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I used ton’t mind the heat so much, I was just glad to be outside. But it did impede the rate of the progress at the construction website.
I will acknowledge that construction houses was perhaps not in my own job description. A grin crossed my face, not because I felt refreshed, but because I had been truly pleased. I recognized a gentle breeze which suddenly drifted round the landscape and took my thoughts withit. My mind started to wonder. How did I arrive here?
Are not there something more alive than regular and monotony? Sometimes I’d often wonder if most everyone was really waking up at the morning inspired by the work they were doing and how their lives were unfolding. I wanted a switch. I wanted to eventually become actively involved with something positive that would provide me with a sense of purpose. Does that even exist, and if yes where do I subscribe? Can one person really change 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 action. Habitat just started a brand new International Volunteer Program (IVP) to get long-term volunteers and I was the very first to go through the application. My official title was that the Volunteer Coordinator for Latin America & the Caribbean. I believed this is a tremendous opportunity since the company was constructed and existed on the support of volunteers. Starting out I was a bit on edge, in the time I found my groove over the Habitat frame. It was unbelievable – I was actually enjoying office work. I took part in the evolution of materials like a volunteer manual, interview guides, and evaluation forms. I worked with a taskforce for its continuous advancement of the IVP program. I handled an on-site volunteer training plan at El Salvador. Yet the best part in my job was to work alongside other volunteers, those who were there not because they had to be but have there been only because they desired to become.
So far as the volunteers had been concerned, my job was to coordinate housing and coming logistics, administer orientations, and encourage them through the duration of their stay. There was such a charisma between the volunteers I’d often take it a step farther and plan weekend excursions and after work outings. We ended up not just changing the lifestyles of many others, but changing the lifestyles of eachother.
Normally as I could I’d break away from the office and accept volunteers on build trips to Habitat construction sights during Costa Rica. It was heartwarming to see firsthand the culmination of job. Out at the sight we’d work alongside the benefiting Habitat family that was consistently very receptive, helpful, and appreciative of our help. The spectacle was a amazing amalgamation of cultures, economic backgrounds, and faith. Yet the frequent bond which tied us together was the simple thought of creating a home. Only seeing everybody working, laughing, smiling, and sharing created an atmosphere therefore rich with emotion that it made me reconsider the way I recognized riches. The home was symbolic of more than just a place of residence. It symbolized a motto, a coming together, along with an inherent understanding of equality that we’ll carry with us for the rest of our own lives. As cliché as it might sound, it was authentic. We were not only building houses, but we were building lives.
Internationally or domestically, conflict settlement or human rights, poverty or the environment – it’s disheartening to think there are many methods of getting involved and give back to the international community. But these dilemmas exist to not create despair but activity. It doesn’t matter where you begin to start making positive gifts equally as long as you make the choice to actually start somewhere. Fundamentally, this really is among the toughest decisions to create. I chose the movement of eliminating poverty housing. Did I eliminate poverty housing? Not even close. Did I succeed? Absolutely! The calmness of my experience taught me that I alone cannot eliminate poverty housing, which directed me to the answer I was looking for. Perhaps one person can’t change the planet, but the planet can surely change for one person. And it’s this domino effect, that if spread across the globe we can, together, reach the unimaginable and make a world that reflects the heat of mankind instead of its own indifference.
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