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Building begins -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1 October 30, 2006

Building begins

I don’t even know where to begin! Last night was orientation and dinner at the site. Jimmy Carter addressed the crowd, and it was such a thrill to be in the same building with him. Our host serenaded us and provided wonderful entertainment (dance and music). I felt as though I were at the Olympics, with faces from all different countries and entertainment that was so very new to me.

The first day of the build was today. I was hoping to get to meet President Carter. The security is tight, but he was working on the house at the end of my row, so I was able to get some good pictures. Brad Pitt was also here. But I had breakfast with two other men who impressed me much more than even the two celebrities, two amazing men who will only be celebrated in this diary, but deserve so much more!

Tony is 18 and probably the youngest person here. He traveled to India alone to build homes and has been to Honduras twice to do the same. He is an amazing young man who took what could have been his very troubled teenage years and turned them into something positive by pouring all of his energies into helping the poor. He is working to become a firefighter and, even though the work is challenging to him, he is determined to make it. What a wonderful reminder he is that our young people are so much more available to address the problems of the world than I was at his age.

The other gentleman’s name is Robbie. He is 80 and probably one of the most senior members of the group. He has lived all over the world and moved his family from country to country while working. They never had a home of their own, but he has dedicated his retirement to helping build houses for the less fortunate all over the world.

We started our homes today by laying block. There was only one small mishap when the homeowner noticed that some of the blocks where not perfectly aligned. I think she was right to point it out. The homeowners have worked hard to buy these homes. If it were my home, I’d want it as near to perfect as possible. Besides, they all know so much more about masonry than we do that I actually like the input.

At the end of the day, we had a good bit of the walls up and some painting started. I think we are ahead of the game at this point.