GV Nepal 2012

Sandwiched between China and India, Nepal is an extraordinary land of beauty, reflected in its people.  Home to eight of the world’s 10 highest mountain peaks, it is popular among those looking for outdoor adventure.  It is a nation of mostly Hindus, who prefer vegetables and chicken over beef.  It is a new republic, finding its democratic feet.  Nepal is also home to over 10,000 families, numbering among over half a million worldwide, who own a decent affordable house built in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Meet Sharmila Pariyar, Habitat homeowner in the Leknath community just outside of Nepal’s second largest city, Pokhara.  Sharmila and her son Uttam were the partner family for our Global Village team.  Like all Habitat homeowners, Sharmila was onsite working with us to build her house.  Our team with help from the community and a few hired technicians built the bamboo style house in just eight days.  It was amazing!  Our team would love to show you how to build with bamboo.

This was my fourth GV build, but my first time serving as Team Leader.  Working alongside the Nepalese was every bit as amazing as I’d expected.  The unknown is always the team, all or most of whom are traveling solo and meeting for the first time in a strange place.  It’s like throwing a bunch of great ingredients into a hot pot to make soup.  You don’t really know how it’s gonna turn out until it’s been on the fire!  Well…I can tell you this was the best soup ever!

This is why I build.

The challenge is coming up with just the right mix of people.  During the interview a team leader tries to get a sense of each volunteer’s personality and sense of humor, if there is one.  You need to judge their ability to be flexible, patient, kind and fun-loving.  All essential ingredients, in my opinion.  Then you get onto a plane and arrive in a mysterious land and attempt to get along with a bunch of strangers!  You live together, eat together, work together.  Along the way (you hope) the magic happens.  The opening up.  The bonding.  The looking out and listening.   The contagious laughter (this is my favorite part).  Life is happening where you are.  In every moment.  You are present and not alone.  You are cared for and loved.

I am so grateful to have had such an incredible experience.  Thank you Nepal, Naran, Anil, Sharmila and the Leknath community.  To my team, “Let’s get together again and cook up something good!


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