Our final day arrived in the usual fashion – here before you know it, yet feeling physically tired having put in four full days of hard work, doing the kind of jobs most of us are not used to. Add the Cambodian heat and humidity to the mix and a few tummy bugs and it definitely feels like Friday.
There were a few finishing touches that needed to be done at each house before lunch, after which we’d be in full celebration mode. Painting, finish carpentry, cleaning and hanging the front door were all these houses needed, which seemed unbelievable. TWO complete houses in four and a half days.
Now, the fun part. Decorating the houses!
The Ribbon Cutting
This is a special ceremony that marks the completion of the house in Cambodia. Everyone who helped, two by two, cuts a small section of the ribbon, until finally the homeowner makes the final cut and the ribbon drops and everyone showers them with lotus blossom petals! Afterward at the dedication ceremony everyone took turns expressing their feelings and deep appreciation for having been a part of this awesome and life changing experience.
[No one celebrates like the Khmer! This was one of the best end of build parties that we’ve ever attended. We cried with joy in our hearts at the work we accomplished as one big team, we ate together, played games and sang and danced. [If you ever build here, watch out for the talcum powder dance!]
Before and After
In these cases especially, it was easy to see the dramatic difference having a decent place to live would make in the lives of these hard working and loving families, and the positive impact on the entire community. How they had been living, by no fault of their own, was heart breaking. Even without being here, you can see for yourself.
Thank you to all our supporters, who gave their money to help us make these dreams come true. And for all of our families and friends back home, who supported us to come halfway around the world and put love into action; we are grateful.
May we all continue in our own ways to make the world a better place. Every contribution can be a meaningful one. But for those who can offer the gift of a home, something many of us take for granted, may we give with gusto! Not everyone is so privileged.
Sending Happy Holiday Wishes from hot, steamy Cambodia!