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2010-2011 Team Blog Entries

2010-2011 Rockin4Tabitha Team Member Blog Entries

Colin Eades (Canada)

Participating in the 2011 Housebuild for the Tabitha foundation can only be described as a truly remarkable experience. Meeting and working with 16 other volunteer builders with big hearts in an extremely poor region of Cambodia can only be described as rewarding. The villager’s, both adults and children, were always smiling and happy even though by our western standards they had “nothing”. It should perhaps teach us a little about work ethic, family and hope. Our team was fantastic – everyone got along – no matter how hot, tired, dirty or sore one got after two days of intense building. Lots of laughs and stories. New friendships built on sharing of a great experience will last a lifetime. And as if the daily smiles from the villagers was not enough, the blanket presentation ceremony would melt the coldest heart. It was an honour and priviledge to be a member of this team.

Allan Ashton (Canada)

You can feel the expectation in the air.
We met in Phnom Penh and introduced ourselves.
Orientation behind us now.
The brutal history of the country seen first hand at the Killing Field.
We've been transported to our jump off point, Pursat, Cambodia.
A few are finishing breakfast, the early birds are hovering around the vans.
After loading up the teams we travel to our site.
Chatter is inconsequential to cover the nervousness.
Dirt roads with monster pot holes, rickety bridges and unfamiliar countryside.
We travel to the village.
The minute we step out of the vans all insecurity is forgotten.
The local villagers have turned out en masse for our arrival.
The expectant faces, big smiles and curious children have quelled any butterflies we may have had.
None of us are professional builders, most have never built anything.
But these people accept us without question.
Teams are at the site and starting to disperse.
After the first 15 minutes we all become experts.
We are " home builders " now, masters of our trade.
"butter boards" are lauded and " iron wood" is cursed.
Within minutes, so many nails have been bent we quit counting.
A quick peek out the window and you see the nervous looks.
Villagers are anticipating that first new home.
The children cannot contain themselves.
Tonight some will sleep under a solid roof for the first time.
It is terribly humbling to see people excited and thankful for a new home.
A place that many of us might describe as a glorified garden shed.
The handover is accomplished with a quilt produced by the ladies of Tabitha.
Team members hand a village family a quilt which symbolizes their ownership of a new home.
If you can keep a dry eye after handing that quilt over, you are a better man than me.
Those happy eyes, those smiling children, the elegant elders.
Those are the images burned into my heart.
Those images make me return.