S: In Memory of Irene Michelle Mombourquette
BC: Created by 'Auntie' Sadie April, 2011
FC: Dedicated to: Irene Michelle Mombourquette October 4, 1970 - August 17, 2005 | Nicaragua - January 8 - 16, 2011
1: Bridges to Community Canada - January 8-16, 2011 took a group of 26 people to Nicaragua to build houses. This was the year this organization's goal to build 100 homes in five years was realized. Irene's house is one of those houses. | 2011 Bridges to Community Team Canada - Nindiri Front - Marianne O'Leary, Rachel Langton, Jim Ball, Sadie Bauman, Bernice DeBelie, Paul Bauman; Back- Don Vince, Karl Seger, Elizabeth Seger, Bob Buckberrough, Chris Ball, Katie Wilson-Day, Shelly Burns
2: Dear Linda: This is my memorial to Irene for you! Irene died on August 17, 2005. This was such a shock to everyone, and although our family has had our share of grieving, this tragedy proved too much to bear. We were all having difficulty moving on. After five years, on September 3, 2010, I received this message from you: "Little David was eight years old on August 31st, he was two weeks away from his third birthday when Irene died. She has been gone for five years now and I still miss her so much, my chest hurts. I need to find a way to heal. I still can't talk about her without crying. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life." My response was: "I read your message in the middle of the night last night. As a result, I couldn't get it out of my head. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life too; although I understand that I can't compare my grief with yours, because Irene was your daughter. I sometimes try to imagine her being able to talk to us, and I know that she would want us to be able to have a happy life, even though she isn't here. I have a hard time talking about her without tears too. In fact, last semester I took a course called "Perspectives on Death and Dying" to help me to deal with my grief. I chose to do my term paper on the topic of grief so I had to do a lot of research on the subject. One of the most significant recommendations that came out of my research was that it is very healthy for a bereaved to do what ever they can to keep the memory of their loved ones alive in their hearts. This can be accomplished by setting up a memorial fund or a foundation in memory of the lost loved one." That gave me an idea. - "I would like to dedicate the house we build in Nicaragua during the 2011 housebuilding trip to Irene. As the family will consider Irene to be the 'angel' that brought them a new home, her photo will be hung in a prestigious place for all to see. A place in the home that will change their lives forever. This will keep Irene's memory alive for all of us in a very special way." So was born the idea to dedicate the building of a home for a family in Nicaragua to honor Irene's memory. This has helped me to deal with my grief, I hope it helps you too! Love, Sadie | The Idea
3: Our first step towards putting this plan into action was to raise the $4,000.00, which is what it costs to build a home for a Nicaraguan family. We decided to have a fundraiser and invited all our friends and family members to a 'Garden Party' that we held in Gord and Linda Thompson's barn. What a fantastic time we all had. And we raised enough money to build not one, but two houses! | The Fundraising
4: So, off we went to Nicaragua! There was quite a welcoming celebration when we landed in the community of Nindiri. We enjoyed music, dancing, dinner and even fireworks! The first picture (above) is the entire work crew. Everyone was so happy to meet the Canadians. | Our Arrival In Nindiri, Nicaragua
5: This is the complex where we stayed for the week. The guys slept in one room and the gals slept in another. | We had all the comforts of home, as you can see from above. Our cots are on the left, and our bathroom is on the right | But nothing could top the shower facilities. A bucket shower with water warmed by the sun was the perfect way to finish off a day!
6: New Friendships | Many of the members of our group met for the first time at the airport, but you would never know it! There was an instant connection which was just the beginning of what proved to be a fantastic bonding experience. This was a team of people who will remain connected for years to come. The picture of the 'clean' shoes, to the right, was taken before the beginning of the first workday. That was the best they looked all week! | Rick Bauman and Chris Ball | Katie Wilson-Day and Bernice DeBelie | Katie Wilson-Day, Marianne O'Leary, Elektra Hilton and Erin Weenk | Paul Bauman and Shelley Burns
7: Paul Bauman, Laura Bolster, Bob Buckberrough and Shelley Burns | Damon Clarke, and Michael & Gary Woodward
8: I finally get to meet the recipients of Irene's home: Anna Lisbet Hernadez and her two boys, Julio Cesar and Gabriel DeJesus | Their present home | The new home we will build for them in 2011. | Meeting the Family
9: When I met the family, I presented them with the picture of Irene and said: "It would be our privilege to have your new home dedicated to my beautiful niece, Irene. Irene died suddenly on August 17, 2005 and there's not a day that goes by that we don't miss her dearly. I lost my niece that day, but my sister Linda, lost her eldest daughter and she will never be the same as a result. Irene's sister Andrea, lost her best friend. Irene was a single mom who left behind two beautiful children, Katherine, age four years and David, who was almost three years old. Those two children lost their mother that day. Irene would be honoured to have a photo of her family hang in your new home." Anna was extremely honoured to have her new home dedicated to Irene, and she placed the picture on a shelf in her existing home - just waiting for the new home to be built which would mark the beginning of a new life for Anna and her boys. When their safe, new home is built in 2011, Irene and her children will have a special and prestigious position within that home, carrying with it the fact that lives have been changed | The Dedication
10: Now we had to get to work and build the house! We went to the job site each day in the back of a pick up truck. | There were lots of manual jobs to be done, and everyone had a job. As you can see, the mixing of cement provided an amazing workout! I am known as 'Steel Magnolia' because I manage the steel table. | The Typical Workday
11: There's always time during the work day to enjoy the delightfully happy children. Irene would have loved them as much as the ladies in our group did! | After a long and tiring day, it was rewarding to pose 'within' our completed work. | Satisfaction
12: The dedication ceremony | At the end of the week there was a dedication ceremony. There was music, a pinata, and a children's dance performance! The homeowners invited everyone inside so that we could say a prayer to bless the new home. What a happy celebration!
13: This is the work crew. They were an amazing group of guys and gals who have beautiful warm hearts. | Everyone wanted to get in the picture!
14: When the work and celebrations were over, we spent some time enjoying the beautiful Nicaraguan scenery. That's an active volcano in the background! | Enjoying Beautiful Nicaragua
15: Got some rest. That's Paul Bauman in the hammock. | And did some reflecting on the events of the week. That's Stephen Savage above. This was an amazing experience for all of us! | We had a little boat tour. | We went swimming. That's Rick and Sadie Bauman, and Rachel Langton above.
16: Home built for Anna Lisbet Hernadez and her two children Julio Cesar & Gabriel DeJesus
17: Home dedicated to Irene Michelle Mombourquette October 4, 1970 - August 17, 2005
18: Family | Irene's sister, Andrea and her Mom, Linda | (left) Andrea, Hayley & Jorden; (centre) Katherine & Hayley; (right) David, Katherine, Hayley, Jorden and Linda & Dan DeRe | Linda, Sadie & Cathy
19: Although Irene is no longer with us, her memory will always live on in our hearts - and now she will also live on in the hearts of a grateful Nicaraguan family. | Irene