Traveling to Venezuela with my daughter has to be towards the top of the list of favorite Daddy-Daughter-Dates. It was a mission trip without any plans for vacation or fun.
As a father, I started off proud of her with her commitment to make this trip knowing that fun or wonder wandering was not really in the cards. She was committed to serve and support the people of Venezuela.
The mission was a work project to restore and update a new home for a new teacher and his family who was transferring from Canada to Venezuela to teach children in a local school. The team involved a group of nine from our home church plus a missionary family already stationed in Venezuela.
We arrived in Caracas late in the evening and made our way to the homes that would house our team. We were all exhausted making our way to bed for a good night rest and an early morning wake up to breakfast and a debrief of the project needs at hand.
Following the breakfast debrief, the team made our way to the “to be worked on” home. Step one was clear out and clean. Tiling a bathroom and a living area, patching holes, repairing the kitchen ceiling, and painting the whole place was on the agenda. Would there be time for it all was the big question at hand.
May daughter Lauren was a trooper and excitedly engaged each project handed her direction. Pride was never an issue as she was first in line to wash walls or scrub floors – it was all about helping the team and getting the job done.
On some of the evenings the adults would stay behind to complete certain tasks. Although gracious in her declarations, Lauren was disappointed because she wanted to stay behind and work; that was the reason she was there.
Although the wandering in this excursion was work oriented, that does not mean it was without fun. We took the afternoon off midweek and took a gondola ride to the top of the mountain, which overlooked the city.
The gondola ride itself was a rather scenic trip with both amazing views of the city and surrounding valley and the forested side of the mountain that we rode over. The gondola offered 360-degree views of the entire area. It was fun to witness the expanse of the city and area, while also seeing beautiful trees and plants along the mountainside.
Although we tried various local delicacies, one of the highlights was a special ice cream like frozen treat. We called it healthy fun because it included strawberries. Lauren and two of her friends were happy campers as they devoured their delicious treats.
The project finished well. Although we had tight timelines, the hard work of the entire team led to a successful mission. The repairs on the house were completed, all parts of the house were painted, and some furniture was built and put in place to welcome the family.
My daughter was a champion throughout this mission work effort. She worked hard from sun up to sun down, always with a smile and never with a complaint. She was even labeled by one of the locals as the “hardest working person he had even seen.”
As a wanderer on this trip, I must first declare that there was not much wandering. More importantly, it is essential to highlight that the true “wonder” in this wandering’s trip was my daughter Lauren. I love you sweet girl and you truly are daddy’s amazing “Wonder.”