Guest blog written by Jeff Parker,
Global Village Volunteer
This is my first blog from my first Global Village trip, which also happens to bring me to Guatemala for the first time. I have tied rebar and bent bar for home columns and mixed cement and... well, you get the idea. All for the first time.
I’m part of an amazing group of volunteers from Twin Cities Habitat and Guatemala. They couldn’t have made me feel more welcome. Twenty eight of us are working on four sites in the city of Quetzaltenango.
But what I really want to share starts with a simple comment about our work site. The photo shows our view. Spectacular. And someone said that in the states, this location would carry a premium.
Alex, one of the local Habitat site leads, offered a different frame of reference. He pointed out that while the owners will be thrilled to have a home, the location is more of a hardship. It’s a long hike down the hill to the valley below where food, fuel, transportation and jobs are located. Life would be easier down there. The view is nice, but your frame of reference matters.
One more example. The family we are building for lives in the home abutting our work site in the background of this photo. Lunch is provided by a small restaurant near the Habitat office but each day we’re invited into the home and we sit at their family dinner table in beautiful chairs, are provided silverware, glassware, fresh juice, and most importantly, their hospitality. Their home is made of wood slats covered in poster paper and a tin roof. Light shines in. It’s a lovely home. As we work, the owners offer us fresh juice. It’s hard to explain how grateful we are for what they do for us. Frame of reference matters.
I don’t know how far we’ll get but it doesn’t really matter. I know we’re helping. For me, it will be a great first trip. For the family, the home will be life changing. Frame of reference matters.