How often do you volunteer or give up your time for a good cause?
Most people I know would have an easy time answering this with a big old “never”. Unless there was an incentive or they had to do community service work for a job or maybe because they were in trouble with the law. Who knows.
A few months ago I would have had the same answer to this question. What changed was an opportunity to join a Habitat for Humanity Build in rural Guangdong, China. I embody the Guying Around spirit, so naturally, I wanted to give this a try. For those of you that do not know, Habitat for Humanity is an organization that helps build shelters and homes for families in need. It has been around for years and really does great work across the world. Habitat is in a lot of developing countries in different areas of the globe.
What a great opportunity for me to not only volunteer and help a family in need but to see and experience life in a rural Chinese village. I have seen how modern and new China is, but this experience will show a big chunk of how Chinese people live. I felt good about volunteering a few days for this trip. Jumping on new experiences that can be very fulfilling is what Guying Around is all about.
We took a 3 hour bus ride from Shenzhen, China to Lutian, China for the build. It was truly a village, completely different than the modern city of Shenzhen. They had running water and toilets, but definitely not the same amenities you would find in the major cities. Life was definitely slower out here, easier way of life. Most people seemed very happy when we first arrived. We were greeted by smiles by people in the village, very thankful for what we were there for.
When we arrived we were given the task of helping build two interior walls to a family home. So we spent the first day gathering supplies and learning how to lay bricks. The family that we helped made us lunch each day, all hand made and all the ingredients were from village gardens and chickens. An authentic Chinese village lunch experience. We had different veggie dishes, rice, eggs, and tomatoes (Chinese classic) and some pork for those meals.
We spent about a day and a half of actual work on building these interior walls. Below is a before and after picture on one of the walls. With a team of 6 on each wall, I would say that we did a pretty good job. Most volunteers didn’t have any experience doing work like this so everyone improved their bricklaying skills throughout our time volunteering.
Fulfilling, rewarding experiences like these are very good for your soul. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to be a part of something like this. I suggest you look to volunteer from time to time. There are plenty of organizations that want your time and help no matter where you are. In today’s world, the power of the internet and social media can be used for good sometimes. Guying Around supports Habitat for Humanity and urges you to find an organization that you can support as well.