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Archive for April, 2013

29 April 2013 | 1 week, 4 homes!

30 Apr , 2013

Professional builders would rather build than talk, so in that spirit, I’ll keep this short.  Thanks to Savvy Homes, Regency Centers, A.R. Nix Construction, Williams Realty & Building, and the Triangle Builders Guild for showing up with their subcontractors and suppliers last week on our sites in Augusta Crossings in Raleigh and leaving the week with four completed and beautiful homes.  Several other companies also  participated by supporting all 4 homes:  Stock Building Supply, PlyGem, and Baker Roofing.

These builders are talented, they are generous, and they are a lot of fun to be around.  70 Habitat Wake homes have now been built through the Builders Blitz model, pioneered at Habitat Wake in 2002.  Thanks so much to those who have been and continue to be involved!

Here are some photos of the homes built entirely last week!  I know that the Blue, Utley, Jordan, and Lesane/Quiller families are still in awe of the generosity flowing on their behalf.  They are very excited to purchase and move in to these homes!

18 April 2013 | BUT THAT’S OK….

18 Apr , 2013

Last April, when I participated in a Habitat Wake work team to Honduras, I met a 13-year old boy named Junior.  Though we spoke different languages, I learned a fair amount about Junior and enjoyed the time we spent together on the work site.  Junior was the unofficial leader of all the kids who would come to visit our work site after school.

I learned that Junior would finish the local, free elementary school this past January and despite his desire to continue his education in high school, he didn’t think that would be possible because of the tuition and his family’s need to have him join the work force.

A second Habitat Wake team visited the same community a month later and they returned with a letter from Junior to me.  In the letter, Junior commented, “I know that I am poor.  But that’s OK.  We can still be friends.”  I found myself saddened that Junior is poor in a material sense and even more so that he is aware and can express it.  That’s some tremendous wisdom for a 13 year old!  “But that’s OK.  We can still be friends.”  The young man speaks the truth.

I returned to Junior’s village two weeks ago.  And there he was—a much more physically mature young man, recently graduated from sixth grade—working in the store just down the street from our work site. And, better yet, he is attending “collegio” (high school) in a free night school program that has just opened in El Rosario.  Praises to God for that!

I would add that it’s not OK that Junior and his family struggle daily with abject material poverty.  That is not God’s will for them.  Habitat is making a difference in El Rosario and the need continues to be great—almost overwhelming.  And we are building friendships.  Please keep Junior, his family, and El Rosario in your prayers that God’s love may continue to come to them in tangible ways.

10 APRIL 2013 | VACATION

10 Apr , 2013

Saturday, we were on vacation (Yep, the work of the week is now behind us!) in the Copan Ruinas area. We visited Mayan ruins, which was a first visit to the ruins of an ancient civilization for most in the group. To see the remnants of that part of the history of the region was spectacular. The ruins are impressive as they are today, but our guide promises much in the coming years, as archaeologists have discovered multiple layers of ruins with multiple structures and temples preserved beneath layers of rubble that will be revealed to tourists in future years. I will have to go back someday to see more.

After touring the ruins with our local guide, Marvin, we also visited a remote village where a few of the descendants of those early Mayans still live. These beautiful people scratch together a living from the land and from handcrafts of weaving and corn-husk doll making. The sales pitch of the children is I’m sure the difference between a good meal and going hungry for many in this village, thus a lot of handcrafts are going home with us…

This post comes from Gayle Campbell, who is the Global Compensation Manager for Habitat International and wife to Habitat Wake’s President/CEO Kevin Campbell.

9 April 2013 | REFLECTION

9 Apr , 2013

Here is a creative blog entry by Annette Homiller, member of Kirk of Kildaire in Cary and active participant in Women Build:  ”I was reminded of these Bible verses as I reflected on the weeks’ activities which we celebrated Friday afternoon:

  • All of you are part of the same body. There is only one Spirit of God, just as you were given one hope when you were chosen to be God’s people. (Ephesians 4:4 CEVDCUS06)
  • Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4 KJV)
  • For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12 KJV)”

5 April 2013 | EXTENDED FAMILY

5 Apr , 2013

“Yesterday I hit the wall. All the hard physical labor had finally taken its toll on my body. After a good night’s sleep, I felt revived. However, I was cautious about overdoing it. It turned out to be a blessing. Although I worked hard making adobe bricks all morning, I focused on people for the afternoon.

The village children have been flocking to the work site every afternoon after school. They range in age from 1 to 14. Many of us have taken a break from our work to engage the children. However, today was different. They were no longer tentative. We were greeted with big smiles, hugs and the warmth you feel from friends. As we participated together working on crafts or playing soccer, the language barriers diminished.

During the week a local Habitat family was kind enough to share their bathroom with our team. Today, in gratitude, we planned a photo session for the whole family. What a great experience for all of us. Not only were they thrilled to have their portraits taken, but we had the opportunity to use our basic Spanish language skills to communicate to each other and share a little bit about our lives. Marisa and her family now feel like part of my extended Honduran family.”

Today’s blog comes from Michelle Pavliv, one of our great Habitat volunteers. She is part of our Annual Fund & Special Events Committee, as well as our Major Gifts Committee.

In this photo are Marisa, her family, Michelle and Diane Steinbeiser.

4 April 2013 | ENDURANCE

4 Apr , 2013

“Today was a day that I like to call a hump day. Our morning devotion, given by Nancy Hawk, was a good way to start off the day. She asked all of us the question “is today a day of rest or endurance?” I sat there and chuckled a little, but in my head I was thinking “can we just go back to sleep?”  Yes, we were tired, but it came down to accomplishing the task at hand. After listening to Nancy’s devotion, I kept in mind throughout the day “Endurance.”  This helped me push through. Because of our will to keep pushing through, we got the amazing opportunity to journey to a school that educates over 1200 Honduran kids. Their school was much different than schools in America. We are much more fortunate. I put on a jump rope show, and I witnessed some of the happiest smiles, and I hope everyone else in my group saw them too. Many kids would run up to you and just give you the biggest hug. It made me emotional that a complete stranger would just come up to you and hug you. Being there and interacting with these kids made their day as well as mine. I reflected back to the morning devotion and thought to myself “This is what mattered.”  Having the endurance not to move 25 pound bricks but to make a child’s day and create a moment they would never forget.   The need is immense, but with endurance we can make a difference.”

Today’s blog was written by Hannah Campbell, the daughter of Habitat Wake’s President/CEO Kevin Campbell. She is a 16-year-old student at Grace Christian in Raleigh. The photo shows Hannah jumping rope for the children.

3 April 2013 | PROMOTED ALREADY!

3 Apr , 2013

Today’s blog from Honduras comes from Chris Dupre, one of our regular Saturday volunteers.

“The masons were so pleased with our heavy lifting the first day that they decided to teach the team members some of the more skilled tasks. Some volunteers were taught to bend rod for re-bar, while others were taught how to tie it off.   The masons needed some re-bar beams for headers above the windows, doors and porch before the roof goes on. At first, 9 beams of re-bar didn´t sound like much, but it quickly became apparent that it involved a lot of work (added up to cutting 810 feet of rod, bending 405 pieces, and tying 1215 pieces of wire.) Daunting, but accomplished.

While half the group was being taught the basics of re-bar construction, the other half was taught to mix the mud for the adobe.  Basically, you stomp around in a mud pit the size of a kiddie pool while adding barrels of pine straw.  Good exercise and fun… but it can be tricky to keep your balance as the mud apparently doesn’t like being stomped on and will grab your boot any chance it gets.

The masons had a productive day as well, and after lunch needed 300 more adobe bricks moved to the houses.  No official count was made, but we filled up all the space they had for us. (I´ll call it 350)

Day two = success

The after work activities were lighter than normal; a short tour of a local cigar factory and some free time before dinner.”

In the photo are two team members constructing the re-bar beams. Wow – looks like a lot of work! At least they got to work in some shade.

2 April 2013 | FIRST WORK DAY

2 Apr , 2013

Dre Antono, another Habitat AmeriCorps brings us the rundown on the team’s first work day in Honduras:

“Our first day on the work site was both tiring and fulfilling. We quickly realized that the houses, however small, required some serious hard work!

Ten Habitat homes are currently in construction in the small community of El Rosario. After introductions with the crew at Habitat Honduras, we were given the challenge of the day – move 900 adobe bricks from the drying area to the houses in construction.

Everyone worked hard! Some ventured in the woods to gather pine needles, the secret ingredient for our adobe. Others jumped feet first into our mud pit, helping to mix dirt and water for future bricks. By lunch, we had moved 1000 bricks to the houses and cleared a bunch more to make room for new bricks.

In the afternoon, we visited an orphanage just a few blocks from our hotel. We spent a few hours playing with the children, which some would say was more taxing than the work site – just so much energy to match! Despite the language barrier, I think I can speak for the team when I say that our short time there was a joy.

We look forward to another day…”

(Pictured are Nancy Hawk and Michelle Bailer.)

1 April 2013 | HONDURAS DAY 1

1 Apr , 2013

Honduras team member and Habitat AmeriCorps Nancy Hawk tells us about the team’s first day in Honduras:
“Today, we visited the remote Honduran village of Belen Gualcho and a 500 year old Catholic Church.   It was apparent that the local Easter celebration had already occurred.  The floor was scattered with fresh pine needles.  The statue of Jesus was adorned with beautiful flowers and garlands.  A few reverent locals were seated quietly inside.  We took the opportunity to reflect on the different styles of Easter celebrations.  Thanks to our team member Diane’s technology, we were able to hear a familiar Easter hymn played on a grand organ in this simple mission.  Great preparation for the work ahead.  Work begins on site in El Rosario Monday morning.”

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