I have done 8 trips with Global Village-Habitat for Humanity. They have been the best experiences of my life. The trick about doing a build in 3rd world countries is flexibility. One has to realize that they (the affiliate, the team working in the host country) may have different priorities than the North American person, in some cultures it is more important to treat us with honor and respect than to get a house built. In other countries getting the supplies to build the house is not always guaranteed (you may waste a day waiting for sand to be delivered). Don't expect to get a house completely built when you are there, you may do foundations on a number of houses or build outhouses or do renovations on a number of houses. Expect the unexpected is my moto and go with the flow. If you can do that then building in third world countries is amazing. On most of my trips the family of the house being built was involved and that is an amazing thing, to see their smiling faces and their gratitude will make you cry. The other great thing is that you will make new friends for life. I stay in touch with about 80% of the team mates (from all over the world) that I have worked with and know that I could visit them any time. It is very true that the team leader makes a big difference. My first trip was with young inexperienced leaders, who did not know what they were doing. I know that if I thought that is how all trips were I would not have signed up again. But I gave it a second chance and I am so thankful I did. I know I have "Habititize" it is contagious so beware you may end up doing 8 trips. The only negative thing that I have is that the price of participating on these trips has risen since I started doing them. It appears to be much more expensive to participate now and I hope it doesn't deter people from joining. I have two more trips planned in the next year. Can't wait.



Much appreciation for sharing your experience and thoughts since first timer really has no idea how it will turn out and what to expect. Reading past experience is a great peak at how the trip might/will turn out. You are absolutely right about the trip fee.. i think that is what stops people from joining.. a trip to Asia during the summer easily exceeds 3000k and people will say that worth 9 days of the trip?