It was the fifth day of my Habit for Humanity Global Village build in Bangalore City, India (See Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4) and a beautiful morning outside of our hotel. This part of India does get very hot, but at the time I was there in August, it was perfect weather.
We arrived at the jobsite and started right to work on building up the walls we had been working on earlier in the week.
We really made some progress!
Before we broke for lunch, I took a few minutes to chat with our local Habitat for Humanity volunteer leader who I am certain is the nicest, most kind-hearted person I have met in my life. Prashanth shared with me that he had grown up in a similar village to the one we were working in.That he had a chance to get a different job but felt that he had a calling to serve his community with Habitat for Humanity. The ferocity and passion with which he approaches his mission to help those in need was one of the most inspiring parts of my trip to India.
After lunch, we turned our attention to starting the foundation for a new house. This house would be for a different family of ten and the house they currently lived in would be turned into their barn.
In order to start the foundation, the elder came and led a ceremony to bless all of the land, the tools, and of course the volunteers working on the project.
The digging, I’m not going to lie, was really really hard work.
We were already dead tired from lifting blocks above our head all morning and what little energy we had left quickly dissipated as our picks and shovels hit solid rocks. As I mentioned in my previous post, the village we were working in was surrounded on all sides by luxury skyscrapers and technology campuses. Without a plan for construction debris and waste, dump trucks full of tile pieces, large granite chunks, nails, etc were all just dumped on the surrounding land and over the years had been layered to form the ground we were supposed to dig through. If I was at home, I would have hired a tractor, but that wasn’t an option here. So we dug, and dug, and dug some more.
And I almost forgot! We decided to take a short break to make our #volunteeringisfun fitness video for the day.
And that was the end of the first week! I had worked in India for 5 days and was physically ready for a break. Covered in dirt, blisters on my feet and hands, and sore muscles but still a smile on my face as we got in the van to ride back to our hotel.
It occurred to me as I sat at the hotel, listening to the mosque’s call to prayer across the city, that I still knew very little about the land I was in. I was excited for our weekend off and the chance to see more of the city. I went to bed looking forward to Saturday at the market…