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The sun beat down from overhead with this kind of intensity I was breaking out in a sweat whilst sitting in the colour. I didn’t mind the heat so much, I was simply glad to be outside. But it did slow the speed of the progress at the construction site. It had been grinding work between digging, mixing concrete, laying cubes, and bending rebar, most that I had little to no working experience in.
I will acknowledge that construction houses was perhaps not in my own job description. A smile crossed my head, not because I felt more joyful, however because I had been truly content. I welcomed a gentle breeze that unexpectedly swept round the landscape and took my thoughts with it. My mind started to wonder. How can I arrive here?
Are not there something more your than regular and monotony? Occasionally I would often wonder if most everyone was really waking up in the morning inspired by the work that they were doing and how their lifestyles were unfolding. I wanted a switch. I needed to become actively engaged in something positive that would give me a sense of purpose. Does that exist, and if so where can I register? Perhaps it’s easier said than done. Yet, I finally chose and began to realize this fantasy once I traveled to Costa Rica to a whim and found myself volunteering with Habitat for Humanity International. Can one person really change the whole world? I wanted to find out.
Habitat just started a brand new International Volunteer Program (IVP) to get long term volunteers and that I had been the very first to experience the application. My official title was that the Volunteer Coordinator for Latin America & the Caribbean. I believed that this was a tremendous opportunity since the organization was constructed and existed the support of volunteers. Getting started I had been a bit on edge, but in due time I found my groove within the Habitat framework. It was unbelievable – I was actually enjoying office job. I participate in the development of materials such as a volunteer manual, interview guides, and evaluation forms. I worked with a taskforce for the continuous advancement of the IVP program. I handled an onsite volunteer training plan in El Salvador. The greatest part about my job was to work alongside other volunteers, those who weren’t because that they must function but were there only because they desired to become.
As far as the volunteers were concerned, my job was to coordinate housing and coming logistics, then administer orientations, and support them throughout their stay. There is this type of charisma between the volunteers I would often go on it a step farther and plan weekend excursions and after work outings. We ended up not simply changing the lives of many others, however, shifting the lifestyles of each other. Dealing together with Habitat gave me the confidence to believe I can accomplish any task, however more importantly it gave me a genuine sense of pride in to be ready to work hard at work worth doing.
As often as I could I would break out from the workplace and accept volunteers on build trips to Habitat construction sights during Costa Rica. It was heartwarming to see first hand the culmination of your job. Out at the sight we would work together with the benefitting Habitat family who was always very receptive, helpful, and appreciative of the help. The spectacle was a wonderful amalgamation of cultures, economic backgrounds, and faith. Yet the frequent bond that tied us together was that the very simple notion of building a home. Only seeing everyone working, laughing, grinning, and sharing created an atmosphere therefore rich with emotion that it made me rethink the way I recognized riches. The home was symbolic greater than just a place of residence. It symbolized a unity, a coming together, and also an inherent comprehension of equality which we’ll carry together to the rest of our own lives. As cliché as it may sound, it was authentic. We’re not just building homes, we were building resides.
Internationally or conflict settlement or individual rights, poverty or the environment – it’s disheartening to consider that there are so many ways to get involved and give back to the global community. However, these dilemmas exist not to create despair but activity. It doesn’t matter where you begin to begin making positive gifts equally as long as you make your choice to actually start somewhere. Ultimately, this really is one of the toughest decisions to create. I decided the movement of eliminating poverty housing. Did I eliminate poverty housing? Maybe not even close. Did I succeed? Definitely! The calmness of my experience taught me that I alone can’t eliminate poverty housing, which led me to the answer I was searching for. Perhaps one person can not change the world, however, the planet can surely change for one person. And it has this domino effect, which if spread across the planet we could, together, reach the unthinkable and make a world that reflects the heat of humanity instead of its own indifference.
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