Monday, November 16, 2009

Project Habitat - Day One

Over 2000 volunteers started the build for the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work project - the Mekong Build 2009 at 7am this morning. Buses left from respective hotels between 6 and 6:30am for the site escorted by the police. We arrived at the build site and met the team at house number 27. Our team included members from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and United States. Julie - our team leader, incidentally was from Los Angeles. The partner family (the family that will be the recipient of the house) also joined us for the build along with several volunteers from Thailand. House number 27 was located across the street corner from House number 40 - the house that Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were working on.

It was a fascinating experience! Today, the primary chore was masonry. The task was to build the walls on a foundation that was already in place and install the frames for doors and windows. We worked in intense heat. We were well taken care of in terms of supplies (caps, suntan lotion, tools, snacks, drinks etc.). At the end of the day, we were exhausted but had a sense of exhilaration when we saw the result of our labor. Our team was a bit short on volunteers and we are hoping that additional volunteers will join tomorrow.

We have made lots of new friends from around the world - folks with whom we are sharing a unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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