Hope and Healing

We knew the pain was the result of hard work, hard work on behalf of someone who needs assistance

April 02, 2012From the Field, General

Brian Hatchell, cbm Canada
Guest Blogger

Nothing makes you feel as sore as manual labour, especially if you are used to working at a desk all day.

Today was our first day on the build site, and I don’t think very many of us, including myself, had any idea how hard it is to build a house from the ground up.

As we drove 30 kms due west of Durban to the village of Inteke our bus was filled with nervous anticipation as not many of us didn’t really know what to expect.

When we reached the build site it was ready to go. The local Habitat staff had already dug the foundation, poured the cement slab floor and laid the first three courses of brick. They wanted to make sure the site was ready for us to just jump in and start building and hopefully complete the house in five-to-six working days.

After some instructions and demonstrations on how to lay brick the house was handed over the us, 12 volunteers from Canada, many with no experience in home building.

It took us some time to get the hang of mixing cement, mudding the walls and laying brick, but by the afternoon we were flying.

You could literally see the house growing out of the ground hour-by-hour, and by the end of the day we had accomplished our goal of laying five courses of brick all the way around the house.

When we finally stepped back to appreciate our work, we all realized how tired and sore we were.

But despite all the aches and pains you couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces with a shovel. Yes we hurt, but it was a good hurt. We knew the pain was the result of hard work, hard work on behalf of someone who needs assistance.