Habitat for Humanity

Trip Start Jul 29, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Sunday, November 23, 2008

Well, the habitat for humanity was very successful. We loaded up a bus load and two cars full of students early on Saturday morning. Just over 30 students volunteered their saturday on three day weekend. After driving an hour and a half, we reached the school in Mojokerto. We were helping to build a school for just over a hundred kids and only 12 teachers. At this present time there wasn't a building in use except for a arena area set up with chalk boards. It had a roof but no walls. This school is free to give students a chance at an education. Although, it is free education there was no money to help with renovation and daily maintenance of the building.

I am not quite sure if we were at a village or town center of a village. Inside this town square there were three buildings connected to the left that were all in various stages of being built. I thought this was going to be where we would be working. I assumed that we were going to hammer in nails or something. To the left of the building was a rubble pile. This was our real task for the day! Our first task was to separate the "good bricks" from the unusable bricks. We had to get the bricks clean by knocking off the plaster. I never realized how fragile bricks were. Some of my attempts at cleaning caused the bricks to be unusable.

Our next task was to clean around the rubble and make a pathway around the perimeter. This is where the work started to get hard. Essentially, we were shoveling bricks and our various heavy rocks. All the students stepped up to the plate. We were sweaty and dirty by the end of this activity. After the perimeter was made, we were rewarded with a 15 minute break. I wasn't quite sure that I could take another couple hours in the heat. It was wonderful because I realized no one was complaining. We were taking the time to rehydrate but not a negative word was said. They talked about how tired they were but not in a whining way, more of just a matter of fact way.

The next task was even harder, we had to take this pile of flatten it out. So, they could use the old bricks and plaster as the new foundation. This involved more shoveling of rocks and standing on uneven ground. After an hour of this, the students were separated into two groups. One group worked on making plaster and the other group broke up the sidewalk and shoveled a larger pathway around the perimeter. The other group filled buckets with plaster and delivered them to the workers.

At this point, I personally believe that ran out of stuff for us to do. They wanted us to eat lunch after 2 hours of working and just be done with it. We explained to the leaders that we traveled so far and we wanted to work more. So, they gave us more tasks for the next 45 minutes. The tasks include making a walkway in the middle of the rubble pile that we just flattened. So, we are essentially, I felt that we were undoing the work that we just did. We didn't question just did what we were told.

After 45 minutes, we all sat down for a box lunch. All the students did a great job and really pulled their weight. There wasn't one person there who wasn't working hard. I think there is something to be said that 30 something high school students came out to work hard early on a Saturday morning. The students of the village seemed happy, we were there. They were cute and pointed at who they wanted to be in their pictures with.

I attached a news article from the habitat for humanity site. If you look closely they have another article about SIS winning an award. Its amazing stuff! http://www.habitatindonesia.org/detailnews.php?id=304
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