This blog was guest written by Habitat Wake volunteer, Leo Pavliv.
While it hadn't rained overnight, waking up early Saturday morning, the clouds
looked ominous and the skies opened up for the first of a number of
downpours that day. We were all very disappointed when the call came
in, cancelling the build, but the celebration with Juan and Yessica was
still on at the local Rugby club building. The usual hour long drive
stretched on as the weather continued to not cooperate and we had
several more periods where the skies opened up and it was raining gatos
y peros. An ark may have been a better mode of transportation that
day but Yessica was there to warmly greet every one of us and of course
to feed us more than we could eat.
At the end of lunch, we presented Yessica with some photos to remember
our visit and she presented each member with a small handmade animal as
yet another sign of how appreciative she was of our help. While Yessica
and Juan were thankful for our help, we were all thankful for an amazing
experience and that we could provide them even just a little help, so
they can have a decent place to live. We ended the afternoon all very
happy, having made friends in another part of the world.
We had so much rain that day that the water crept through the doors and
filled half the rugby club floor and on the drive home we saw people
pulled over on the side of the road, scooping water out of the inside of
Since this was my first GV trip, I wanted to share a few overall
impressions. I was most impressed with the people. There were my
fellow teammates from NC (and SC and CA). The work was hard but no one
complained and everyone stepped in to help whatever task needed to be
done. We threw "spears" to loosen dirt, bent rebar by hand, carried
1000's of buckets of dirt and mixed, poured and spread numerous loads of
concrete. The people in the Habitat office in Argentina were wonderful
and incredibly warm, and we all hope to see them again. It's hard to say
enough about the families. They work long days, commute hours to and
from work and then build much of their houses by themselves into the
night with just a little help from us. We all now have friends from NC,
SC, CA, Spain, France, and of course, Argentina.