Meet our Vietnam Big Build volunteers

October 26, 2018

Flatirons Habitat for Humanity is gearing up for its 2018 Global Village Trip to Vietnam. In November, our team of seventeen adventurous Coloradans will join more than 200 fellow volunteers in Dong Thap Province for a week of building safe, decent, and affordable housing. Check out our blog Global Village blog series to learn more about Global Village Trips and how our local affiliate makes a big global impact.

 

Many of our Global Village Trip team members are departing today for their week-long volunteer expedition in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Meet some of our volunteers and learn why they're traveling across the world with Habitat.

 

Dennis Ebbets

How did you first get involved with Habitat? 

I worked at Ball Aerospace in Boulder for 30 years. They were very supportive of employees' philanthropic and volunteering efforts. We had a team of a dozen people or so who worked with Flatirons Habitat, St. Vrain Habitat, and a group called Rebuilding Together. We worked on several builds in Boulder, Broomfield and Longmont, and Jamestown after the 2013 flood. One of our guys had done a few GV trips to Eastern Europe. He and I were both on the first trip to Guatemala a few years ago. 

Photo: Dennis with a homeowner near Panajachel, Guatemala in Spring 2017

 

Have you gone on any other Global Village Trips? 

I've been to Guatemala three times, twice to Quetzaltenago and once to Panajachel. We built (well, got started on) five houses, and built four smokeless stoves. I enjoyed the actual work, mostly masonry, and especially the socializing with our team members and local hosts during off hours. I also enjoyed the opportunities for a little local tourism after the Habitat build, climbing the Pacaya volcano, hiking in a park with spider monkeys, zip line, and a visit to archaeological site Tikal.

 

What are you looking forward to about the Vietnam Big Build? 

I'm looking forward to seeing a part of the world I've never been to, seeing some very different ways of life, and helping with whatever HFH has in mind for us. I'm also looking forward to getting better acquainted with our new team members, and hopefully some members of other teams from the US and other countries. 

 

Why do you think Global Village Trips are important? 

The actual building of houses and stoves is more satisfying to me than just donating money. The tangible evidence of what we accomplish, and meeting the families who will enjoy the house when it is finished, is very gratifying.

 

John Woods

 

How did you first get involved with Habitat? 

I began as a Wednesday regular and working on the Construction Committee in 2002.  I was on the Board of Flatirons Habitat for 9 1/2 years and was the Board president for 4 years.  

 

Have you gone on any other Global Village Trips? 

This is my first Global Village trip.

 

What are you looking forward to about the Vietnam Big Build? 

I am looking forward to learning more about the Vietnamese people and their lives and to understand the housing situation in the more rural areas of Vietnam.

 

Why do you think Global Village Trips are important? 

My wife and I have done work in Guatemala and have seen the impact on local people's lives - not just the result of the buildings themselves, but also because they can see that others care about their well-bing and are taking an interest in learning about them. 

 

Bruce Hoelter

How did you first get involved with Habitat? 

I first started working for this affiliate when I met Kurt Firnhaber [the founder of Flatirons Habitat] in early 1996. I have been attending builds and providing financial support ever since. 

Photo: Bruce on a Global Village Trip in Nicaragua

 

Have you gone on any other Global Village Trips? 

This will be my fourth Global Village Trip. I have been to Nicaragua, Poland, and Malawi. 

 

What are you looking forward to about the Vietnam Big Build? 

This will be my first Big Build. I'm looking forward to sharing this experience with even more people and seeing how they do this logistically. I am also excited to just immerse myself in Vietnamese culture.

 

Why do you think Global Village Trips are important? 

Where do I begin? Obviously the need for safe, clean, affordable housing is a global concern. Yes, there are many places in the United States where this is a concern - but it is short-sighted to only look inward. Thinking globally will help everyone. We are a global society and we come from one of the richest nations.

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