Father-Daughter Team Deliver Their Donation by Hand
By: Jamie Shea, Team 10
Over the past 10 years, I have witnessed my dad, Kevin Shea, go on several trips to Sri Lanka to help re-build a community that suffered from the devastation of the 2004 Tsunami. The stories and photos of his adventures, while captivating and breathtaking, did not do it justice. In April 2013, I had the opportunity to join him.
No words can fully describe what an incredible and life changing experience TRIP Canada is. It is selflessness in the rawest human form. Knowing that you can do something that can actually change someone’s life for the better is absolutely beautiful. The labour is hard, especially in the heat, but seeing the smiles on the Sri Lankan’s faces and having a role in that makes every bit worth it. I began to realize how lucky I am. I saw the house I grew up in as no longer just four walls, but hours upon hours of physical labour. You gain a whole new perspective on life within minutes of stepping foot in the village. Seeing Canadian flags hung proudly on the walls of their new homes is the kind of “thank you” that cannot be said in words. You quickly begin to form relationships with the inhabitants of the village in Tangalle Bay – a home away from home. Language is not a barrier – you learn to laugh and communicate with them in ways that you understand each other. Above all, they’re inspiring. The simplicity of their lifestyle is something I wish I could achieve in the hustle and bustle of my life in the city. You change in a way that you cannot explain to others.
Being able to experience all those emotions and little gifts of life with my Dad was priceless. We grew together in a way that was impossible in the busy life we live in Toronto. Above all, this experience has made me respect my Dad even more than I ever knew I could. The fact that he has done this 4 times now, put in hours of hard physical labour that I never knew he had in him and keeps going back for more, just makes me realize what an incredible role model he is. I began to see my Dad in a different light, without the suit and tie, and it made me so incredibly proud to call him my dad. Every daughter should have a chance to experience this with their Dad. It becomes a little secret you both share, but cannot fully put into words. I encourage everyone to do something like this, at least once in their life, because it is a privilege and a gift.