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I didn’t mind the heat so much, I was simply glad to be outside. Yet, it did slow the rate of the progress at the construction site.
I’ll admit that building houses was not in my own job description. A grin crossed my face, not because I felt much more joyful, but because I had been truly happy. I recognized a gentle breeze that suddenly swept round the landscape and took my thoughts with it. My mind began to wonder. Just how did I get here?
For several years I had the dream of living abroad, learning a new language and experiencing another culture. Wasn’t there something more alive than routine and monotony? At times I’d often wonder if a lot of everyone was really getting at the morning motivated by the work that they were doing and how their lives were unfolding. I wanted a change. I wanted to eventually become consciously engaged with something positive that could provide me with a sense of purpose. Does that exist, and if yes where can I sign up? Perhaps it’s easier said than done. But, I finally took the initiative and began to see this dream when I traveled to Costa Rica on a whim and found myself volunteering with Habitat for Humanity International. Can one person really change the world? I needed to discover.
Habitat only started a fresh International Volunteer Program (IVP) for long term volunteers and that I had been the very first to experience the application. I felt this is a tremendous opportunity since the organization was built and existed the aid of volunteers. Starting out 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 work. I took part in the growth of substances such as a volunteer manual, interview guides, and test forms. I worked with a task force for its continuous advancement of this IVP program. I administered an on-site volunteer training regime at El Salvador. Yet the best part in my job was getting to work along with other volunteers, people who were there not because that they must function but were there only because they wanted to become.
As far as the volunteers were concerned my role was to coordinate housing and coming logistics, administer orientations, and support them through the duration of their stay. There was this type of charm amongst the volunteers I’d often simply take it a step further and plan weekend excursions and after-work outings. We wound up not just changing the lives of others, but shifting the lifestyles of each other.
As often as I could I would break out from the office and accept volunteers build trips to Habitat building landscapes throughout Costa Rica. It was heartwarming to see firsthand the culmination of job. Out at the sight we would work alongside the benefiting Habitat family who was consistently very receptive, helpful, and respectful of the help. The spectacle was a fantastic amalgamation of cultures, economic backgrounds, and beliefs. Yet the frequent bond that tied us together wasn’t the simple notion of developing a home. Only watching everyone working, laughing, grinning, and discussing created an atmosphere so rich with emotion that it made me reconsider the way I defined riches. Your home was symbolic greater than only a place of dwelling. It represented a unity, a coming together, along with an inherent understanding of equality that we’ll carry together to the remainder of our own lives. As cliché as it might sound, it had been true. We were not just building houses, but we were building lives.
Internationally or conflict resolution or individual rights, poverty or the environment – it’s disheartening to think that there are so many methods of getting involved and give back to the global community. But these problems exist to not create despair but activity. It doesn’t matter where you start to get started making positive contributions equally as long as you make the decision to actually start somewhere. Eventually, this really is one of the toughest decisions to produce. Did I eradicate poverty housing? Maybe not even close. Did I succeed? Definitely! The serenity of my experience taught me that I cannot eliminate poverty housing, which led me to this answer I was searching for. Perhaps one person can not change the planet, but the entire world can certainly change for a single person. And it has this domino effect, which should disperse throughout the planet we could, together, reach the unimaginable and make a world that reflects the heat of mankind instead of its own indifference.
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