Erik’s Summer of Service Reflection

Over the summer, I worked with the Rotary Club of Lautoka and Habitat for Humanity in Lautoka, Fiji. While I was there, I was building houses with a team from Australia. We built houses for the local Indians living in the slums surrounding the Lautoka, Fiji area. The houses were made out of wooden frames and specially designed metals in a plan that allows for the houses to be cyclone-resistant. Many of the people living in the slums have rickety shacks for houses, with approximately fifteen people per shack. These families are living on approximately $9-15 USD per month.

The project that the Rotary Club of Lautoka and Habitat for Humanity are working on is an effort to eliminate poverty in the region by building cyclone-resistant houses and setting up friendly and agriculturally sustainable communities. I was working with a group of twenty, building two houses in a week. In one of the pictures attached, you can see many of the local workers and a couple volunteers. I learned through this experience how poverty stricken these people are, as they have no set source of income and will do anything to make some money, including stealing volunteers’ water bottles. I feel that my work in building houses helped Habitat for Humanity and the Rotary Club of Lautoka get a small step closer to achieving their goal.

Here are some of the volunteers and local workers.

Finished houses.

Houses being lived in.



3 thoughts on “Erik’s Summer of Service Reflection

  1. Erik,

    I enjoyed our conversations about your summer experience. Reading your post and seeing the photos helped me imagine the experience all the more.

    I appreciated you being able to find the humor in the fact that you had to bury your water bottles during labor, so that you would have a way to hydrate throughout the day.

  2. Erik, I so appreciated reading your description of this experience–and seeing these great photos. Many of these international volunteer projects do NOT include local workers, and I think that it is much much better when local people are involved. It’s a matter of dignity as much as of skill building. You chose a very worthwhile project and it sounds like you worked very hard!

  3. Great photos… it is nice to see the gardens outside the homes.
    I too appreciate the humor of your story about the water bottles.
    Keep up the good work you do for others.

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