Nothing gets us quite prepared for the physical test that a house building project puts one through..
From the stifling heat, to the stretching and holding positions so as to nail hundreds of nails into bamboo strips and wood panels, it is demanding on a body that is unfamiliar with the heat exposure and physical exertion.
Surprisingly though, most volunteers voluntarily halve their one-hour lunch break and enthusiastically continue with the work. They only have one thing in mind; their mission which is also their end goal - to complete the house for the beneficiary before their team departs. To illustrate the dedication of our volunteers, a volunteer hammered his thumb one too many times that it bled and slightly stained the glove that he was wearing. Yet, he gritted his teeth, committed to keep going, and unfortunately suffered more painful knocks before his final nail. But fret not! Hardly any of our volunteers undergo a hazard such as this one.
What's equally unfamiliar is the experience of living, working and socialising with fourteen other team members whom you only got to meet a couple of days before. It's a situation which delights extroverts but others a little while to warm up to.
Despite these discomforts, in the foreground of the feedback we receive from Open Teams is seldom about the struggles. Rather, they write about the smiles of the village children, the teamwork with fellow team members and local staff, as well as the fact that the donated house will provide improved quality of life for the beneficiary's family.
OHF's fortnightly surveys has indicated that there are at least 150 more families in need of a decent roof over their heads. Build the next one with us!
Join an Open Team or form your own house building team. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.