Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Still smiling after a couple of days of work
Allen Kotanen has led groups of students and alumni of Trinity Western University for many years to make a difference for people through Habitat for Humanity. Christine and I were members of a 14 person team this month. From the 8th to the 21st of December we were on Ohau Hawaii to assist in the construction of homes for people who otherwise could not afford to have their own home. Allen and his wife Sylvia are members of our church, Fort Langley Evangelical Free Church, and on this occasion they took the two of us as well as two other church members, Rundall and Judi Maree.

I select the word "gratifying" to summarize my experience, because it is true for me on several levels. I am gratified that I was actually able to contribute to the physical work output; that I helped to make a difference for people; that the first impressions I had of team mates was inaccurate and that I love each of them at the end of our time together; and that I was able to enjoy the rewards of teamwork again, having missed the rewards of team which I have missed after retiring five years ago.

All 14: Melinda, Julie, Sylvia, Diane, Allen, Sara, Bob, Cory, Christine, Christa, Mariel, Ron, Rundall, Judi
We didn't complete any of the five homes on a small cul de sac but we were informed by Habitat supervisors that we had put them ahead of schedule by several weeks, such was our work ethic. We were up each work morning by 5 am and ready roll at 6 am for a 1.5 hour commute to the job site. Then we made that trip back to the Salvation Army Camp where we stayed during our twelve day trip. The camp is located on a property that could not be more appealing, 600 yards away from breaking surf which roars 24/7/365. Unspeakably beautiful and enjoyable to walk into the ocean after a hard day of work. And to have left Canada's deep freeze during December to work and play in 85 degree sunshine is annoyingly great to those to whom we texted, tweeted and emailed.

Time off to shop and to beach
Christine, Ron, Melinda, Sara, Judi, Cory, Rundall

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