We came to help so we grabbed a shovel!

Posted: August 31, 2011 in My World in 4D
Tags: , , , , ,

I had been looking forward to this day. For the longest time we planned to volunteer for something. Last year we had the CRIBS which was a concert to raise funds for the orphaned babies. This year, instead of making music, we wanted to toil with our hands. So we thought why not Habitat, you know make houses and stuff. Sounds fun right? Of course the actual thing meant hard labor and maybe it was the grunt work or to be able to finally sweat out the excess pounds but it was something I wanted to do.

A date was finally set. 30 pairs of hand were needed but not for Habitat, for Gawad Kalinga’s community project in the heart of Parañaque. We were supposed to bend and tie wires, reinforce bars using wires and teach 50 kids. Unfortunately, van came too late, traffic caused us to be later so we arrived too late for the kids’ class. Orientation began as soon as everyone got settled inside the room.

Then we were off. A handful went up to the classroom while the rest went towards the construction site. Sacks filled halfway with gravel and sand were passed from the ground to the second floor which proved challenging since there was only a stack of hollow blocks to step on. Girls carry heavy sacks from where they were stored, passed it on to Mandy who handed it over to Allen. Two pairs of hands lifted it from where his outstretched hands ended and a bayanihan of sorts took place for several minutes. The other boys mixed cement for a while. Unfortunately, there was nothing left to do after that so we went down and found hollow blocks to carry from one spot to the other.

We felt we could have done more. The wires needing bending looked particularly interesting just about then when the hands got numb from the lifting and the knees wobbled under the weight of the sacks filled with gravel. The momentum has passed and the lack of sleep made us feel lethargic and out of it, more and more just took the time to cool off.  I felt guiltier as the food served were really delicious and non-stop. We ate more and rested more than sweat it out in the construction site. So really hats off to the masons and carpenters who spent endless hours just putting together houses regardless of the weather. My back was already giving me a problem when I have not spent 30 minutes shoveling over the sand dune. My head was throbbing even when I was not out in the sun for an hour. But I did not complain because I wanted to do more, yet I cannot ignore my body’s aches and pains so less than two hours of toiling, I gave up.

I want to come back, maybe better to do so if coming from a rest day so as to have more energy to put into the grunt work that I was looking forward to doing in the first place. But if I cannot get the chance to do so, there are other ways I can help out. 😀

For those interested you may want to check out the GK website and see which one you may want to  find yourself doing at this website  http://www.gk1world.com/

  1. Thanks for this great post! Gawad Kalinga and it movement means a lot to a lot of people including myself.

    Salamat and Mabuhay,


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