Saturday, June 11, 2011

We Built a House! (Habitat for Humanity Beius)

I recently participated in the Peace Corps/Habitat for Humanity build in the small town of Beius. To celebrate 20 years of PC service in Romania and 50 years of PC service worldwide, this build was organized to help a Romanian family in need, the Petrus family. Approximately $30,000 was raised for the home and volunteers from all over the country came to help construct the house which is located in a habitat community on the outskirts of Beius. The Petrus family was amazing, working by our sides all week and providing us with yummy snacks. The gratitude could be seen on their faces and it was so wonderful to be a part of this monumental week in their lives. As a Peace Corps Volunteer working in the "Teaching English as a Foreign Language" sector, it is sometimes hard to see the results of our work. Sure, you can see test scores raise and students excited about English class, but I believe we all still struggle with the thoughts of "Am I really making a difference? Am I doing enough?". Building a house, seeing the tangible result of our labor was incredibly satisfying. As I worked all day hammering nails into the parts of the roof, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and purpose. I look forward to working with Habitat again here in Romania before my service is over. Here are some pictures of the build!

When I arrived in Beius this is what I off-roading SUV obstacle course thing...amazing.

Tara greeting us at one of the houses we stayed at during the week.

Filling up our water bottles before the build. Probably not the best idea for my sensitive stomach..but MORE ON THAT LATER.

Walking to the Habitat Community!

Celebrating 50 Years of Service!

The foundation was laid already before we started. This is Day 1.

The Petrus Family! (Minus their older son, who was at school)

Alexandra, fellow PCV and roommate for the build.

Amanda rocking it with the hammer.

A little excited about hammering...

Tara, another PCV and hammering buddy.

About halfway through the day, walls went up!

Group 27 PCVs!

Still Day 1!

Our Hard Hats.

Maggie, the PC Director's dog who comes to ever event. Oh, and her fox.

A house is build!!

Justin, PCV from group 26 and the PC Flag.

Dedication of the house!

The Petrus Family :)

Julie, Chris and I are giving the family the "key" to their new house.

The plaque posted on the house-PC Romania!

So we all made signs with our hometown and the distance from this spot back home..can you see mine?!

Chantilly VA!

My ride to Bucuresti after the build..rocking out in the back seat with Maggie!

OK-So the build was wonderful but I didn't mention that I was actually only able to attend Sunday, Monday, and Friday, the last day. Why? Because I was insanely sick in between! Monday night after drinking pump water all day (stupid move #1) and swimming in the river-the same one the trucks and cars were in (stupid move #2) I became violently sick with what my friend Gretel calls "Mississippi River diarrhea".  (Aren't you glad you read my blog at this point??) Yes, its true, as Peace Corps Volunteers this happens more than we care to admit but I'm admitting it to you, my faithful readers. May you want to continue to read after this post.

So I became violently sick Monday night and basically spent Tuesday-Thursday in bed, or in the bathroom. I got a picture of my bed for you.

The bed that got me through the sickness. Hell yeah those are Power Ranger sheets and a RugRats curtain!
Sadly-well selfishly not so sad for me-Gretel also got sick the day after me so we hung out together, taking turns in the bathroom and trying to eat anything we could keep in...crackers, tea, bananas. We had amazing volunteers bring up medicines and water and major points have to go to the PC Doctor, Dr. Dan, for assuring me I wasn't dying at 6:00AM when I called him, miserable and convinced I was on my death bed. Power Rangers death bed.  By Friday we felt we could walk around town a bit without incident and stopped by a restaurant. This was my lunch.

Toast and Water!
Gretel and I...crackers, bananas, and yogurt!
Later that night we were well enough to attend a dinner thrown by our PC director to celebrate the end of the build. Located on a beautiful lake outside of Beius, we were treated to traditional music, dance, and scenic views. Gretel and I made sure we stuck to Dr. Dan approved foods, and took pictures to prove it. See above. It was a great night, we were so happy just to be out of the "sick house" and with other people.
Where we had our final dinner..gorgeous!

Love Romania.

The lake where we ate.


PCVs and Raluca, PC Staff

The terrace where we ate

A momma and her new pups!
After the build I headed to Bucuresti to meet with the doctor for some tests to determine the cause of my sudden...sickness. After bloodwork and cultures, no trace of parasites or bacteria were found. I'm much better now and after almost 2 weeks away, I'm back at site. I guess I just had a "nasty virus" as Dr. Dan says and seem to be ok. Thank you all who sent love and encouragement from the states-I survived! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment