March 6, 2017
Guest Blog by Brita, Jason & Eric
Greetings from Costa Rica and our 2017 Global Village build!
It is the end of build day #1: Estamos muy cansado. There are few things as satisfying as the kind of tired one gets after hard work. (Note: This feeling is much more enjoyable after a shower.) Hard work for a great cause is even better.
As a first-time volunteer, what struck me most today were the contrasts:
- Newbie volunteers and seasoned Habitat veterans
- Spanish speakers and English-only gringos
- New acquaintances and old friends
- Construction pros and desk jockeys
- Scorching heat and a swim in the ocean that tested the most Mid-Western, antifreeze-infused among us.
- Our privilege at having resources allowing us to be here and the difficulties, especially in access to decent housing, facing people we aim to assist.
- Simultaneous recognition of our vast differences and significant similarities.
The group this week is split between two separate work sites; one 5 minutes away from our accommodations and one about 45. (Want time to finish your morning coffee? You got it! Want to get a little space to cool off after sweating it out for hours? Now would be the time for that good attitude and patience they talked about at orientation.)
Today, both groups dug lots of holes, not the least of which is a six-foot monster to house the septic tank. The sun was out and we sweat so much we lost our duct-tape name tags. Thankfully, the wind gusts of up to 25MPH kept us feeling alright, while being coated in dirt and dust functioned as a form of sun protection (That IS how it works, right?). The terrific food from Mario and his family didn’t hurt morale, either. (Think you’re having PB&J? No way. How about amazing fruit, salad, chicken and rice? Wow!) Friendly competition between the two groups has left some question as to which group is further ahead. (Were they serious? Do they really have it all dug out? Are they really done setting the posts?). Regardless of who finishes first, this experience has already been one with potential to teach lasting lessons.
As John read in this morning’s reflection: We don’t share because we have extra, we share because we have enough. There is so much we cannot change, so much help we cannot give. What we can do is start in one place with one family. That gets us one step closer to a world where everyone has a decent place to live – and hopefully we’ll have a little fun along the way.
Pura Vida y buenas noches.