Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/30/14
From Press Release
Over a period of six days this past May, Carli Fitzgerald (Abington) of the Temple lacrosse team was part of an experience that changed her life as well as the lives of many others. Fitzgerald, a rising senior at Temple, went to Honduras with Global Water Brigades and helped bring water to a community of 560 people.
Along with 15 others who made the trip from Temple, only one of whom she knew beforehand, Fitzgerald flew to Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras. The group’s accommodations were about an hour away from the rural community of El Junquillo where they were tasked with finishing the water system.
Fitzgerald and 11 other women stayed in a room of bunk beds with a single bathroom, and the group was not permitted to drink the faucet water, brush their teeth with it or flush toilet paper. The living experience and work days soon bonded the volunteer team, and by the end of day three, Fitzgerald felt she had made a whole new group of best friends.
Beginning at 8:00 a.m. on their first full day in Honduras, the group from Temple worked alongside a group from the University of Missouri to dig trenches for the pipes in the humid, 95-degree weather. On day two they were given an opportunity to explore the community, and to see the water tank that would soon be in use. “We were actually able to hike up the mountain to the top where the tank is,” said Fitzgerald. “From the top of the mountain, we overlooked the entire community. The view is one I will never forget because I was able to see all the houses that would soon be supplied with water.”
On day three, the volunteers dug 300 meters of trenches and then began to lay the pipes and cover them back up. After completing that task on day four, they were taught how to begin installing faucets in homes.
“When we looked around, we saw the men and women of the community standing outside of their homes watching us all with big smiles on their faces,” said Fitzgerald. “They were all so appreciative of our work and so blessed that we came so far to help their community. They no longer had to walk three hours to just get water to supply their family.”
After connecting the last of the faucets on the fifth day, it was time for the water ceremony. The entire community joined the group at the top of the mountain to turn on the water. Fitzgerald wished she could communicate better with two young girls she helped lead up the mountain, but the smiles on their faces were enough.
“At the top of the mountain, everyone was so unbelievably happy that when we looked around, we saw tears of joy on mostly all of their faces,” she said. “This was one of the most amazing feelings I have ever felt in my life…This experience changed my life forever, and it’s one that I will never forget. I am so thankful for everything I have in the United States and the opportunities that are presented to me here. I would love to do something like this again in the near future.”
Fitzgerald was easily able to relate the entire experience to her time as a member of the Temple lacrosse team over the last three years. The Owls are “a group of girls with a common goal, who work hard day in and day out to succeed. With the majority of the group committed to achieving the goal, it can be reached. The feeling of completion and reaching a goal is one that can not be rivaled.”