Our team had the opportunity today to visit the current homes of our two families. The homes are small, collapsing buildings, made of scrap pieces of metal, bamboo, and wood that they families put together themselves. Also, the homes are in a flood plain, and even though they sit about 1 - 1.5 feet off of the ground they flood every year during the rainy season. The families use a makeshift kitchen in another collapsing, but unused, building next door, to cook for families of 6 and 7 every day. These families, along with several others, are being forced off of this land, as the government is reclaiming it for development. Habitat is truly providing these families their first decent place to live, and we are so excited to see the project coming together.
In Cambodia and at the worksite, we are constantly reminded of how blessed we are in our daily lives. As Sinna said to me today, "Here, everything is a tool!" I learned to use the column of the house to sand down a brick, to pour concrete quickly because the pitchers have holes on the bottom, and to reuse empty water bottles to cover things sticking out of the ground and the walls. Rather than viewing the situation as seeing what you are lacking, you are shown to instead see opportunity in the abundance of resources available.
Just watching the kids laughing as Kevin pushes them in a cart, and the smiles on their faces when they were given the pictures that Dennis took of them, reminds you that there is joy everywhere. We are working closely with the host families daily, and building great relationships with them. Plus, the walls are complete up to the beams now!
Each of us hopes to find the joy in using the resources that we have to the fullest, instead of lamenting the things we may not have - even when returning home. With tired backs, and full hearts, we can't wait for another day of helping these wonderful families tomorrow, and carrying their joy with us while we work!
This post was written by volunteers Katie Williams and George Lampron. This is Katie and George's first global village trip -- and definitely not the last! Both are Habitat Wake volunteers and love to travel.