Final Reflections from our amazing trip!
08.02.2013 - 08.13.2013
Hello Christina, Judy, Perry, David, Marie, Mike, Michelle, Allen, Bonnie, Ken, Beth, Kay, and Rodger!
This is it… my final official blog entry to you all as your team leader for the Habitat for Humanity trip to Beius, Romania in August 2013. It’s hard to believe that our week is actually over. Two weeks ago from today, I arrived in Budapest with a ton of expectations - will my team arrive on time and safely? (Yes) Will there be any injuries? (Minor ones, but we're all okay) Will everyone have a good time? (I think so!!!)
I hope you all have safe travels after the trip and make it to your final destination, your own home. I know Allen is traveling today and the Nebraska crew is leaving Budapest tomorrow and I hope you all have safe travels. I arrived back to Connecticut on Tuesday night and enjoyed sleeping in my own bed finally. Somehow, I got used to the small beds in Europe and barely moved on my large mattress throughout the night!
I hope you all enjoyed our experience in Oradea and Beius Romania. I cannot thank you enough for opening your hearts and sharing your sweat and passion with me during my eleventh team to Romania. I couldn’t have picked a better group to share it with! I kept thinking throughout the week, “Well something must go wrong today? It can’t go without any troubles? Why is this trip so easy this year?” And nothing did. You all brought so much energy, enthusiasm, and love to our team and our build, I can’t thank you enough! You survived the heat, you survived the shovels of concrete, you survived sleeping in four different hotels, and you all did it without complaints and with such positive energy. I hope you will continue to keep changing the world in your own special way, whether it is through building homes like you did last week or anything else you can think of! You are all amazing people and I am so fortunate that I was able to spend ten days with you all.
Here's a video slide show of our adventures in Romania:
So, now that most of you have returned to your daily life, you are missing your Habitat experience right? For the rookie Habitat folks in our group, this is a common disease we call “Habititus”. It’s okay, you can’t die from this disease, but you will probably have it for the rest of your life! Your friends and family at home might get sick of your stories, might not get your experience, but it's okay - just tell them you have Habititus!
I am sure most of you really miss playing cards until all hours in the evening (I still can't believe I left as the "Captain Idiot"!), I'm sure you miss straightening the rebar, going around on the merry-go-round at the worksite, coffee breaks with the amazing chocolate croissants and wafer cookies, you probably miss hearing the sounds of the hammers on the worksite and seeing the "Mayor of Beius" stickers all around the worksite. You might miss the triangle eggs in the morning and the lovely music at the restaurant and the tastes of palinka.
So many memories – what do you remember? Feel free to “reply all” to the email I sent to you with some of your favorites from the week. In the end, I guess you miss spending 24/7 with your new friends and you want to stay involved with Habitat, right? Well, lucky you! Some of you are already among the lucky few that are involved with Habitat on a weekly/monthly basis and this will be old news for you. But for the new folks out there - there are a ton of opportunities for you to do just that! Here are just a few to get you started… check out Habitat’s webpage at www.habitat.org for more!
Future GV Trips… You heard the folks in Beius, I will be back in 2014 and they would love to see you again! Or perhaps think about becoming a Global Village team leader (contact Joe Johnson at Habitat for Humanity International firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and mention my name). Don’t let our trip be your Global Village experience! There are other trips on the schedule right now to Trinidad & Tobago, Nicaragua, Argentina, Macedonia, Fiji, Nepal… the list keeps going. www.habitat.org/gv
Get Involved with your local affiliate like the Nebraskans… To find your local affiliate, just go to http://www.habitat.org/cd/local/ and check out what's happening in your area. At many affiliates, you can become a member of the board of directors, join a committee, volunteer on a Saturday, etc etc.
Work for Habitat… there are many volunteer and staff positions available at Habitat for Humanity in the United States and throughout the world. You can volunteer for a short term or long term position (like I did after college in Americus) or apply for a paid position. Check out http://www.habitat.org/hr/ for more information!
For the future teachers and students... get involved! College kids can form a habitat chapter at their school. Even younger youth can get involved with Habitat. Join the Act! Speak! Build! Week – Act! Speak! Build! is a nationwide day of educating about poverty housing and habitat. It usually takes place in late March or early April. Check out http://www.habitat.org/youthprograms/ for more info about youth involvement with Habitat!
Support Habitat's work in Beius year-round... Donate your money to Habitat, become a HopeBuilder and send it directly to Habitat for Humanity in Beius. It's a monthly donation of any amount taking right off your credit card and send directly to Habitat Beius. Go to http://www.habitat.org/support/hopebuilders.aspx for more information. You can also check out Beius Habitat's webpage at www.habitatbeius.ro or look for them on facebook.
Become an advocate... Learn more about Habitat and its work around the world. Learn about Habitat's Disaster Response office which has helped with the Haiti Earthquake, devastating tornadoes this spring and Super-storm Sandy last fall, flash floods in the Philippines, earthquakes and tsunamis in Indonesia and other disasters throughout the world. (http://www.habitat.org/disaster/default.aspx). Research habitat's history and work through its website at www.habitat.org. Join Habitat as they celebrate 500,000 houses built and share your experience on their new app at http://app.habitat.org/habitatmap/.
If you have any questions about getting more involved in Habitat or anything that I mentioned above, please let me know. I can either answer your question immediately or direct you to someone at Habitat International that can help you!
Once again, thank you for joining me on this special build where we left our names, hearts, and sweat in Oradea and Beius, Romania.
Take care, keep smiling, and keep building! Until next year, I am signing off!
GV Beius Romania