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 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 (right), 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 my Habitat Global Village team. Like all Habitat homeowners, Sharmila was onsite building with us. With help from the community and a few hired technicians we built the bamboo style house in just eight days. Amazing!
As team leader one of my challenges is recruiting the volunteers. You need to judge each one’s ability to be flexible, patient, kind and fun-loving: essential ingredients, in my opinion. Then you get on a plane, 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…that’s when the magic happens. The opening up. The looking out and listening. The contagious laughter – my favorite part. Life is happening right where you are. In every moment. You are present and known. You are cared for and loved.