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The sun beat down from overhead with such intensity I was breaking out in a sweat whilst sitting in the shade. I used ton’t mind the heat so much, I was simply glad to be outside. Yet it did slow the speed of our progress at the construction website. It had been grinding work between digging, mixing concrete, putting cubes, and bending rebar, most that I had little to no practical experience in.
I will acknowledge that construction houses was perhaps not in my own job description. As I sat there with my back against a shrub I squeezed a half jar of cool water over my head. A grin crossed my face, not because I felt refreshed, however because I was truly content. I recognized a gentle breeze which unexpectedly swept round the landscape and required my thoughts withit. My mind started to wonder. Just how can I arrive here?
Wasn’t there something more your than routine and monotony? Occasionally I would often wonder if most everyone was really getting in the morning motivated by the work they were doing and how their lives were unfolding. I needed a switch. I wanted to eventually become actively engaged in something positive that will provide me with a feeling of purpose. Does that even exist, and if yes where can I sign up? Perhaps it’s easier said than done. But, I finally chose and started to realize this fantasy once I traveled to Costa Rica in a whim and found myself volunteering with Habitat for Humanity International. Can anyone really transform the world? I needed 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 only started a new International Volunteer Program (IVP) to get long-term volunteers and I was the very first to experience the application. I believed this is a tremendous opportunity since the company was built and existed the aid of volunteers. Beginning I had been somewhat on edge, in the time I found my groove over the Habitat frame. It was incredible – that I was actually enjoying office work. I participate in the creation of materials like a volunteer manual, meeting guides, and evaluation forms. I worked with a task force for the continuous improvement of this IVP program. I administered an on site volunteer training plan at El Salvador. Yet the greatest part about my job was to work alongside other volunteers, people who were there not because they had to function but were there only because they desired to be.
As far as the volunteers were concerned, my job was to coordinate home and coming logistics, administer orientations, and encourage them throughout their stay. There is this kind of charm between the volunteers I would go on it a step farther and plan weekend trips and after-work excursions. We wound up not just changing the lifestyles of many others, however, changing the lives of eachother. Dealing with Habitat gave me the confidence to feel I could accomplish almost any task, however more importantly it gave me a more real sense of pride in being ready to work hard at work worth doing.
Normally as I could I’d break out from the workplace and accept volunteers on build trips to Habitat construction sights throughout Costa Rica. It was heartwarming to see first hand the culmination of your job. Out at the sight we’d work alongside the benefiting Habitat family that was always very receptive, helpful, and respectful of our help. The scene was a great amalgamation of cultures, economic backgrounds, and beliefs. Yet the common bond which tied us together was the simple thought of developing a home. Just watching everyone else working, laughing, grinning, and discussing created an atmosphere therefore rich with emotion that it made me reconsider the way I defined riches. Your home was emblematic greater than just a place of residence. It represented a motto, a coming together, and also an inherent comprehension of equality which we’ll carry together to the remainder of our own lives. As cliché as it may sound, it had been true. We’re not just building houses, but we were building resides.
Internationally or domestically, conflict settlement or human rights, poverty or the surroundings – it’s disheartening to think that there are many ways of getting involved and give back to the global community. But these dilemmas exist not to create despair but activity. It isn’t important where you begin to start making positive contributions equally for as long when you make your choice to actually start somewhere. Fundamentally, this is one of the toughest decisions to produce. Did I eradicate poverty housing? Not even close. Did I succeed? Absolutely! The calmness of my experience taught me that I can’t do away with poverty housing, which led me into the answer I was looking for. Perhaps one person can not change the world, however, the world can certainly change for one person. And it has this domino effect, that if spread across the planet we could, collectively, achieve the unthinkable and make a world that reflects the warmth of humankind instead of its indifference.
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