*Please note that due to COVID-19, all Global Village trips have been cancelled until the end of 2020.
In 2015 two incredible people entered the Habitat for Humanity world: Kerry and Rudy Buchfink. They discovered the Habitat program in 2015 and have volunteered multiple times per year in countries across the world. Since 2015, they have been on a staggering 19 Global Village trips!
Where have they been?
Armenia, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Macedonia (x2), Nova Scotia, Nepal, Nicaragua (x2), Poland, Portugal (x3), Prince Edward Island, Trinidad, and the Yukon.
“I’m not sure what we’d be doing if we weren’t building homes with Habitat,” Rudy joked, “We already walk our daughter’s dog 2-3 times a week. If we weren’t building homes we’d probably double that number and take a small vacation once a year.”
Habitat changed their future of dog-walking into building homes for families in need. In 2015, the couple boarded a plane for their first Global Village build, which was in Portugal. The project was a renovation, and Rudy spoke fondly of their first time experience on a Habitat build site.
“When we arrived on site, we saw that [the renovation] was a big job,” said Rudy. “The homes needed everything from trenching to removing the old roofs. We mixed cement in a wheelbarrow and the work was HARD, but the hosts were well organized and so we were making huge progress throughout the day.”
Kerry noted that when they first arrive on site, they immediately notice a language barrier. However, everybody laughed so much while they tried to understand each other that it added a new element of delight to the experience.
“The groups are happy to have you there and they bend over backwards to help YOU in any way they can,” said Kerry.
It was difficult for Kerry to select one trip as a highlight, but she did remember building in Nepal as a neat experience. “Baby goats were born every day on our build site – yes, goats! We also had to take jeeps to the build site because some of the roads were washed out. I’ll remember that build.”
Rudy likewise had a special trip, and that was his trip to Indonesia, “Building the homes was a real community effort. Everyone – even the kids – pitched in to learn construction and to learn English. Habitat helps families get homes; worthwhile homes that they are proud of.”
The couple was surprised by how they were accepted so quickly by people who didn’t even know them – both in the community and on their build teams. It is fair to say that Global Village has changed the Buchfink’s lives as much or more than the impact they have had on the people in the countries they have visited.
*Although Global Village trips have been cancelled to the end of 2020 (and, unfortunately, the Buchfink’s September Global Village trip to Romania was cancelled), you can still read up on Global Village to see what is all involved. https://habitat.ca/en/volunteer/build-globally