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The sun beat down from overhead with this kind of intensity I was breaking out in a sweat when sitting in the colour. I used ton’t mind the heat, I was simply happy to be out. Yet, it did impede the speed of the progress at the construction site.
I’ll admit that building houses was not in my own job description. When I sat there with my back against a shrub I poured a half bottle of cool water over my mind. A grin crossed my face, not because I felt much refreshed, however because I had been truly satisfied. I recognized a gentle breeze which unexpectedly swept across the landscape and took my own thoughts withit. My mind started to wonder. How did I arrive here?
For several years I had the fantasy of living abroad, learning a new language and experiencing a different culture. Wasn’t there something more to life than regular and monotony? At times I would often wonder if most people were really waking up in the morning inspired by the work that they were doing and how their lives were unfolding. I had a change. I wanted to become consciously involved in something positive that will give me a feeling of purpose. Does that even exist, and if so where can I sign up? But, I finally took the initiative and started to see this dream when I traveled to Costa Rica to a whim and found myself volunteering with Habitat for Humanity International. Can one person really transform the whole world? I desired to find out.
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 fresh International Volunteer Program (IVP) for long-term volunteers and that I was the 1st to go through the application. My official name was that the Volunteer Coordinator for Latin America & the Caribbean. I felt this was an enormous opportunity since the company was constructed and existed the support of volunteers. Beginning I was a bit on edge, but in the time I found my groove over the Habitat framework. It was unbelievable – that I was actually enjoying off ice work. I participate in the development of substances such as a volunteer manual, interview guides, and evaluation forms. I worked with a taskforce for the continuous advancement of the IVP program. I even handled an onsite volunteer training program in El Salvador. Yet the greatest part about my job was really getting to work along with other volunteers, people who were there not because they must be but were there simply because they desired to be.
So far as the volunteers have been concerned, my role was to coordinate housing and arrival logistics, administer orientations, and encourage them through the duration of their stay. There was this kind of charm amongst the volunteers I would often go on it a step further and plan weekend excursions and after-work outings. We ended up not just altering the lives of others, however, shifting the lifestyles of each other.
As often as I could I’d break out from the office and take volunteers build trips to Habitat building landscapes throughout Costa Rica. It was heartwarming to see first hand the culmination of your job. Out at the sight we’d work together with the benefitting Habitat family who was always very receptive, helpful, and respectful of the help. The spectacle was a fantastic amalgamation of cultures, economic backgrounds, and faith. Yet the frequent bond which tied us together wasn’t the easy notion of building a home. Just watching everybody working, laughing, smiling, and sharing generated an atmosphere therefore rich with emotion it made me rethink how I defined wealth. Your house was emblematic greater than only a place of dwelling. It symbolized a unity, a coming together, along with an inherent understanding of equality that we’ll carry with us to the rest of our own lives. As cliché as it may sound, it was authentic. We were not just building homes, we were building resides.
Internationally or conflict resolution or individual rights, poverty or the surroundings – it’s disheartening to think there are so many methods to get involved and give back to the international community. However, these dilemmas exist to not create despair but activity. It doesn’t matter where you start to start making positive gifts equally so long when you make the decision to actually start somewhere. Fundamentally, this is among the toughest decisions to produce. Did I eliminate poverty housing? Not really close. Did I succeed? Definitely! The calmness of my experience taught me that I can’t do away with poverty home, which led me to the answer I was looking for. Perhaps one person can’t change the world, however, the planet can surely change for a single individual. And it has this domino effect, which should spread across the globe we can, together, reach the unimaginable and create a world that reflects the heat of humankind in the place of its own indifference.
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