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The sun beat down from overhead with such intensity I was breaking out in a sweat when sitting in the color. I didn’t mind the heat so much, I was only happy to be out. Yet, it did impede the rate of our progress at the construction website.
I will acknowledge that construction houses was perhaps not in my own job description. As I sat there with my back against a tree I squeezed a half bottle of water over my mind. A grin crossed my face, not because I felt much more joyful, however because I was truly content. I recognized a gentle breeze which suddenly drifted across the scene and required my own thoughts withit. My mind began to wonder. Just how did I get here?
For many years I had the fantasy of living abroad, learning a new language and experiencing another culture. Are not there something more alive than routine and monotony? Sometimes I would often wonder if a lot of people were really getting in the morning motivated by the job they were doing and how their lifestyles were unfolding. I had a change. I wanted to become actively engaged in something positive that could provide me with a sense of purpose. Does that also exist, and if so where can I register? Can anyone really change the whole world? I wanted to find out.
Habitat only started a new International Volunteer Program (IVP) to get long term volunteers and I was the very first to experience the program. I believed this is an enormous opportunity since the organization was built and existed on the support of volunteers. Getting started I was a bit on edge, but in due time I found my groove within the Habitat frame. It was unbelievable – that I was actually enjoying office job. I took part in the evolution of materials like a volunteer manual, meeting guides, and test forms. I worked with a taskforce for its continuous improvement of the IVP program. I even handled an on-site volunteer training regime in El Salvador. The best part about my job was really getting to work alongside other volunteers, those who weren’t because that they must function but have there been simply because they desired to be.
So far as the volunteers had been concerned, my job was to coordinate housing and arrival logistics, then administer orientations, and support them during their stay. There was this kind of charm amongst the volunteers I would often simply take it a step further and plan weekend trips and after-work excursions. We wound up not just altering the lifestyles of many others, but changing the lifestyles of one another. Working with Habitat gave me the confidence to believe I could accomplish virtually any job, but more importantly it gave me a genuine sense of fulfillment in to be ready to work hard at work worth doing.
Normally as I could I would break away from the office and take volunteers build trips to Habitat construction sights throughout Costa Rica. It was heart warming to see first hand the culmination of your work. Out at the sight we’d work together with the benefitting Habitat family who was always very receptive, helpful, and appreciative of the help. The scene was a wonderful amalgamation of civilizations, economic backgrounds, and faith. The common bond that tied us together was that the easy notion of developing a home. Just watching everybody working, laughing, grinning, and sharing generated an atmosphere therefore rich with emotion it made me reconsider how I recognized riches. The house was emblematic greater than just a place of residence. It symbolized a unity, a coming together, along with an inherent comprehension of equality which we’ll carry together to the remainder of our lives. As cliché as it may sound, it had been authentic. We’re not only building houses, but we were building lives.
Internationally or conflict resolution or individual rights, poverty or the environment – it’s disheartening to think there are so many methods to get involved and give back to the global community. It doesn’t matter where you start to start making positive gifts equally for as long as you make your choice to actually start somewhere. Ultimately, this is among the toughest decisions to produce. Can I eradicate poverty housing? Not really close. Can I succeed? Absolutely! The serenity of my experience taught me that I alone can’t get rid of poverty home, that directed me into the answer I was looking for. Perhaps 1 person can not change the world, but the world can certainly change for one individual. And it’s this domino effect, that should disperse across the planet we could, collectively, achieve the unthinkable and make a world that reflects the heat of humankind in the place of its indifference.
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