Friday, April 19, 2013

Feel Good Friday - Habitat for Humanity

Las jefas (bosses) in Chile
This has been a rough week for feeling good. Bombs at the Boston Marathon, exploding fertilizer plants in Texas and shoot outs with Chechen bombing suspects. It's enough to make you question your faith in humanity. But that's what Feel Good Friday is for.

Dancing lessons in India
Enter Habitat for Humanity. Since 1976, Habitat has been working in communities around the globe to provide people with simple, decent, affordable housing. Families are required to make a down payment and monthly mortgage payments (homes are sold to the families at no profit) in addition to putting hundreds of hours of "sweat equity" into the building of their own home and the homes of other Habitat partner families. The work Habitat does is billed as a hand up, not a hand out.

Joseph in Madagascar
Having volunteered on six Habitat Global Village trips around the world (Guatemala, Peru, Romania, India, Chile, Madagascar) I can say they have been some of the most fabulous experiences I have had. Being in a team of volunteers who, like you, are using their vacation time to work with families they never met is inspiring. Add in the fact you get to interact with people you would never meet as a tourist passing through town and it becomes a very special experience.

Omar in Chile
By the end of your two weeks, houses will be built (or at least be further along in the construction process), friendships will be made and tears will be shed. If you are considering a volunteer vacation with Habitat, I can't recommend it enough.

You can find more info about Habitat Global Village trips here and if you've got the time to watch an 7:40 minute video I made about my Habitat trip to Madagascar in 2007, you can find that here. It really is a fabulous way to spend your vacation.

India - why am I so happy to be the only one working?

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