It takes a village…. to create “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” In May, it was a “village” of Pikes Peak Habitat Global Village volunteers with a trip to the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Together, the Pikes Peak Habitat volunteers, the future homeowner and three Trinidadian construction site supervisors began the process of building an affordable home and bringing a “world” of strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter to Norma Wolcott.
The team woke to the sound of community church bells ringing in the compound and surrounding neighborhood as well as a symphony of bird songs. In high 80 and 90 degree days with high humidity not felt in Colorado, we shoveled dirt, tied rebar, mixed cement by hand and poured it into the trenches. We performed yoga stretches in the morning, took plenty of water breaks and sprayed bug repellent frequently. Everyone monitored each other’s work load to avoid injuries to bodies not used to such physical work. Thankfully, we had some “younger” high-energy folks that could shovel wet cement throughout the day and not miss a beat or suffer heat exhaustion! Our meals consisted of a variety of local cuisine, and we savored juicy, fresh mangoes and papayas, spicy chicken, curried rice and fried plantains.
We spent free time exploring local sites representing a kaleidoscope of cultures. Our construction supervisors and driver humorously taught us “Trini” words and meanings. The group thoroughly enjoyed the heat of the sandy beaches on our toes and the rolling waves against our backs. We took numerous pictures of the colorful Hindu temples and city views and we couldn’t keep our toes from tapping and hands from clapping as we listened to a steel drum band performance by a Nazarene Church youth group.
At the end of each day, we tucked ourselves into beds, tired yet emotionally exuberant knowing we did the best we could with the day’s materials and hours to build a world for Norma; “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity