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The sun beat down from overhead with such intensity I had been breaking out in a sweat whilst sitting in the colour. I didn’t mind the heat so much, I was just happy to be out. However, it did impede the speed of our progress at the construction site.
I’ll admit that building houses was perhaps not in my job description. A grin crossed my face, not because I felt more refreshed, however because I had been truly content. I welcomed a gentle breeze that unexpectedly drifted round the scene and took my own thoughts withit. My mind began to wonder. How did I arrive here?
Wasn’t there something more to life than regular and monotony? Occasionally I’d often wonder if many people were really waking up in the morning motivated by the job that they were doing and how their lifestyles were unfolding. I wanted a change. I wanted to eventually become consciously involved with something positive which will provide me with a sense of purpose. Does that also exist, and if yes where do I subscribe? Perhaps it’s easier said than done. However, I finally took the initiative and started to realize this dream when I traveled to Costa Rica to a whim and found myself volunteering with Habitat for Humanity International. Can anyone really change the whole world? I wanted to find out.
Habitat just started a new International Volunteer Program (IVP) for long term volunteers and I was the 1st to experience the app. My official name was the Volunteer Coordinator for Latin America & the Caribbean. I felt this was a tremendous opportunity since the organization was built and existed on the support of volunteers. Getting started I had been somewhat on edge, but in the time I found my groove within the Habitat frame. It was incredible – that I was actually enjoying office job. I took part in the creation of materials such as an volunteer manual, interview guides, and test forms. I caused a task force for its continuous advancement of this IVP program. I even administered an on-site volunteer training program in El Salvador. The best part in my job was getting to work along side other volunteers, people who were there not because that they must be but were there simply because they desired to be.
So far as the volunteers were concerned my job was to coordinate home and arrival logistics, administer orientations, and support them throughout their stay. There is such a charisma between the volunteers I would take it a step further and plan weekend trips and after work excursions. We finished up not simply changing the lifestyles of others, however, shifting the lifestyles of one another. Dealing together with Habitat gave me the confidence to feel that I could accomplish some endeavor, but more importantly it gave me a real sense of satisfaction in being ready to perform hard at work worth doing.
Normally as I could I would break away from the office and accept volunteers build trips to Habitat construction sights during Costa Rica. It was heart warming to see firsthand the culmination of one’s work. Out at the sight we would work alongside the benefiting Habitat family who was always very receptive, helpful, and appreciative of the help. The scene was a great amalgamation of civilizations, economic backgrounds, and faith. The common bond that tied us together wasn’t that the simple thought of developing a home. Only seeing everybody else working, laughing, smiling, and sharing generated a feeling so rich with emotion that I made me rethink how I defined riches. The home was symbolic greater than just a place of dwelling. It represented a unity, a coming together, and also an inherent understanding of equality which we’ll carry with us to the remainder of our own lives. As cliché as it might sound, it was true. We’re not only building homes, we were building resides.
Internationally or conflict resolution or individual rights, poverty or the surroundings – it’s disheartening to believe that there are many ways of getting involved and give back to the global community. It doesn’t matter where you start to get started making positive gifts equally as long as you make your decision to actually start somewhere. Fundamentally, this really is among the toughest decisions to produce. Can I eliminate poverty housing? Not even close. Can I succeed? Absolutely! The serenity of my experience taught me that I cannot get rid of poverty housing, which directed me to the answer I was searching for. Perhaps one person can not change the planet, but the world can certainly change for a single individual. And it has this domino effect, which if disperse across the globe we can, collectively, achieve the unimaginable and create a world that reflects the heat of mankind instead of its own indifference.
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