hard. We knew being with the children would be difficult emotionally, but we love children and would make sure they knew it. However, after spending 5 days and 4 nights at LCH...nothing can prepare you for this experience.
I was there 4 years earlier to drop off some presents with my fellow MaidPro franchisees before we started our Belize adventure trip. I gave presents to Dayvon and Shannon. They were about 14 or 15. I chose the oldest in the group at the time because I had teenagers at home. They were very appreciative and they broke my heart. I was so happy when MaidPro created MaidPro Cares and announced on-going help for LCH. I became a founding member instantly. How awesome to be able to support such a wonderful home that is NEEDED in the country of Belize for the neglected and abused children?!
When I was picked up at the airport, Dayvon was a passenger. I asked him if he remembered me? He said "yes." He remembered I was the one who gave him a hoodie with earbuds built in. Ha! How awesome?! He said Shannon didn't live at LCH any longer, she had a great job and lives on her own now. Awesome again! Dayvon has a special place in my heart, but then we arrived and met the 36 other children. The hugs we got, the looks of wonder, the curiosity, the sadness, the yearning. These kids are all so special and it truly touches you. You just want to take them all home.
Throughout the trip the kids wanted to do what we were doing. They wanted to work and interact with us as much as possible. What smart children! So helpful too. Your hearts breaks over and over with the little moments that occur...Can I clean and stack the books with you miss? Can I sit next to you miss? Can you help me with my doll? After we clean, can we play HORSE? We are instructed not to ask the children where they come from or what happened to them. They all have their own story that is theirs to keep. I wanted to ask so badly, to tell them it is all going to be okay. But, how could I? Just interacting with positive adults is truly wonderful for them. So I hugged them and was there for them for the short 5 days as much as possible. I can't wait to see them again.
Our time was spent cleaning and organizing this trip. The land had some garbage, rusted and tattered "things" that took 4 dump trucks to dispose of. Being a charity, LCH receives household and clothing donations, however they do not have the staff to properly organize and store these donations. We dove right in and now they have a fully organized, cleaned, painted Library (that the children absolutely love!!), a fully organized storage container for maintenance items, and fully cleaned and organized store room for all the donation items they receive. There was a lot to do, my husband and I fell asleep before our heads hit the pillow each night.
The group we had from MaidPro Cares was awesome! When the kiddies went to sleep, we meandered down the road to a converted garage turned into local store and bar (ish). Scary at first, but then weirdly welcoming after a long day. We had lots of laughs and a few beers, but also many discussions on how to make LCH a better place and how MP Cares could be part of it.
At the end of a trip like this, you are naturally closer to your team. Listen, we all run a MaidPro franchise, we all want to be successful. There are nuances on the road to success. Having a supportive MaidPro family is critical to learning these nuances, and this MaidPro family is very giving and nurturing. If they were not, my success would have been hindered. How does MP Cares fit into this business family...perfectly, just perfectly. If you are not a founder of MP Cares, you are missing out. Join us on the next trip, I don't think "regret" is a word you would use to describe your time there.