Tim Bennitt, 16 years old, just returned from the Dominican Republic on his second service trip with Bridges. He traveled to Nicaragua in 2017 and loved the experience so much that he decided to go on another Bridges trip, this time to La Guama, DR.
While in community, Tim can often be seen running around and playing with the kids, one of his favorite parts of the Bridges experience. He says, “I love the people and especially the kids. I like to think that we are having an impact on the kids. They come and hang out with us, help us out on the worksite, and have something to do and someone to spend time with. [On my trip to Nicaragua], we talked a lot with the kids about the importance of education. I hope they keep on track to doing well in life.”
The Bridges experience has had a significant impact on Tim. He says, “The Bridges trips are eye-opening. [Before traveling with Bridges,] I knew that there are areas of the world that live in poverty, but to see it and experience it is completely different…I feel like [many] people in the US know about the poverty that exists in the world, but they don’t feel like they can do anything to help. Going on a Bridges trip will change [their] minds about that. I have truly felt that I am doing something to help others. On my Bridges trips, I have helped to leave an impact on the lives of the people in this community, and I got to know the people I was helping…It is so satisfying [for me personally] to know that what we did will last a long time. Building a house for a family has an impact on many generations.”
Tim also explains that the Bridges trips have given him a window into a different life, much different from his own in Larchmont, NY. He says, “On the trips, I notice a big difference in the living conditions between my home and here…[but] I also notice that there is a lot more neighborhood friendliness in the Bridges communities. I know my neighbors at home, but we don’t stop by to hang out at each other’s houses like they do here in the DR and Nicaragua. In these communities, the kids are always playing with each other, which is so different from how I grew up.” Tim laughs as he says the biggest difference, though, might be that you don’t “casually see a herd of cows” back where he is from in the US, though it is very commonplace in the Bridges partner communities.
Tim hopes to return on many more Bridges trips in the future!