Habitat for Humanity Everest Build 2010

Posted by Veronica Garcia, Vice President, Advocacy and Community Partnerships:

Eleven Habitat volunteers and staff—Michael, Ken, Tami, Cheryl, Debbie, Mark, Lori, Steve, Beth, Jess and I —are in Nepal for the Habitat for Humanity Everest Build 2010. The Everest Build kicks off a two year project committed to enabling 5,000 families to live in decent shelter and reducing poverty housing in Nepal. For the Everest Build, more than 400 volunteers have gathered here from all over the world to build approximately 50 homes.

As we headed to the build site on our first day, we stopped at the foot of the mountain unexpectedly. The entire community (hundreds of men, women and children) lined the streets to greet bus loads of volunteers. Each bus stopped, we got off and they led us in procession toward a street banner that read “Namaste! Hearty Welcome.” Every single volunteer was warmly greeted with smiles, cheers, a bouquet of fresh flowers, and a silk scarf. It is hard to describe the warmth, love and gratitude that was felt but it was definitely a day I will never forget.

House 23—Pokhara Nepal:

When we arrived to the home (House 23) that we are sponsoring—and building—we met beautiful Alka Archarya (Madu). She is the wife of Keshav Archarya who is currently working in Saudi Arabia to earn money for his family. They are both 22. Madu is currently living with her in-laws, which is next door on the right. Her brother in law’s home is being built on the left. We quickly got to work on the house. The house is framed in bamboo, so there was much drilling, sawing, cutting and weaving. The sun was hot, there was no shade, and we had to hike half a mile up a steep hillside to have lunch. However, though it was hard work and the weather was unforgiving, the day was filled with treasurers—The Archarya family, breathtaking views of the Himalayas, meeting new people, making new friends and experiencing Nepal.

The end of Day One.

More tomorrow…

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