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Building Community Blog

Guest Blog by Kim Welch
Global Village Volunteer

“Everyone has something to give. Everyone has something to gain.” — Jonathan Reckford, CEO Habitat for Humanity International, Vietnam 2018

Friday arrived and there was renewed energy inside us all. Could it really be our last build day together? There was so much more we wanted to do. More we wanted to give. The aches and pains our bodies felt earlier seemed gone.

Guest Blog by Jack Frangipane
Global Village Volunteer

Several hundred ducks pass under the Muong Daigre bridge at exactly 4:30 p.m.  A man in a small canoe gently guides them to a new location. Like the ducks, it’s one of our daily rituals when we  disembark and embark our bus so it  can safely cross this bridge where we meet it on the other side to and from the house sites. Just another wonderful surprise here in Dong Thap. 

Guest blog by Erica Lumley

We have arrived at the mid-week point of our build. Four members of the Twin Cities Habitat team have merged with 6 members of the Flat Iron, Colorado team to build a home for Chu Duc and Co Hai.

Duc and Hai are two very kind and grateful elderly people raising two grandsons and supported primarily by their eldest son who earns (78 USD) per month.

Guest blog by Barry Mason
Twin Cities Habitat Board Emeritus & Global Village Volunteer

"With tools we build houses. With love we build homes"

These words grace the tee shirts we were given upon arrival in Cao Lanh, Dong Thap Province and, indeed, these words resonate with each of the 200+ volunteers at this week’s Vietnam Big Build 2018.

Guest blog by Sean Koebele
Volunteer and Constituent Relations Senior Associate at Twin Cities Habitat

Dong Thap province is known as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam, yet more than a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line. Many villagers rely on rice cultivation and, while the annual floods in the Mekong River Delta are essential to agriculture in the region, they're also damaging to the substandard housing in which many people live. The lack of adequate housing and constant repairs of their flood-damaged dwellings make life hard for many families in the area. 

Guest Blogger: Noah Keller, Project Manager and Global Engagement Coordinator


Volunteer Ken Berg and Nathalie Castillo using her second-favorite new tool, an impact driver, to secure bottom plates to a stair header at 1404 Barclay Street, St. Paul (her favorite new tool is the table saw).

To celebrate the new partnership between Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and Habitat Dominican Republic (DR), we were honored to host Nathalie Castillo during our Global Village Gone Local Build. Nathalie is the Global Village and Volunteer Coordinator for Habitat DR, and this was her first visit to Minnesota! During her visit, Nathalie built with Global Village volunteers on a new house in St. Paul, she presented on the work and Global Village experience of Habitat DR, and she took in some critical Minnesota cultural experiences, such as the State Fair!

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