Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Habitat in Hajduboszormeny

We finished up our first volunteer stint of the trip and had an amazing time.

After some relaxation at Lake Balatan, Hungary's answer to the Jersey Shore, we met the rest of our Habitat for Humanity crew in Budapest, and the next day boarded a bus to the small town of Hajdubozsormeny, a few hours west of Budapest.

Hajdu (that's what we call it for short) is a town of about 30,000. There are about 400 families in need of better housing. The main industry in Hajdu is agriculture. The Habitat Chapter in Hajdu began in 2007. Despite the Chapter's short life, much has been done already. There are four duplexes being built, and the eight families are expected to move into their new homes this September.

When we arrived in Hajdu, our group of 13 was warmly greeted by the HFH Volunteer Coordinator, Sandor, who turned out to be our tour guide for the week, a supervisor on the build and an all around incredible person. Pisti, the HFH Construction Supervisor, was equally amazing and so patient. We spent most of our time working on two of the four duplexes. During our week there, we put a roof on one home and insultated the outside of another home. With every hole drilled, board braced and styrofoam piece fit just so, we got to know the homeowner families, the HFH staff and each other. We reached new heights. Literally. One afternoon Kristen drilled in insulation from the high scaffolding, while Mary was harnassed to a roof drilling in OSB board.

Our group had represenation from the US, The Northern Territories of Canada and the coolest Australian brother-sister duo around. After our goodbyes to our new friends in Hajdu, we headed back to Budapest for some touring. Between a ticket on the metro, a participant's stolen bag, and that gypsy that pushed Mary, Budapest really didn't want us to like it. But we love it. Rich history, beautiful buildings, and baths all over the place...its worth a trip.

We're very thankful to Seth, our team leader, the rest of the volunteers, the HFH staff, the homeowners, and all the generous people who donated to the trip, for making this possible.

If you're ever in Hungary, make a stop in Hajdubozsormeny, not only will you meet amazing people, but you'll learn how to pronounce the name of the town.

More stories about our Habitat trip coming soon!

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