Published: August 18th 2009August 16th 2009
After a sobering start to this Sunday, we arrived in Gliwice and checked into Hotel Sezam. A few minutes later, we met a few of the families for whom we would be building. We split into smaller groups and were entertained with a delicious afternoon meal in their current homes. Upon our return, we shared our experiences and observations during our evening team meeting. Without exception, we each experienced a very warm reception and appreciation for our being here. You can communicate without words (hand gestures, charades, facial expressions and drawings). We used them all. Our host took us to a very modern, gorgeous school, certainly 5-star quality, where she teaches PE and served us a fabulous meal. One of her young sons taught me how to better use my Internet notebook! I was uncomfortable at first, but it was enjoyed by all. Our family didn't want to bring us back -- we were all having so much fun. They told us we could be late to our team meeting because we would hear the same thing the following morning.
(Note from Team Leaders -- Not.) The boys played with Fred without any verbal language -- they used humor to communicate. The father is an architect and seemed very excited that I was here to help. I can see how proud, happy and appreciative they are that soon their kids won't be at risk of falling through the steps any longer. We visited a lovely family, a single mom doing a very tough job. Her boys are very computer literate. They expressed to us what getting a new home means to them. No more insecurity. They are a very loving family.
Our family already lives in one of the Habitat homes, so we were able to see the finished flat (apartment) and how proud they are of it. They have six children.
We three put Asia through some difficult translations. Our family was so gracious and eager to start working with us tomorrow. It was like walking into a different world from outside the building to the inside of their current home. The building is very meager, not a pleasant area at all for kids to grow up. They are very proud of her delicious food. He was very good at renovating the kitchen and bath in his current home, and he will certainly be a proud homeowner soon.
For people who are struggling, their generosity is overwhelming. We had a beautiful bowl of chicken soup that she had boiled for over 5 hours, with a huge bowl of mashed potatoes, roasten chicken breasts, a fabulous meal. Sebastian's efforts to communicate are incredible.
She said we're very happy here and the kids have a great sense of humor. We could talk about anything. Their economic situation is evident.