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Habitat News

Leaving Macedonia | Amy’s Reflections

The experience was even more amazing that I had imagined.  On our first night together as a group, Chuck explained our top 3 priorities for the week:3

1 – safety

2 – relationships

3 – building

This surprised me, as I thought our primary goal (after safety, of course) would be to make as much progress as possible on9 the building project.  Chuck and Terri did a great job of creating a team.  In fact, many of the team members knew each other from previous trips led by Chuck and Terri.   Julie and I were in the small group that hadn’t work with them before.   The feeling of being new and an “outsider” disappeared the first night.

Our team mates ranged from 19 to 73 years old.   Everyone made a significant 6contribution in their own way – picking rocks, tying rebar, moving fences, etc.  We worked hard together, and enjoyed relaxing evenings together. It’s amazing how we bonded with each other so quickly.  On the trip back home, Julie and I, along with other team mates, had an overnight layover in Vienna.  We ended the evening listing the things we love about each of our team mates, laughing and crying as we realized how much we learned and cared about each other.  OK, maybe I was the only one crying…

This is the foundation for building 6, with building #5 behind it7

Besides picking rocks, we spent a lot of time tying rebar for the footings.   I never imagined I’d feel such pride in our finished work!

We finished five of these – one more than they expected us to get done in the week!

On Wednesday night, we visited a local winery and many of us bought bottles of the delicious wine to take home.  However, most of it didn’t make it home because we enjoyed it at our hotel after the hot work days.   Sarah, who’s heart is bigger than anyone I know, had the idea that we should all write notes, put them in one of our empty wine bottles, and bury the bottle in the foundation.  4

Towards the end of the week, I found myself referring to this as my “first” trip, knowing it would not be my last!  Julie and I came home with blisters, bruises, many new friends, amazing memories, and hearts filled with love…

What the project will look like when it’s finished.  12 buildings, each housing 12 families.  Each takes about 2-3 years to complete since most of the work is done by volunteers. 2





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