Colombia House Building #4: Making Choices

Haley ’25 and Elannah ’25, learn the importance of being flexible.

Last night, the group sat down for a discussion about the agenda for the last few days. We were able to choose between two different options and talked until we came to a unanimous decision. The original plan was to build three houses, but the third family did not have their foundation built and we wouldn’t have been able to start their house. This change showed us how important flexibility is, and how things won’t always go to plan. So instead we decided to build house #2 in one day, and the next day assist the third family in building their foundation.

On the final day, we will do a different service project of trail maintenance. We were excited about this as it gave us the ability to help more people and also see more of Colombia’s natural beauty. The opportunity for us students to be able to choose our path has been a common theme throughout our trip as our leaders have been very good about giving us agency. This has also been apparent throughout the past two days of building, where we as students have taken great leadership during the building process.

This shined through particularly when trying to navigate our difficult language barrier. Many students took charge in the translations, even if they weren’t completely confident in their abilities. This exemplified how much closer our group has gotten, by our willingness to show vulnerability. It was such a rewarding experience to see our first house complete and the happiness of the family.