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Postcards from the field (part 4) -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Postcards from the field (part 4)

‘His life was going to be dramatically different’



My first Global Village trip was to Jordan in 2005. It was life-changing. The best part of the trip was coming together as a team and getting to know the local people. The worst part was having to leave.

Since I had stopped running Global Works, a community-service-based travel program for high school students, I had been looking for something to give definition to my life. I liked Habitat’s model of “a hand up, not a handout” and applied to be a team leader. Now I lead three Global Village trips a year.

I’ve led teams to Romania, Hungary, Costa Rica, Poland and Portugal. A lot of the people we help have little to nothing; some have never had electricity or running water. In Hungary, we remodeled a home for a man who was living in a single, smoke-filled room. It was clear to everyone on the team how his life was going to be dramatically different. It was going to be wonderful for him to have these conveniences.

We also built with the single mother of a teenage daughter. They had escaped an abusive situation, and now they were going to have their own home. When we saw the conditions they were living in — they were sleeping on a mattress that had a hole in it and were bathing in a kiddie pool — we had no issue rolling up our sleeves and going to work.


Biff Houldin
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania


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