Habitat 2020: Tuesday – Hammering Away
RA’ZHANE NEWBERRY and EMILY CRAIN
While deciding whether I should come on this year’s Habitat Trip, I selfishly only took into consideration the things I would be leaving behind and the friends I’d miss. But today, the third day of habitat, not only have I learned a lot but I have also made many connections and have been able to appreciate all the smaller aspects of life. I have put blood, sweat and potentially tears into these houses and it humbles me to be able to give back and do something nice for people who are just like me. Meeting new people and making new memories is amazing and I would do it again and again. Today I had the opportunity to meet one of the Habitat home owners for the 2020 class and she was amazing. She was so willing to learn and participate, she was excited about having more people there who she could relate to. She is a 26 year old mother of two, with her third on the way and I loved talking to her about her future plans, her two boys Braylon and Phoenix and how much she wanted her unborn to be her first baby girl. Today we worked an hour past the time we usually stop because we were all so determined to finish and I am so proud of myself and my team. I can’t wait to go back Thursday, all I need are knee pads and I’ll be ready to go!
Going on the Habitat for Humanity trip every spring break has become a norm for me. My freshman year I traveled to Thibadeoux, LA; my sophomore year I traveled to Goldsboro, NC; and now in my junior year I am currently in Lenoir, NC. Something I have found is that the more I go, the more I discover my true passion for what I am doing. Of course I enjoy learning things about home maintenance, such as how to nail in flooring, how to use a table saw, etc., but time and time again I find that my passion lies in the positive impact I am leaving upon people. I know that I am not a skilled carpenter, I know that I am no craftswoman, but I put my all into everything that I do and I take pride in that.
As a leader this year I was able to sit down and plan a reflection for the group. The reflection I did with Raz revolved around taking pride in who we are, what we have, and what we can do. We asked our fellow group members to write on a paper the following: I am, I have, I can, then fill in thoughts accordingly. From there they were asked to participate in an activity where they were asked to step forward or backward depending on how the questions applied to them. The questions revolved around a variety of things, such as gender and childhood circumstances. After the activity was over, we discussed how our paper activity reflects where we are standing with the group. This reflection really drove home my point above about how my passion for Habitat increases with each year. Things were really put into perspective for me. While I was growing up, my parents did what they could but times were not always the easiest in terms of financial stability and resources. I found myself standing further back than others in the activity, indicating these struggles, and I found much of my experience reflected on my sheet. I wrote that I have strength, I am giving, I can give so much, I have opportunities. In my life I have learned the importance of other people. Other people matter. The work days may be long, the tasks may be difficult to get the hang of, but I love doing what I do during Habitat. I want to be able to give to others so that they are given a chance at a better life because that is what everyone deserves. I am so grateful to Lourdes and to the Sisters of Saint Francis for giving me such a beautiful opportunity to foster my passions and live them out. This week has been amazing so far and I am so excited to finish the week out strong with new friends and stronger bonds with those I already knew. Peace!