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The sun beat down from overhead with this kind of intensity I had been breaking out in a sweat while sitting in the color. I used ton’t mind the heat, I was just happy to be out. However it did slow the rate of our progress at the construction website.
I will acknowledge that building houses was not in my job description. When I sat there with my back against a tree I squeezed a half bottle of water on my mind. A smile crossed my face, not because I felt joyful, but because I was truly satisfied. I welcomed a gentle breeze which unexpectedly swept across the scene and required my own thoughts with it. My mind began to wonder. How can I arrive here?
For several years I had the dream of living abroad, learning a new language and experiencing a different culture. Wasn’t there something more to life than routine and monotony? At times I’d often wonder if many everyone was really getting up at the morning motivated by the job they were doing and how their lives were unfolding. I needed a switch. I desired to become consciously involved in something positive which would give me a sense of purpose. Does that also exist, and if yes where do I register? Perhaps it’s easier said than done. Yet, I finally chose and started to realize this dream once I traveled to Costa Rica in a whim and found myself volunteering with Habitat for Humanity International. Can anyone really transform the whole world? I wanted to learn.
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and making decent, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and actions. Habitat only started a brand new International Volunteer Program (IVP) to get long term volunteers and I was the very first to experience the app. My official title was the Volunteer Coordinator for Latin America & the Caribbean. I believed this is a tremendous opportunity since the organization was built and existed on the aid of volunteers. Starting out I had been somewhat on edge, in the time I found my groove within the Habitat frame. It was incredible – I was actually enjoying office work. I participate in the creation of substances like a volunteer manual, meeting guides, and test forms. I caused a task force for the continuous improvement of this IVP program. I even handled an on-site volunteer training program at El Salvador. The best part in my job was really getting to work along side other volunteers, those who were there not because that they must be but were there simply because they desired to become.
As far as the volunteers have been concerned my role was to coordinate housing and coming logistics, administer orientations, and encourage them during their stay. There is this type of charm between the volunteers I would often go on it a step further and plan weekend excursions and after-work excursions. We ended up not just changing the lives of many others, however, shifting the lives of one another. Working together with Habitat gave me the confidence to feel I could accomplish virtually any task, but more importantly it gave me a genuine sense of satisfaction in to be ready to perform hard at work worth doing.
Normally as I could I would break away from the office and take volunteers on build trips to Habitat construction sights during Costa Rica. It was heartwarming to see firsthand the culmination of your job. Out at the sight we would work alongside the benefiting Habitat family that was consistently very open-minded, friendly, and respectful of our help. The spectacle was a fantastic amalgamation of civilizations, economic backgrounds, and faith. Yet the frequent bond that tied us together was that the easy thought of creating a home. Just watching everybody working, laughing, grinning, and discussing generated a feeling so rich with emotion that I made me rethink how I recognized riches. The house was symbolic of more than only a place of dwelling. It represented a unity, a coming together, along with an inherent comprehension of equality which we’ll carry together for the rest of our own lives. As cliché as it might sound, it had been true. We’re not just building homes, we were building lives.
Internationally or domestically, conflict settlement or individual rights, poverty or the environment – it’s disheartening to believe there are many ways to get involved and give back to the global community. It doesn’t matter where you start to begin making positive gifts equally as long when you make your decision to actually start somewhere. Ultimately, this is among the toughest decisions to make. I chose the movement of eliminating poverty housing. Can I eliminate poverty housing? Not even close. Did I succeed? Definitely! The serenity of my experience taught me that I cannot eliminate poverty housing, which led me into this answer I was looking for. Perhaps 1 man can’t change the planet, but the planet can definitely change for a single person. And it’s this domino effect, that should spread throughout the globe we can, together, achieve the unthinkable and create a world that reflects the warmth of humanity instead of its own indifference.
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