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The sun beat down from overhead with this kind of intensity I was breaking out in a sweat while sitting in the color. I didn’t mind the heat so much, I was just happy to be outside. But, it did slow the rate of our progress at the construction website. It had been grinding job between digging, mixing concrete, laying cubes, and bending rebar, most that I had little to no working knowledge in.
I’ll admit that construction houses was perhaps not in my job description. A smile crossed my face, not because I felt refreshed, however because I was truly pleased. I recognized a gentle breeze that unexpectedly drifted round the scene and took my thoughts withit. My mind started to wonder. Just how can I arrive here?
Wasn’t there something more your than routine and monotony? At times I would often wonder if a lot of everyone was really getting up at the morning inspired by the work they were doing and how their lives were unfolding. I needed a switch. I desired to eventually become actively engaged in something positive that would give me a feeling of purpose. Does that even exist, and if so where can I sign up? Perhaps it’s easier said than done. Can anyone really transform the whole world? I needed to discover.
Habitat simply started a brand new International Volunteer Program (IVP) for long term volunteers and that I was the 1st to experience the application. My official title was the Volunteer Coordinator for Latin America & the Caribbean. I felt this is an enormous opportunity since the company was built and existed on the aid of volunteers. Starting out I had been a bit on edge, in the time I found my groove within the Habitat framework. It was unbelievable – I was actually enjoying office work. I took part in the creation of materials such as a volunteer manual, meeting guides, and evaluation forms. I caused a task force for the continuous improvement of the IVP program. I even handled an on site volunteer training plan in El Salvador. The best part about my job was to work along side other volunteers, people who were there not because they had to be but have there been simply because they desired to become.
So far as the volunteers had been concerned my job was to coordinate housing and coming logistics, administer orientations, and support them through the duration of their stay. There is such a charm amongst the volunteers I’d simply take it a step farther and plan weekend excursions and after-work excursions. We ended up not just changing the lifestyles of others, however, changing the lives of each other. Working together with Habitat gave me the confidence to feel I can accomplish almost any job, but more importantly it gave me a more genuine sense of fulfillment in being able to work hard at work worth doing.
As often as I could I’d break out from the workplace and accept volunteers build trips to Habitat construction sights throughout Costa Rica. It was heartwarming to see first hand the culmination of your work. Out at the sight we’d work together with the benefitting Habitat family who was always very open-minded, friendly, and appreciative of our help. The spectacle was a wonderful amalgamation of civilizations, economic backgrounds, and faith. The common bond that tied us together wasn’t the simple thought of building a home. Only watching everybody else working, laughing, smiling, and discussing generated an atmosphere therefore rich with emotion that I made me reconsider the way I defined wealth. The house was symbolic of more than just a place of residence. It symbolized a motto, a coming together, along with an inherent comprehension of equality that we’ll carry together for the rest of our own lives. As cliché as it might sound, it had been true. We’re not just building homes, we were building resides.
Internationally or domestically, conflict resolution or individual rights, poverty or the surroundings – it’s disheartening to think there are many ways of getting involved and give back to the global community. But these issues exist to not create despair but activity. It isn’t important where you start to begin making positive contributions just as long as you make the decision to actually start somewhere. Fundamentally, this really is among the toughest decisions to produce. Can I eliminate poverty housing? Maybe not really close. Did I succeed? Absolutely! The serenity of my experience taught me that I alone cannot eliminate poverty housing, which directed me to the answer I was looking for. Perhaps one man can not change the world, but the world can surely change for one individual. And it has this domino effect, that should disperse across the planet we could, collectively, reach the unthinkable and make a world that reflects the heat of humanity instead of its own indifference.
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