Diamond-Cut Life

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The Joy Of Building Instead Of Destroying

April 12th, 2011 by Alison · 1 Comment · work

While the news is filled with the destructive war in Libya, a highly constructive event just occurred in Ethiopia. A Habitat For Humanity trip led by my friend Colleen Kaleda had 13 volunteers from first-world countries working side by side with the residents of a small village in Ethiopia to build six simple, sturdy homes. Here is the haiku Colleen wrote to describe the ten-day build.


Hugs, fresh coffee and

Jumping rope with children

Buoys hard labor.


Hard labor it was, lacking even simple items we take for granted like wheelbarrows. The group instead used homemade stretcher-like devices to transport construction materials. The village children normally create toys and games out of found items like sticks. The volunteers left them with gifts of balls and jump-ropes, which delighted them as much as the new homes pleased their parents.

When Colleen describes her Habitat builds (she leads one every year) her face beams with joy. It strikes me that our nation in general would be happier if we spent more of our time and resources on building where building is truly needed — rather than fighting wars, largely in service to our supply of oil, that create death and destruction.

photo courtesy of Colleen Kaleda

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