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Caring and Music, the Universal Language in Kuttapuly

August 10, 2005

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Replacing the old: Anthony and his wife Georgeammal and daughter Ragila will become Habitat homeowners this week during the 200,001st build event

KUTTAPULY, 10th August 2005: Tamil movie music – fast, loud and syncopated, with lots of shouts and claps – is the soundtrack for building at the Habitat for Humanity 200,001st home building celebration.

A troop of local youth volunteer guys sang on the bus all the way to the site. After working all day, they still had enough energy to belt out a few numbers on the ferry ride to the rock monuments that mark land’s end here at the tip of India.

The team working on Antony’s house is encouraged now that the walls are high and the skilled workers are beginning to boss them around. Without a common language, they’ve discovered how much can be conveyed with smiles and gestures.

US volunteer Marvin House, from Knoxville where Habitat’s 200,000th house is currently being built, nearly missed the build because of visa delays. But this experienced builder made it and fitted right in with the construction team.

Te highlight of the day for him was the lunch break when a little schoolgirl who had come home for lunch asked him to help her with her reading. She showed him her torn tablet with a few handwritten verses and together they traced the letters on the doorstep and read out loud.

Then it was back to bricks and mortar, plaster and paint. This week in Kuttapully is about so much more than houses.