I’m loving where I am now: Thoughts on Habitat for Humanity
Sir Nuqui: That’s a nice tan you’ve got there! Beach?
Me: Nope. I did construction work two days ago.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I signed up for “Habitat for Humanity”, a community outreach program that involves housing projects. It wasn’t until I was shoveling sand and painting red bars under the sweltering heat of the sun that I realized: I love where I am.
Having done corporate work for 8 years before I began my teaching vocation, it’s only now that I really get to appreciate the difference. I wouldn’t have had the time to do something as rewarding as a whole day outreach program in the middle of summer. I don’t know why or how, but I just really felt so good doing it.
There were also many things I haven’t done since my stint in UP Ugnayan ng Pahinungod that I am able to do now. Like…wearing a t-shirt. And a bandana. Hahahaha! When Cris saw me wearing a black, hanging baby tee, she was exasperated.
“You are going to wear that?”
“It’s black. You do know how hot it’s going to be? And your belly is showing.”
“This is the closest thing to a t-shirt I could find in both my and Leki’s closets.”
“It’s a good thing I brought an extra shirt then. Here. I also brought an extra towel because I know you’ll bring your kikay kit, but not a towel.”
(She was right.) “Ah…hehehe. Thanks.”
Another thing I haven’t done in a long time is exactly this, doing outreach work. The last time I did was when we were in Pahinungod’s summer immersion program. We did medical missions. My very first ex was a UP-INTARMED student (and an Oblation Scholar at that), and I was taught how to take blood pressure and stuff. I missed this. I suddenly felt like God had brought me here, to the academe, so I can live my life to the fullest while being in servitude.
(Gad, I actually wasn’t able to attend my very first Academic Council meeting because of this. Robert said that the President, Dr. Tan, was looking for me. Meep.)
Of course, I also loved that I had an excuse for eating like a construction worker. I was going to try and curb my appetite, but Cris, again having the foresight of an Oracle, figured I was going to pretend that I was on a diet and bought an extra sausage-egg muffin. I had only brought apple pie as baon. True enough, I ended up eating her extra muffin.
Special thanks to Cris and Lei for joining me. Lei already did Habitat work the day before, but she just wanted to accompany Cris and me. Thank goodness, she did because we nearly got lost in the area.