I went to Indonesia to built a house from September 1 to 13, 2013. I am a member of the Japanese chapter of Habitat for Humanity, which is a volunteer group and makes houses around the world for people with low incomes. Our team is composed of ten members and we chose Indonesia because Habitat for Humanity started the ‘mom and babies project’, which builds houses for young parents in Indonesia. These parents have children but their houses are not a good environment for them, so our purpose was to build a house for one of these families. I have never gone to Indonesia, therefore I was surprised about differences between Japanese and Indonesian culture, foods and customs. I especially enjoyed playing gamelan, which is Indonesian orchestra music that sounds good and I enjoyed it. During this trip, I met a lot of Indonesian people and everyone was kind to us and told us about their culture. The T-shirt in one of the photos shows the Balinese alphabet and it is my favorite because a carpenter wrote my name in Balinese for me. Our main job were at work site was to make mortar, bring blocks and stack them. This work was especially hard because mixing water and cement is difficult for me. However, after spending two weeks in Indonesia, I became a suited to the lifestyle there and our construction techniques also improved. Gradually, we could communicate better with homeowners and carpenters in Indonesian. I spent a wonderful time. The trip was a valuable experience for me because I learned about Indonesian culture and I could communicate with many people. We could not finish the house, however, so we had to hand over the work to the next group. Recently our coordinator said that the house has been completed, so we are planning to go to Indonesia and visit it in the future!
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