New Friends Travel to
First Habitat Build Together

By Leigh Powell

Mary Lynn Staley had never been on a Habitat build before, but she had always wanted to participate. During a chance encounter on a flight, she met another woman who felt the same way. Before the end of their journey, they exchanged phone numbers.

A few weeks later, Mary Lynn received a phone call from her new friend. “Mary Lynn,” she said, “I have a proposition for you. Let’s go on a Habitat build.” Mary Lynn thought she was going to say there was a build near her home in Minnesota… But instead, she had discovered information about the Jimmy Carter Work Project in South Africa, and she wanted to go.

Mary Lynn talked to her husband, who laughingly said, “You’re crazy—but go for it!”

So without their husbands or children, the two women set out for Durban. Mary Lynn says she has learned a lot, is enjoying the house-building work and finds Durban a wonderful place.

—Leigh Powell is an HFHI writer and editor on special assignment for the JCWP


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